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HealthyDrones insane pricing plans

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RaptorMan, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. RaptorMan

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    OK, I've been using HealthyDrones free plan since I got my Inspire 1 Pro and would upgrade if the pricing wasn't completely out of line with what it provides. I pay $9.99/month for Photoshop AND Lightroom and they are vastly more complicated and capable programs so spending $14.99/month for a plan that's STILL limited in the number of flights which just seems out of place. Assuming a 1MB file size per flight 1500 flights, the max for the $14.99/month plan, would consume no more than 1.5GB on a server so there's no way the company can argue the operating costs are driving this -- 1.5GB in this day costs about less than 10c or $0.06.

    So, while I like the ability to see the flight data I can not justify the costs to use HealthyDrones at it's present pricing schedule. In fact, I see no way they can charge more than $5/month for an unlimited plan making there pricing at least 3X more than reasonable. I'm willing to pay for the service but the price for what you get and what it costs to produce is way out of line with other subscription services.


    Brian
     
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  2. pixl45

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    It's a niche product. Niche products have way fewer buyers. Fewer buyers = higher cost per buyer. It's simple economics. It goes like this:

    (likely) one owner/developer. Desired annual income $100k
    development costs $35k
    annual server costs $300

    Revenues desired: $135,300

    Target market: 750 users

    cost per user $15/month or $180 year.

    In this case, I doubt he has 750 paying users. Probably closer to 250. So at that rate, his annual income is more like $10,000 per year.

    I guess it'd be better for us all if we could just export this work to India where $10k/year is good money. Maybe we should export your job as well.
     
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  3. RaptorMan

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    I get the market size issue, but the website is quite new relatively speaking and they have listed just under 452K flights. If I'm typical at less than 50 uploaded flights then that translates to over 9000 users. If all 9000 users opted for the $14.99/month plan that would be more like $1.6M/year and that's assuming the number of users doesn't grow.

    Frankly, he's priced himself into a corner as I doubt very many folks will opt for the top plan and, indeed, many like myself will not pay for anything if the more modestly priced plans are so crippled as to be largely useless. Sometimes you need to charge less to make more!

    The potential market is very large and growing and a fairly priced unlimited plan of, say, $4/month would encourage many MANY more people to opt to buy in. If the number of users were say 10% of the million plus drone users in the US and likely several million worldwide then he could see, say, 200K at $4/month or $9.6M/year.


    Brian
     
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  4. pixl45

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    All good points. I think at issue is that he wants people to have their own subscriptions -- if he allows a greater number of flights per subscription, one user will use the service to run other people's stats, and he will be giving away too much to be profitable. All I can really do is guess, but based on my own experiences in the software game, I imagine that paying customers for an app like this is under 5%. It's the type of app that people don't buy or use unless they've had a catastrophe -- much like hard drive recovery software -- most people don't keep that around, "just in case".

    He can corner the market in this niche market and yet still starve. There are a lot of drone users out there, but even on this forum, most people know little about it. Based on the level of ignorance about proper drone use in general, I'm guessing that the overwhelming majority of drone buyers don't participate in forums at all.

    In the subscription software business, so called "freemium" plans are about 95% market share. I'm guessing that if he achieves that he may start to offer a more comprehensive mid-level scheme to bring more people in. That 5% paid level would be giving him 450 users, and at his current pricing be bringing him around $50k/year. Not big bux, and still at least $20k under the US median income, with no employer supplied benefits.

    Personally, I'm much happier paying little guys like this than giving any money to Adobe, whose behavior has been pretty awful in my book.
     
  5. Alastair

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    Not sure why you had to make it personal at the end. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    It's a niche product because of its price point. If your figures are realistic and they have, for arguments sake, say 300 users, then that high price hasn't attracted the thousands of potential Phantom and Inspire users. A better business model would be a reasonable price, to make it attractive to the masses and when you have them hooked, gradually increase prices. Then, if people realize that they can't do without it, they will endure the gradual increases.

    When I first saw it on this forum I was totally interested, until I saw the price.

    It's the same as DJI's price for their x5r memory. A total gouge.
     
    #5 Alastair, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
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  6. RaptorMan

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    Unfortunately the developer has spent some of his time removing features from the free plan that once were there. Not that it would require a great deal of effort to do so, but the point being he's devoted some of his time to remove features that were once available and now only available if you pay.

    And the idea that he's expecting to make a modest living with 400 paid users is laughable -- laughable!


    Brian
     
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  7. pixl45

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    In the end Brian, you made my point for me.
     
  8. Haakon

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    If you don't want to pay then don't subscribe - vote with your wallet and take your money elsewhere, or develop your own solution. As I see it he's developing a rapidly changing platform with a short life cycle why should he not be compensated for the hundreds of hours he puts into it? Any product is worth what people will pay, ultimately if its overpriced people wont buy and he'll have to rethink his business model. As it stands I have only so far subscribed to the HD 360 Gold plan, but once I need the reporting functionality I'll happily upgrade.
     
  9. RaptorMan

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    First of all I'm not a fan of the subscription model for software and as my trip last week is evidence being in a spot with spotty or nonexistent internet means no access to HealthyDrones. I would much prefer an installed software solution and perhaps data sharing via Dropbox etc.

    There's a reason developers are pushing the cloud model as it gives them full access to your data for data mining -- you did notice they're serving up ads on HealthyDrones did you not? Knowing where you are because they have you lat/lon data from the flight data means they can serve you location specific ads and do so for a profit.

    If this were a program you bought and installed on you PC/MAC how much would you pay for it -- $25, $50, $100? Even at $100 which would be beyond ridiculous the 5-year cost would be $1.67/month whereas the 5-year cost for there HD360Pro plan would be ... wait for it ... $899.40. And, given they are making money serving ads the cost differential is out-a-sight.

    Additionally, he's created too many plans and many will start with the free plan, then upgrade to the $2.99/month plan when they go past 50 flights, then either upgrade to the $6.99/month plan when they hit 200 flights or they decide it's not worth paying over $419 for 5 years. The better approach and the one that would almost certainly provide him more money would be a two tier schedule with free for 50 flights and then a $3.99/month plan for unlimited flights with full data and metrics.

    With something over a million drone users in the USA and likely several times that world wide he'd be better off taking a page out of Jeff Bezos playbook and be the low cost solution that keeps others out of the game by keeping costs down. Sadly, his pricing model is dramatically slowing the market and others that might be tempted to get into the game may see the relatively low subscription numbers and conclude the market isn't there. He's screwing the game both sides from Sunday...


    Brian
     
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  10. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    I have done without 'Healthydrones' for 30 years of RC flying - I will continue to do so....
    Cost over 30 years?.........$0.00
     
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  11. pixl45

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    I get what you're saying.... it's all very succinct and well thought-out.

    I think, for me, the idea that the entire drone market -- or even 5% of it-- wants this product, is where the error lies. As I said before, I myself would only think to use this if I had a catastrophic problem with my drone -- which I haven't so far (crossed-fingers). @The Editor himself -- one of the more experienced users here -- has used it exactly zero times. I suspect that most people that pay at all are not subscribing beyond the month they need it -- why would they? If I had a mysterious flyaway and catastrophic crash I'd be happy to pay $15 to get the most complete info I could... but why would I pay again the following month?

    I'm guessing that people wouldn't subscribe for more than a month or two. It makes no sense to do otherwise. The info is really pointless unless your drone is acting up. You are right that over a long time, the subscription model looks insane -- but I have serious doubts that anyone would keep a subscription going. I think if he was smart, he might change the model from subscription to pay-per-use. Undoubtedly he'd get complaints about that too.

    I too prefer installed software. I own Lightroom -- I'll never subscribe to Adobe CC. I use Affinity Designer and Photo. Great software, no cloud.

    In any case, it's his software, and his to do with as he pleases. If the market has room for another developer with a better plan (and hopefully a nicer interface), surely they will materialize. Business is not a democracy, it is an empire.
     
  12. ringolong

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    I have thought about building one myself, but my inspire keeps intercepting those thoughts lol

    You could always hire a programmer to write you one, and then make it low cost or even free.
     
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  13. RaptorMan

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    My need is not so great that I'd be inclined to hire a programmer to make an application. My need is not so great that I'd be inclined to give them $14.99/month or $6.99/month for the benefit I'd get.

    If an application that did what there top tier plan offers BUT with unlimited flights then I'd go as high as $50 for an installed program or $4/month -- that's my limit...


    Brian
     
  14. seanmclean

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    If the service is not worth $14.99 a month to you, then don't use it.


    What's the problem here?
     
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  15. RaptorMan

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    Very good, I voice my issues with a service which I'd like to have but feel is way over priced and you feel I have no right to voice my problem? Hey, I applaud and complain about a lot of things as do most people -- why should my problem with HealthyDrones bother you. Move along!


    Brian
     
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  16. damoncooper

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    Flytrex is free, no Flytrex device needed. Just basic info but good nonetheless.
     
  17. SanCap

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    I went to their page, where do you upload files?
     
  18. damoncooper

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    Create a free account, etc
     
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  19. seanmclean

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    You're acting like you have a right to the service. What exactly do you need out of the pro plan, anyway? Everything critical is available in the free plan.
     
  20. RaptorMan

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    I don't have or claim to have a right to it -- farthest from the truth! While the range of metrics it offers is still pretty limited there are some things, particularly with the top plan, that I'd like to have been am unwilling to pay out the ass for it. It's that simple!


    Brian