Is reskinning dead? (scroll to bottom to watch video!)
I keep getting questions about this very important topic and I wanted to address it once and for all.
First, let’s lay out what reskinning is: it’s concept of taking a template or source code of an app, repackaging the graphics, inserting them back into the original code, and bam you’ve got a new app. How it used to work was, if you picked the right theme and the right keywords, it would explode in popularity and you’d make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I made a lot of money doing this in the past, but the times have changed. It’s a controversial practice, and understandably so.
A few years back, the market was ripe for this to happen. It wasn’t a great new development, but the market liked it and it worked. The practice blew up and people took it as far as it could go. As they say, it is what it is.
But all good markets eventually cut out the things that don’t make sense. It became very clear by 2016 that, without adding any value to a template, you’re not going to make a lot of money.
Thus, people aren’t seeing results like they used to, and they’re asking if this is dead.
The simple answer is yes. Old school reskinning is done.
The thing is, “reskinning” is a bad name for a general concept that is anything but. The base concept sits at the heart of any long-term business with any service or franchise offering.
When you go into the automotive business, you create a new car with similar structure and features to existing cars. When you create a new McDonald’s franchise, you’re doing the same thing. The model is simply using templates as a foundation, building a product quickly instead of creating something custom from the ground up every time.
But when people were doing this in the app business a few years back, they weren’t adding any real value. Instead, they were finding holes in the algorithms and capitalizing on Apple and Google’s inability to push up the best apps and push down the worst ones.
Users weren’t used to it, and they weren’t savvy enough to spot it. Now they are.
So if you think you’re going to take a template, replace the graphics, put it in the app store, and watch the money roll in, think again. That model is dead and gone, and we’re better off for it. That isn’t a real business, not in the long term. Everyone who was heavy into this has moved on to greener pastures.
What’s the deal with apps now?
The good news is that there’s more money to be made in the app business than ever before. Even with a lot of the income concentrated at the top, there are still billions of dollars out there for anyone to get a piece of. There are hundreds of thousands of these niche markets opening up.
But it’s going to take work.
You need to get published. You need to go out and get traffic from other sources, become partners with websites and niche brands, and buy traffic on Facebook and other platforms. You really need to build your own brand, create an actual business around your apps.
You can no longer just keep stuffing more apps into the store and expect to make real money.
If you’re merely seeking temporary opportunity for easy cash, you’re going to come up empty handed. There are no longer any little pockets where you can sink in and avoid actual work.
Truth be told, if you think there’s a really easy way to make a ton of money really quickly, you’re in the wrong business. That’s not what I’m about, and it’s not something that works anymore. It’s all about following a system that works really well, working hard, committing to action, and playing the long game.
So reskinning in its old form is absolutely dead. But this is a good thing.
We’re at the dawn of a third wave of the internet. Just think about all the different people and businesses out there that could use an app. If you can provide that, if you can tell them that you can monetize their online presence, they’ll say yes.
So if you’re thinking about doing the reskinning thing, you need to ask yourself two questions.
1. Are you trying to build a business or just seeking a quick opportunity?
2. In a year, if I worked really hard on something and it worked, what business would it be worth it to be in?
With apps, there’s a lot of hard work to get to the upper level. But think about the endgame picture: you’ve got a million downloads and your product is out there just running, printing money. That level is harder to get to than in other businesses, but once you’re there and you’ve persevered, it’s the ultimate business to be in.
With such low overhead, so much scale, you’ll have so much more freedom in business and in life.
The app business is so big, with so much potential, but you need to think differently. You need to go out and find marketing solutions, you need to go out and create monetization solutions. We’re here to help you with that and so is the Bluecloud community.
Hey Carter !!
So much nice video of you . It explains a lot. Reskinning is not about just buying template,change the graphics and launch it into the market .It’s about adding real value to it.What people likes or they don’t like…that’s important question.If we buy a source code and then add some real value to it like changing the unwanted features and adding the new features that people likes then that app will surely hit in the market, because app only become hit when people really use it and they use it when they really like it.And yeah old school reskinning is dead surely dead.We need to look reskinning in a different way.
Thinking different is ultimate solution for every business.
Thanks for your video,it really help me.
@Amit – yes exactly. Templates are still very helpful, but they’re just a starting point. You still need research and updates and everything else. We’re learning that apps are “real” businesses now, like you said. Thanks for commenting!
Brilliant post and video, thanks! Encouraging to focus evenore on quality.. just love this business
@Simon – Thanks! Quality and research is the name of the game. Thanks for being a part of it!
Yesterday a friend told me that app business is in the decline – after watching your video I understand that perhaps now many more apps are not succeeding maybe because it’s the part of the business staregically based on reskinning and – more generally – opportunity seeking thinking (without building the brand) that is failing right now.
@StillUntitled – You’re exactly right. Apps are becoming businesses and need to be treated as such.
@Carter it seems like it’s a full-fledged big-money high-creativity but nonetheless somehow learnable business 😀
@StillUntitled – It’s definitely not big money – it’s the same as any other online business. A simple, well-researched app can be very effective.
Great video, thanks for the honesty. It helps a lot to point out on the right way
Have a great day everyone!
@Freddy – Thanks!
Hi carter , great video. Is app empire 2.0 still relavent ? I bought the course and family stuff came up but plan to five back in.
@Stephen – Yes a majority of that content is definitely still relevant. What we have on Bluecloud is more up to date but you’ll definitely get the fundamentals in that course.
After reading this, I feel both happy and pretty down with apps in general. I’ve been in the game for about 2 years now, and haven’t had much success with apps besides a couple of dollars. I’ve spend countless money on this journey but haven’t hit any clarity yet…
I’ve been a Buildbox developer for 2 years almost, and so far it hasn’t quite gone so well with getting a publishing deal or even with uploading apps myself, ASO doesn’t seem to bring anything close to even a 100 downloads.
I’m not sure whether to go towards reskinning/ASO like Tansim, a success story I read about here, did.
Or should I continue to make games through Buildbox and try to hit a publishing deal with Appsolute, Nanovation etc? I’ll have to learn to make higher quality art and games also, but I have doubts on that too, since I’ve heard many developers barely make a $1000 total from the current publishers besides Ketchapp or Fortify, but I hope I’m wrong here.
Should I go towards gaining social media followers on Instagram, Twitter etc. so I can promote and get downloads on my games myself, for that I get doubts too because building games AND becoming a marketer could cause sabotage to focus; but if it’s possible then I’ll go 100%
I’m about ready to throw in the towel but I don’t want to give up until I’ve exhausted every possible way to turn this into a full time income.
Right now the best thing to describe my situation would be overwhelm, confusion, and being completely lost..
What do you think I should do, where should I go from here? I’m willing to do anything for as long as I have to do it if I could just get some clarity and direction on what to do and forget everything else. This has been a dream of mine for years, and I don’t want to throw it away…
Anything you could advise on would be helpful, seriously
@Walden – post a link to your best game so I can look at it
My Apple Dev account has expired unfortunately, I had uploaded about 24 games in it before taking them down since they weren’t performing too well and weren’t top notch quality. That was pretty much my “personal portfolio” that I was using to build up the craft
but I have one game here that I launched through a entry level pub, so it’s still online
This is a game I made in June 2016, just published it off earlier this year through his account, so I guess you could say it isn’t really the best either.
And even this particular game didn’t really perform well at all in term of downloads to be honest.
Would love any honest feedback at all man, and thanks
Oh sorry I forgot to add this, here’s another game I just completed a few days back, a minimal style game, it was never launched though, so it’s just a video
@Walden – Got it. The minimalist style game looks good man. I think my biggest feedback on the other game (monkey) is that there’s nothing special about it. You need to make your game really awesome to make an impact – I have yet to see someone publish a low quality game in 2016 and make any money from it. It’s all about the product – everything else will follow. Good luck!
Thanks a lot for the feedback, Carter. I just received your latest email too, about putting in the work and being like the “rich dad”, lol.
I think that could be the biggest issue perhaps, I’ll renew my Apple account and try to change up my strategy a bit more and hopefully something could click
Again, thanks for your time man!
hello please tell me how to make money from android apps from other places like admob