Unless you’ve been off the internet and living on a deserted beach for awhile, you’ve probably heard of the MacHeist Mac software bundles.
The latest package of Mac software gets you 12 applications and utilities for the insanely low price of $39.
What’s not to like about that? Well, you’d be surprised at the criticism.
Some critics contend that the whole deal smacks of a terrible disease inflicting by the shrewd folks at MacHeist on both unsuspecting Mac users and naive Mac software developers. Still, a good deal is a good deal, right?
If you’re Simone Manganelli, plenty is wrong with the deal. He calls MacHeist buyers “cheap @#$%ing bastards.” He rants and raves about how the discount deal harms Mac software developers and Mac users by diluting value, blah, blah, blah.
Damien Molokai has a problem with the deal, too, and, along with many others who pontificate on the Mac community, voices a strong opinion intended to keep you from getting a good deal on Mac software.
Marco Arment argues that a conscientious consumer would not accept such steep discounts on such Mac products as offered in the MacHeist bundled promotion.
To some, the math just doesn’t make sense. Mac software publishers will split up the $39 not 12 ways, but divvied up to 15 ways. There’s the 12 publishers getting a share each, MacHeist gets a share, charity gets a big share, and some who help with the promotion get a share.
With so much slicing and dicing going on how can anybody except charity make any money? The answer is, “They can’t.” The corresponding advice is, “Don’t worry about it.” Bambi’s corollary is, “Naysayers and critics should just get over it.”
The Mac software in the MacHeist bundle is a good mixture of titles. I have about half of them already, further diluting the $39 value. There’s a couple of games. A few new titles. A couple of graphic apps, and some specialized apps.
So why should a Mac pundit’s hair catch on fire at the very mention of another MacHeist bundle that is ridiculously priced? I’ve read the arguments but cannot fully comprehend their logic. It sounds more emotional than anything; perhaps an attempt a making a mountain of a molehill, much ado over not much, even hit whoring.
Whatever it is that causes the punditry consternation, one thing is certain—the MacHeist bundle is a good deal for Mac users with a $39 ceiling on their credit card limit, an addiction to online clicking and buying, and a need for even a few of the titles offered.
Here’s the deal. Marketing has many faces. Product makers give away their wares all the time. It’s nothing new. Sometimes you have to buy something, and then something else gets thrown in for free.
Are you taking advantage of General Motors when they give you employee pricing even if you’re not a GM employee? Are you taking advantage of Pepsi by cashing in a few dozen of their iTunes giveaways?
Of course not. That’s how the game of marketing is played. This isn’t quite apples to apples but even Apple does it. Buy a Mac. Get a free printer. Buy a Mac and get iLife ‘09 for $79? No. It’s free. It’s included in the package.
Marketers give away products and services all the time and it’s a time honored, sometimes expected, method to get potential customers to try something new. How is the MacHeist bundle any different than a loss leader at a grocery store?
Buy one watermelon, get one free. Buy this new make up and get a whole bag of other make up goodies for free. See how common that promotional method is? Yet some complain and insist Mac users are @#$%ing bastards for engaging in such near criminal behavior.
Since the MacHeist bundle means you get lots of Mac software for not much money, what do the Mac software makers get besides not much money? Promotion. Exposure. More customers who may upgrade to more expensive versions later.
In other words, they get an opportunity to make more money on more customers. It’s just that simple. The reason Ford and Honda and Toyota don’t giveaway their products is because all those assembled car parts cost money.
Software is a little different as often there’s little incremental cost for each product sold. Downloaded software doesn’t require a CD or DVD or a box or anything tangible, hence not much additional per unit cost, though there may be additional support costs.
If MacHeist or the daily MacUpdate bundles were such a horrible deal for Mac software publishers then why do so many participate in the deals? Because it’s another way to sell your product, another way to market your wares, another way to get more customers.
We’ve heard from the Bundle Nazis. What about you? Are these bundled packages of Mac software at an extreme discount good for you? Good for the developer? Good for charity?