Astiga pricing changes - introducing a time limit on the free trial
Following the acquisition of Astiga in August and a period of consultation, we've decided to make a change to the Astiga pricing structure. We're going to be introducing a time limit to Astiga non-premium accounts.
- We will be limiting new free accounts to 7 days usage.
- Premium account holders are unaffected.
- The change will be introduced on Thursday 17th February 2022 (two week's time).
- Existing non-premium accounts will be granted an extra-long period until Thursday 18th August (six months) before their free plan expires.
- Nothing is permanent.
Now the longer version... let's start with goals.
My aim for the Astiga service is to develop it into a very real alternative to big-tech streaming services and make it a long-term sustainable and profitable business. I want it to offer a similar service to the rentier model of music streaming, with good support for offline access and a focus on personally curated and owned music libraries.
Koen made a great start - building the service as-is and keeping the business very lean.
From interviewing and surveying many of you (thanks everyone) I've learnt what you value and what you think could be improved. To implement these things, we're going to need more resources. And by resources, I mostly mean money.
One way is to save money, to have more to re-invest in development. As I said, Koen did a great job keeping costs low. However, free users do still incur a cost. Each stream is routed via Astiga servers, and this costs in both bandwidth and compute resources. So the free tier does have a real cost. (I'll use the term "free tier" from now on; I don't think it's really called this anywhere, but what I mean are free, non-premium accounts).
Saving money will only get us so far. I also want to increase the number of free tier users who contribute to the costs of the platform by going Premium. The free tier is important to trial the service, so it will remain, but from the 17th February we're going to start limiting it to seven days for new accounts.
Existing free tier accounts will be granted a six month leeway until 18th August, at which point their free trial will expire. This extended period is so free tier users, if they intend not to upgrade, have time to export any data from the platform to do as-they-will. Of course, upgrades nevertheless before the 18th August would be gratefully received 😉
I'm prepared to work on features to make this easier - if there's particular data that you cannot see yourself being able to export, let me know and we can work something out.
No decisions in business are final. I've made several judgement calls with this; the length of trial accounts, the six month extension, the decision to only change the free tier. But I have to try different things to achieve my goals for the service. It might be I experiment and change my mind later. Such are the complexities of life.
I cannot hope that no-one is disappointed, but I do hope that I am communicating my goals and why I have taken this decision. The easier decision would be to just let it continue turning a small profit, but not developing the service greatly. I encourage everyone to share their thoughts in this thread.
Thanks, and keep listening.