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Forbidden Technologies Plans to Boost Smartphone App Revenue

By Rory Gallivan LONDON--Video editing platform developer Forbidden Technologies (FBT.LN) plans to increase revenue from its smartphone app Clesh by making it free to some users in the belief that they will upgrade to more expensive advanced versions, its chief executive said Wednesday. Forbidden Technologies currently sells Clesh, which people with smartphones use to edit videos to upload onto the website Youtube, for $4.99 on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) app store Play. Steven Streater told Dow Jones Newswires the company could generate much more by making different versions available at different prices. "The business model could be that 20 million people download the free app and then 1 million spend $5 upgrading and some upgrade to a $100 version," Mr. Streater said. He explained that about 7,500 people currently have Clesh accounts and that the relatively small number of users makes it easier for Forbidden to deal with customer feedback as it prepares the product for a wider market. "We're building up expertise on the tech side and on the consumer side," Mr. Streater said, adding that he himself has been involved in communicating with customers to find out how Clesh can be improved. He said that most of the issues customers have had with Clesh in its early stages have been fixed, but declined to say when the company will introduce different versions of the app. Forbidden Technologies's video editing platforms operate over the "Cloud", a means of accessing data and services over the Internet. The company said earlier Wednesday that it expects full-year revenue to significantly exceed analysts' forecasts of a 50% revenue rise in 2012, helped by demand for its professional video editing platform Forscene. Forscene currently accounts for a much greater share of the company's revenue than Clesh. -Shares at 1552 GMT, up 3 pence, or 15%, at 23 pence valuing the company at GBP18 million. Write to Rory Gallivan at [email protected]; Twitter: @RoryGallivan Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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