I would suggest that your individual subscription pricing is constraining your market. You recognize that your product appeals to a wide range of the general public given the many fields of interest you list in your registration drop down box. However, your individual pricing of around $500/year means only a niche market can afford your service.
Contrast this price with the cost of the most popular digital subscription services available to the general public. There is a common price that you will see over and over again for such services (Netflix, MS Office, Adobe Photo, Spotify etc.) and that is $9.99/month or just over $100 year.
This is not a coincidence. A large proportion of the general public views $100/year as an incremental cost. To this group, it can be borne with without need to budget or make a trade-off.
A much smaller group can say the same thing about a service that cost $500/year. That is significant enough that the great majority of the general public will consciously assess the impacts to their budget. I would assert that most will come to the conclusion that the necessary sacrifices outweigh the benefits.
This is certainly my case where I cannot justify that level of expenditure and yet I would sign up at $9.99/month in a heartbeat. I'm suggesting that price level would easily expand your market by more than 4X which would be necessary to offset the reduced price. Offered as food for thought.
Warc1, Thank you for the very professionally written, and well thought out explanation of your thoughts on our subscription model. We truly appreciate it. For now our model is designed with the intent to serve a few specific markets that needs this product for every day purposes. We have no doubt discovered many other interests and uses over the past several years that our imagery applies to. We have no desire to ignore those potential markets or customers. At this time our main concern is stability for those users. We need to be able to handle the load on the website and we are looking into scaling options that will give us much more potential to handle growth in users. Serving such vast amounts of imagery is no easy feat, and doing so with the speed we expect, as well as handling the increase in service needs that come with the understandable expectation of a subscriber, is something that we want to make sure we anticipate as accurately as we can. If we suddenly have 20x more users on the site at all times because anyone can justify the cost, but the site is constantly slowing down or starts crashing, then we are doing everyone a disservice, as well as harming the backbone of our development (the intended clients that require this data). I assure you this is a major focus in our minds. We are working on solutions, which will be tested and implemented slowly. After that we can and will start exploring other options to or offerings. At this time, if the subscription doesn't seem like a viable options, I would like to point out that the site is free to use. Anyone can use the free viewer, save images to their gallery and purchase any imagery they need without watermarks for a reasonable fee. We don't want to keep the average person from using the site or having access to the constantly growing catalog we have. The interface makes it very convenient to get everything you need with a few clicks and it cost nothing to take a look and determine if it's something you want to have a copy of. Understand, it's not that we don't want to offer services to apply to all of the unforeseen markets of users, we just need to make sure we do it correctly, or no one will be happy. There's a method to our madness, and I assure you it's with the best of intent. Thanks again for the positive and well thought out request.
What a fantastic question and a fantastic answer! They are the synopsis of what business school is all about. Both of you touched upon almost every component covered in undergraduate business studies.
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