Russ Lipton Documents Radio ...

Why Radio Is Based On A Subscription Purchase Model

(You will often hear Radio weenies talk about subscriptions to news feeds but you become an altogether different kind of subscriber when you buy Radio ... think Sports Illustrated or the Wall Street Journal).

While Userland is not entirely unique in offering annual subscriptions to its software, this model remains unusual - for the software industry. Typically, you buy a version of someone's software and then 'upgrade' to another version at a later point.

By contrast, when you buy Radio, you obtain a subscription that is good for twelve months of software updates as well as your own personal hard disk space on Userland's Community Server. You can use that space to publish (upstream is the technical term) the content from your local weblog to that server).

While I don't have an inside track on Userland's private reasons for the subscription model, I can come pretty close to giving you a reading on the benefits that accrue from the model ...

... Userland has a decade-plus track record of providing very frequent updates to their software. As a subscriber, you receive those updates as soon as they are released - and for the duration of your subscription period.

... An annual model greatly simplifies the purchase and update administration for Userland, enabling them not only to put the released energy into software development but into reduced product costs to us.

... Subscription revenues can become a predictable source of cash based on calculable renewal percentages. Userland is, after all, a business. It is in my interest as a satisfied user that they remain in business. Yes, this is a novel concept these days for Internet-centered products but not entirely novel for ... businesses.

... When your subscription is up, you may - but don't have to - resubscribe. If you don't, your Radio will still work. Of course, you won't be able to get further software updates until-or-if you resubscribe. Also, you won't be able to continue to access your space on the Community Server. This needn't prevent you from using other public space on a different Internet server with a different hosting provider.

A good deal is had by all.

© Copyright 2002 Russ Lipton. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
Last update: 06/16/2002; 10:38:22 PM.