Benefits of Cloud Brewing Software and Our Pricing ModelWednesday, August 29th, 2012
In case you are curious about why we went with an annual subscription fee, and why we think it works better, this post should clear up some details.
You may be on the fence like this fellow brewer who wrote in (edited and anonymized):
Its hard to justify $10 a year when I can just buy an application for $28 or use a free website. Your site definitely has more features than others (I would miss the batch scaling capability), but I most likely will go with the $28 option unless I’m missing something.
Here’s our honest answer:
Quite right, pricing is a challenging issue. We had to come up with something reasonable for the pricing and your feedback is appreciated. That said, at $28 for a lifetime, we’d go out of business in a hurry! Hosting, maintenance, support all add up. Home Brew Talk asks $25 per year, and $125 for a lifetime last time I checked, so as for an online community we are well aligned there.
Maybe we could come up with a free forever edition that was somehow plastered with ads or nerfed in some other way? It may come to that, but for now we have solid traction, sales at a very healthy conversion rate, and a decent growth rate.
The cloud based aspect is probably the biggest benefit. If you use a smart phone or tablet, you can get on the site with that device and it works reasonably well (not quite a native experience but we are working towards that). BF works on Mac, PC, Linux, just about anything with a modern browser and an internet connection.
Consider that Windows8 is going to hose a lot of application developers. In a year or two other software makers could be in a position where they have to re-write a lot of code, and force their users to upgrade. Though it looks like $28 once, it is actually $28 every few years (this is true of all software, our model is just putting that up front). Since BF is browser based, you have nothing to worry about in terms of technology shifting under your feet, and you get the upgrades automatically. In fact, we have ZERO incentive to hold back features so you buy again. Instead, we have every incentive to make you delighted every time you visit!
As for free sites, you get what you pay for in terms of service, backups, and attention to detail. We take pride in responding to user requests and we improve the site all the time based on user feedback. Check out the forum to see our progress there. We are also professionals, so that is something else to consider. At the end of the day, we’d love to have you as a customer. At $17.99 for 2 years, that ends up being a fraction of the price of a single batch, and solves the problem of organizing the details in one, easy to use spot.