Monetizing Applications with Adobe AIR

At Adobe MAX in Milan, I presented a session titled "Monetizing Applications with Adobe AIR." The goal of the talk was to provide an overview of known business models used by AIR developers to support the development of their applications. As part of the presentation, I also examined case studies that describe how developers are attempting to monetize and market their AIR applications. My slides are embedded below using and also available for download (.pdf).

One company that continues to inspire me in this area is Storybook Anytime, creators of Sam’s Interactive Reader. Not only have they created an application that includes a content marketplace of interactive children’s books, but they recently released a companion Facebook application that drives new users to install the AIR-based desktop application. It’s a great example of how to use viral marketing to promote a desktop application using a new distribution channel. Quite impressively, content in their marketplace has been translated to Spanish as well.

Towards the end of the talk, I also highlight a few Adobe products that can help you build and monetize your Adobe AIR applications including:

  • Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server
    A high-performance streaming media server that supports multiway applications, including webcam chat, online games, VoIP, and a range of other interactive possibilities. Features include DVR functionality, Edge server caching, access control APIs, plug-ins, custom video services, and server-side video recording, including new support for H.264 format.
  • Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server
    Helps protect Flash Video or H.264 (FLV or F4V) video files that are streamed or downloaded to a user’s machine and enforces usage permissions to support business models such as online rental or advertising-funded viewing.
  • LiveCycle Data Services ES
    A framework for building real-time applications that includes a data services API for synchronizing and managing data. LiveCycle Data Services is particularly valuable for AIR applications that need to run offline and quickly synchronize data back to a remote database when a user returns back online.
  • ColdFusion
    ColdFusion 8 makes it easy to create web services, such as application API’s, that can help manage the data and business logic layers of your AIR applications.

There are numerous other products Adobe is working on that can help you build your applications and we’ll be highlighting some of those technologies in upcoming posts on this blog. For example, Flex Builder 3, Dreamweaver CS4, Flash CS4. Fireworks CS4, and the Flex SDK are all powerful tools that can help you quickly build out your AIR applications.

My goal is to keep this presentation up-to-date. If you have thoughts on this presentation such as topics you would like to see covered, please feel free to leave a comment.

10 Responses to Monetizing Applications with Adobe AIR

  1. Thanks for the mention! Adobe Air rocks!

  2. Kelvin Luck says:

    I am developing a library to make it simple for people to add freemium/ shareware features to their AIR apps. Basically the idea is that it makes it as easy as possible to create and issue serial numbers to users and to check the validity of those serial numbers withn their AIR app…

    It’s called ShareAIR and is currently under private beta testing. It is aimed at developers selling apps for anything from $5 upwards – developers will pay a percentage of each license sold.

    Sign up for updates it’s availability here:

    I’d be very interested in hearing from people who might be interested in using ShareAIR about the types of applications they might be creating…

  3. Michael says:

    Nice presentation – thanks! Obfusactors would be a nice additional topic to cover.

  4. Sam Moshe says:

    Good stuff.
    I’m glad to see you guys tackling topics like this.
    There’s still the question of source code protectio and or encoding though. The Eval limitations make doing it using traditional tools and techniques difficult.

    As the pros, how would you advise going about that?

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  6. Hell yeah! It works perfectly, and is going to save my ass more times than I can think of. I love it.

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  10. Harold says:

    AirLicense is the easiest way to create a protected air application with a computer specific activation process.

    This paper should be helpful: