As part of our series of interviews with major players in the software download business we decided to hook up with Alex Gerken from DownloadMix. Having many years of experience, we wanted to hear Alex’s opinion on the current state of the download industry.
For those who aren’t familiar, Downloadmix is a software download site where visitors typically find categorized software solutions that they can use for free or as a “trial” where users can try a program before deciding to make a purchase. We found Alex’s concerns regarding “freeware” particularly interesting as SPAMfighter is widely known and supported by the users of our own freeware utility of the same name, but also products that are only offered as trials with limited functionality (a worthy topic for a future discussion).
Continue reading for the interview:
Q: Being the manager of both German and English download sites do you see a difference in the downloading behavior?
A:I do not see any big differences in the download behavior between our German and English download sites. Most visitors at DownloadMix.de and DownloadMix.com are looking for multimedia programs and security tools. This shows that our promotion of Photomizer, a photo editing software, has been very successful.
Q: Do you see any trends in the download industry at the moment? What types of software are being downloaded the most?
A: Yes, I’m seeing, with a little misgiving, that more and more software authors offering freeware programs that are created with the sole intetion of getting the user to buy the full version! Yes, marketing is important but I think the programmers should concentrate on finding new features rather than looking for new ways to catch a customer.
Q: With the rise in the use of smmartphones and the success with app marketplaces, where do you think the Windows download industry is headed in the next couple of years?
A:Downloads for smartphone apps are increasing at the moment. They are basically little computers but require applications to be as functional as one. We have launched a special area at download-apps.de for this type of software. These apps have also been successful due to the low price and, of course, the countless number of free apps. I think that Windows downloads will not be affected directly but that the prices and the payment methods for Windows shareware will follow the model found on Apple’s App Stores.