Why Subscription Business Models Are Wrong for Performance Analysis Software

By Alberto Rodríguez

21-July-2020 on News

4 minute read

Imagine this situation...You buy yourself a nice new notebook and pen for writing down and keeping new recipes. After a year, the notebook is crammed full of great food ideas and your very happy you bought it. But then, the notebook manufacturer comes to your door and tells you that you need to pay again for the privilege of opening the notebook and accessing your own recipes!

 

Is that fair? Of course not!

 

Does it make sense? Not at all!

 

Would you pay? Maybe, you do have a big dinner party coming up after all...

 

Now, let's apply the same principle to performance analysis...

Blood, Sweat and Tears

 

 

Imagine you've got yourself a nice shiny new piece of video analysis software and you've put the time into it. You've agonised over your Button Template until you've got your workflows just right. Your Dashboards are beautiful. You've spent so many hours making minor adjustments and setting them up to give you exactly the information you need at the right time. You've got database and presentations overflowing with analytical data and insights.

 

This is your work. You've put the blood sweat and tears into it's creation. It's your baby. And then...?

 

And then someone threatens to take it all away from you unless you pay them a large amount of money every year.

 

Same question: Is that fair? Does that make sense?

 

No!

 

Lifetime Licences vs Subscriptions

 

 

At Nacsport, we've been talking about this topic for a long time. Almost every company in the performance analysis software market has moved to a subscription model. Companies such as Hudl Sportscode. This means their users have to pay every year just to keep their software running.

 

I personally think this is wrong from an ethical / moral / common sense point of view. The key point for me is that users generate knowledge and the software is just a tool. The user creates the templates, databases, dashboards and presentations. They accumulate huge amounts of knowledge and insights about their sport. The software is simply a conduit for this.

 

If the software provider then forces the user to pay again, year after year to access the content that belongs to them, it's nothing short of extortion, plain and simple, and that’s wrong.

 

What's Best for Everyone

 

 

Subscription models are the easiest revenue method for companies. Users are forced to pay, even if there has been no update or support during the year. But many of those people are not “happy users”, they are simply users who feel obliged to pay just because “that’s the way it is”.

 

The hard road for a company is to reject this business model, to have happy users and still make money. There should be a status quo in the relationship with the users. They pay and in return they recieve regular updates and a constant support service. Software providers should feel pressured to improve their product every year and feel pressured to provide great support at all times.

 

Paying an OPTIONAL annual fee for support and updates is the best way to keep this status quo, as companies must continuously develop and improve, all the while supporting their users. And, of course, users should be able to vote with their feet and leave if they are not happy.

 

At Nacsport, we will always maintain our lifetime licence model because we want happy users. Therefore, it becomes my task to develop and improve the software, support users and enjoy the trip.

 

It may be the hard road, but it’s the right thing to do, because your recipes belong to you.

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