Price increase — feedback


#1

The subscription increased to $36 per year.

I know that other similar services are actually more expensive than that and I know you have to keep your servers operational, it’s probably not easy, however for many $36 isn’t justifiable. E.g. I’m from Romania and if I told my friends that I pay $36 for a RSS service, or the monthly spend on all of the online services that I use, they’d think I’m nuts.

Raising the price on existing subscribers at least isn’t cool. Because this signals that the service isn’t reliable long term due to unpredictability. Some people may be nuts enough to pay $5 / month for Feedbin or whatever, but I’m not one of those people and I’m going to assume that there are many people like myself.

I will probably renew, because I like NewsBlur and I still think the price is reasonable, though to be honest if it weren’t open source I would have dropped it already.

But FYI, people start expecting more on price hikes. For example at $36, given that NewsBlur is now in the price range of 1Password and FastMail, I start expecting a full and searchable archive of articles. Inoreader at least gives you a full archive for example. And at $3 / month, it also starts being feasible to self host my own stuff. A PITA for sure, but it’s all a matter of price.

So this is just feedback. I’m fine for now with the price increase, however I now expect more and I never find fairness in paying subscribers subsidizing the free subscribers.


#2

At $36/year newsblur is a steal.


#3

Hi Alex, you emailed me as well but I’m going to reply here for the benefit of everybody else reading.

I’ve moved the price up to $36/year to better fund NewsBlur’s expenses. The reality is that it costs a lot of money to run and grow a service like NewsBlur and I’m working hard to make it better every day. But to do that I need to move revenue to a place where it can better grow NewsBlur. Eventually all accounts that were grandfathered at the various price points will be moved into the sustainable $36/year rate.

Thanks again for going premium!


#4

By the way, I think this should be a ‘question’ rather than a ‘problem’. The problem category is for bugs and things that don’t work right, not decisions you disagree with. Your question is why increase the price and that makes more sense, so I’m going to move it to that category.


#5

Have been premium for the last 2 years and just renewed for $36.

Indeed this isn’t a bug, wasn’t sure what the categories were for.

Cheers,


#6

Were there different tiers of pricing when Newsblur started? I saw this and thought “huh, that sounds like the normal price”, and sure enough, I’ve been paying $36/year since 2013.


#7

Yes, indeed there used to be three tiers: $12, $24, and $36. When Google announced the Reader sunset, I had to discontinue the $12 tier for obvious reasons. Now that it’s been exactly five years and all of my competitors are around the $5/month mark, I felt it was time to make it an actually sustainable rate.

If everybody moves to $36, and I can do this with a week-before email and then automatically move people to the new price point as opposed to waiting for their credit cards to expire right now, I will have enough revenue to hire web and iOS developers, which will benefit everybody immediately.


#8

Do you know how much it costs right now, divided by paying subscribers? I mean, not the marginal increase, but (recurring costs)/(number of subscribers)?

In any case, I didn’t realize there were tiers like this. I just went in and updated from my $12 Paypal renewal to $36 by Stripe. (note, Samuel, that it says it charged me twice when I did that, so I extended by two years without knowing it).


#9

Hey, I’m not sure why you have a double payment but it’s just the historical record of the payment. You made a single payment and I’ve cleaned up your history to reflect that. Thanks for upgrading!


#10

I have been a Premium subscriber at $24/year in the past 2 years. Like @alexelcu I think $36 is a bit high for me now and I am not from USA, so I am not earning USD. In an age where everything is now going into subscription model, every increase per month, even if it’s just an increase of $1/month, can be a significant burden. It adds up. Currently, I have only 30 feeds and I am a light reader, so the free tier works for me. For $24/year, I wouldn’t mind supporting an indie and a favorite newsreader. At $36, though, it doesn’t add much to my needs as compared to what Free tier already provide. In a way, by increasing to $36, @samuelclay might lose out some customers who wouldn’t mind supporting an indie. My suggestion is to look at whether you have a drop in total subscribers since the increase and consider reintroducing the $24 tier to capture the return of these subscribers. Surely $24/year is better than $0?


#11

Thanks for your feedback @habibi. I can assure you that the increase in revenue more than makes up for the nominal drop in subscribers. But I really want to support NewsBlur for years and that takes a sustainable revenue model and $36/year is the only thing that cuts it. Plus, other competitors are charging $5/month.


#12

Good to hear that there is a net increase in revenue for you! And yes, NewsBlur is lower than what other sites are charging so it’s a huge plus for someone who subscribed to tons of sites. Thanks for sharing.


#13

I took a look. The closest competitor, due to its open source nature, Feedbin is $4.16 if you pay for a yearly subscription, the $5 per month is on a per month basis.

Feedly, the most popular competitor, is the most expensive, at $5.41 per month when billed yearly. However this price is misleading because Feedly has always made money from ads and their Free option has better limits than NewsBlur (e.g. 100 sources). I’ve never met a Pro subscriber for Feedly (on HN or Reddit whenever RSS readers are discussed), I’m sure they exist, but it’s probably people that depend on it for their job.

Inoreader actually has the best price. The Free option has unlimited subscriptions and an unlimited archive, which makes it better for certain use cases than NewsBlur’s Pro. Their next options are 1,25 €/month (Starter) and 2,50 €/month (Plus). So it is cheaper than Newsblur.

These are the most popular and don’t get me wrong, I think judging apps via a checklist and a cold price comparison isn’t fair. For example I think NewsBlur is still very price competitive because of its notifications and filtering and because it provides very decent mobile apps for both iOS and Android, kudos for that.

As I said, I am happy to keep supporting NewsBlur due to its indie and open source nature and because I like it and $36 / year is still a fair price. I hope it will bring the resources you need.

But I’m saying that $3 per month is my hard limit for a feed reader and that in the future you should strive to bring in new customers instead of raising the price for existing ones. It’s a better strategy in my opinion, although granted I’ve never been in your shoes.

So good luck to you and keep up the good work :+1:

PS: must stress though that at $36 / year I start expecting that full archive :slightly_smiling_face: just the other day I searched for an article on a personal low traffic blog and couldn’t find it due to NewsBlur’s limits; so I hope you’ll consider it


#14

I like the idea of a Starter tier. Great investigation, with supporting data $1.25 Euro is USD$1.45.