I have asked this question earlier in reference to Free plugins. Now this is a little bit different. Now the model is paid-via-atlassian. There is no early-access feature for developers of plugins. I am launching a new plugin. But before asking for a price, I want to give free early-access to the users. I want to know, if these plugins are counted as number of downloads in UPM. I will change the price to something greater than zero after 30 days.
You can publish an app as “beta”, which will allow you to provide access to specific customers prior to launching it on the marketplace. If you want to launch the app to the general public, but want to change prices later, I’ve seen other vendors publish it as a free app with clear notification mentioning that this is a BETA version which will be changed into a paid app after X period.
To answer your question: yes, 100% discounted apps are counted by the UPM as downloads and active installs. They are also listed in your licenses report, but not in the transactions (as there is no transaction).