Does 20,000 free downloads mean at least 10,000 paid sales?


I have found certain shareware software products have large number of downloads. My question is if there are some 20,000 free downloads, how many of the downloaders would have actually bought and paid for this software?For Conversion sake consider a small Image Editing Tool with some 40$ price tag

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asked Jun 1 '12 at 20:43
128 points
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4 Answers


Your question will never have a concrete answer due to the fact that there is too many factors. to list a few:

  • Does the software offers a trial period (user is asked to purchase a license or the product in order to use the software)?
  • The software works after the user un-install and re-install the software ?
  • The software provide something that no other free software or cheap competitor have ?

Quite hard to answer your questions as it does not looks like a real question.

Q: ..."A shop sell 100 apples a day, how many apples where hand collected and how many fall from the tree..." A: Ask to the farmer :)

answered Jun 1 '12 at 23:42
489 points
  • 1.Yes the software offer trial periods 2.The software will work with limited capability 3.It provides unique usefull features – Techno 8 years ago
  • @techno you don't get it, there is no way to estimate/calculate how many will be sold, or had been sold. You must get access and see by your self. There is no way to give you a real answer to your question. Other answers are pure guessing or estimations based on poor info. – User983248 8 years ago
  • You mean the conversion rate cannot be predicted – Techno 8 years ago
  • @techno NO!, because it will vary for each product as well as a ton of factors, demand, price, quality, promotion, advertising, usability, guarantee and more. You can calculate the conversion rate once you have the number of downloads and the number of sales, but to predict the conversion rate you need an extensive knowledge of all the factors previously mentioned above. You can expect so sell some percentage, but that is just expectations, not a real prediction of your conversion rate. – User983248 8 years ago


It depends a lot on the software, but generally 5% is very good conversion for most shareware apps. 1% is more typical.

answered Jun 1 '12 at 20:53
219 points
  • I dont know nothing about conversion rate – Techno 8 years ago
  • 5% conversion of 20,000 downloads would be 1000 sales. – Craig 8 years ago
  • what is the conversion rate of a small image editing utility that has 20,000 downloads – Techno 8 years ago
  • The 1% number mentioned by @Craig, while very conservative, is generally accurate. All kinds of people will download something for free just to try it out. The number who would pay, even a minimal amount like $10, is much, much, much less. – Scott Wilson 8 years ago


Does 20,000 free downloads mean at least 10,000 paid sales?

You must be joking - no, it does not. That woudl be a 50% conversion rate - you do not get that ever.

how many of the downloaders would have actually bought and paid for this software?For

NO IDEA. That depends on many factors, among others the TYPE of software, the features without paying etc.

Whatever it is, it will NOT be 50%. That would be totally awesome for a lot of companies but it is totally unrealistic - the real number is between 0 and some LOW percentage number.

answered Jun 1 '12 at 21:37
Net Tecture
11 points
  • 'the real number is between 0 and some LOW percentage number' where did you get this number? – Techno 8 years ago
  • @techno You clearly waiting for answers you want to hear. What everyone here is saying that you can hope (and I mean hope) for conversion rate around 5%. It's most likely going to be lower than that. – Luke P 8 years ago


LOL, a 50% download conversion rates means they must be downloading the digital version of crack cocaine for it to be that additive they're then paying!

answered Jun 2 '12 at 01:51
Matthew Galloway
79 points

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