Matt Gemmell, writing about Subscription Software:
Do I want to subscribe to every app I have? No. Would I? No. Are subscriptions a general answer to the appalling App Store revenue model? No, because the concept just isn’t scaleable. The psychological barrier to a recurring financial commitment is too great, in the general case.
If an app I use switches to a subscription model, I ask myself:
- Do I use this at least a few times a week?
- Am I personally invested in its future?
- Is it indispensable somehow, maybe because of file-format lock-in, industry standard usage, or something like that?
If it’s something I rarely use, I’ll probably just pick another app. If I’m not invested in it (in terms of its specific workflow, features, user experience and such), it’s even easier for me to just move away.
But if I can truthfully answer yes to one or more of those questions, and the subscription isn’t extortionate on a monthly basis, then I’ll sign up and see how I feel about it later. If I’m strongly committed, I’ll sign up for a year. If I’m less sure, one month. I’ll review it before renewal, in either case — and again, I only even reach this stage for apps which pass the above test; a tiny minority. If the apps don’t see timely updates and bug-fixes during the subscription period, obviously I’d be motivated to quit. I think that’s reasonable.
Pretty much boils down to how I am approaching software subscriptions.
This is an amazing piece that everyone that believes in life outside Facebook and Twitter must — not only read — but also write about, discuss and start thinking in ways to make sure this is not just an article on the web, but a spark to continue the open web.
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