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Castro for iPhone Goes Free, Adopts Patronage Model

Supertop is releasing Castro 1.5 today, and, in preparation for a major Castro 2.0 update scheduled in a few months, they are making the app free with a patronage model.

From the Supertop blog:

If you like Castro, please consider becoming a patron by contributing $1/month. You will support the work of a small indie app studio in a way that the standard App Store model never can. Yesterday, Supertop needed an endless stream of thousands of new customers to sustain our business. From today, we can be successful with a far smaller number of much happier customers. We can offer better support. We can add new features more often, instead of holding them back for splashy major releases. In other words, we can do the things that indies do best.

The patronage options are 3, 6 or 12 month bundles that don’t auto-renew. We know that this model will only work out for us if you love the app enough to voluntarily choose to pay, so there will be no sales-y notifications or nag screens. Castro 1.5 adds a small note at the bottom of the two main screens and a button in settings to invite users to become patrons.

With this model, the entire app has gone free – no features have to be purchased separately, and patronage is tastefully advertised at the bottom of the main podcast list. There are no annoying alerts or nagging prompts to sign up.

In addition to patronage, Castro 1.5 has been updated with 3D Touch support, Safari View Controller, and Spotlight search. The latter is a nice addition as a lot of podcast apps don’t support it, but I wish Castro could also index titles of links from show notes (at least it doesn’t for Relay FM shows ). As you can imagine, Safari View Controller for in-app web views is pretty great in a podcast client.

Like with Overcast and other patronage-based products, I hope that users who love and depend upon Castro will consider signing up. Making money on today’s App Store isn’t easy for an indie studio, and we need to support developers who try something different to remain sustainable thanks to their audience. I hope this works out and I’m curious to see what Supertop does with Castro 2.0.

Castro 1.5 is available on the App Store.

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