Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Paying for software/price point

Author:Kevin Miller
Posted:7/31/2000; 8:52:36 AM
Topic:Paying for software/price point
Msg #:19298
Prev/Next:19297 / 19299

I'm an academic user of Frontier, which meant that I could set up a server for $99 a year, something I could easily justify and afford to do out of my own pocket. I use Frontier to serve Manilla sites, and I've learned how wonderful it is to have your own server, including the ability to set up private sites to store information no one besides me would care about, as well as to set up sites for the various collaborative activities I do.

At the commercial price for Frontier, I wouldn't give it a second thought. I don't have time to learn the full scripting environment and I don't have $899 a year worth of web serving needs.

Radio Userland is exciting because it could serve as the basis for serving all sorts of digital information -- video, data, genetic sequences, what have you.

If Userland went to the subscription model that many of us think the record companies should adopt, I wonder what kind of pricing point would be viable. Could Userland survive if everyone was a $99 a year subscriber?

A friend who set up a software company was given the advice to charge a high price for his product initially. The theory was that if you get software for $49 and it doesn't work, you throw it away. If you get it for $4900 and it doesn't work, you call the company and make sure they fix it. Userland seems to have a three-part pricing system-- a) a high price for commercial sites, who presumably demand that it works for them, b) a medium price for nonprofits and academics, and c) free hosting or free for people who just download and use it. It works remarkably well, and I wonder if they can turn it into a mass market product without cannibalizing their commercial sales.

Stay tuned, I guess.

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