Phil Libin: Evernote by the numbers

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Phil Libin
Phil Libin of Evernote is here to share figures again.

He thinks that the idea that it’s difficult to map money on mobile, common since the Facebook kerfuffle, is over-blown. They have 34 million users, across all platforms, up from 20m in six months. Their revenue money is direct monetisation – they don’t sell the apps or the data, just services. 25% conversion rate in long-term users, under 1% in brand new – it got sup over time.

Revenue per user per year per platform:


  • $1.06 per annum on Android
  • $1.44 pa Windows Phone
  • $1.79 pa iPhone
  • $2.01 Blackberry
  • $2.18 iPad
- $1.81Desktop Web - $2.33 Windows - $3.16 Mac

Other apps

  • $6.73 Evernote Food
  • $8.44 Skitch
  • $9.22 Evernote Hello
  • $9.53 Top 10 Most Used 3rd Party Apps

75% of new users come from mobile – but 45% come to use the desktop version eventually.

Q. Is the strategy of vertical apps on mobile working?

A. Yes. The more people use them, the more they want to pay. The more they use Food and Hello, the faster they fall in love with it.

Q. You don’t use in-app purchase. Is that because of the 30%?

A. We do in-app purchases. We let users buy the easiest way they can. We don’t begrudge Apple their 30%. I’d rather they used that then a credit card, as it’s more frictionless. Sure the 30% is expensive compared to a credit card – but it’s not just transaction, it’s logistics and marketing, too.

Q. When will we see Evernote Photo?

A. They’re not going to become a photo service – there are too many good ones. However, they do want to make their photo facilities better, as they have been doing with Evernote Food.

Q. Can you tell us a little more about your future?

A. Their goal is to be a 100 year start-up, by making the products they want in a business they don’t want to sell. They’re working on Evernote Century – a way of keeping you data safe for 100 years.

Q. What do you do about customers who pay but don’t use the service?

A. They’re out best customers! They’re very few of them, luckily. All our communication is about engagement, and reaching out to people to increase usage. We don’t have a function in the company focused on increasing revenue – we focus on building the product.

Now is the best time to create a new, meaningful company. Build something you lobe, and if you make it great for yourself, chances are 1bn other people will love it.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.