How To Decide On A Licencing Model

I am stuck trying to make a difficult decision and I would like to hear a few viewpoints before I decide what to do.

I am trying to decide on the most appropriate licencing model for my e-cards script.

Currently I get people to pay a fee which gives them a licence for 6 months. They can download all the updates that are released in that 6 months. When that licence expires they can let it elapse or renew it.

A couple of people have mentioned that they don;t like this and are much more used to paying a single price and getting all the upgrades for free until a major upgrade is released. They will then get a special upgrade price.

Since I only develop a single product I am constantly developing it and as such there is never a “major” release, there are constant small release adding new features and bug fixes all the time.

Does anybody have any ideas on how I should approach this? Perhaps I should put off the constant small releases and just release a major upgrade every 6 months or so?

If your model is based around small regular releases (like most web applications) rather than a heavy “new release” on a yearly basis I would continue to use the subscription model. No-one will ever agree with one particular type of payment because they all have their own ideas about what’s fair but the facts remain that very few web-based products use the model of charging for major releases (only), the problem with that mechanism would be that you would need to ensure support for old versions of the products for people still using them. In summary, keep with what you are doing because unless your going to increase your support workload and spend money trying to tempt people with upgrade offers, your better off giving them the yearly license which entitles them to what would be in a major version, just as more regular releases (which is better for everyone), you could always have a “renew subscription” discount for customers to act in place of an upgrade offer. :slight_smile:

I am glad that you have reassured me that what I am doing is right.

The thing that I like about what I am doing now is that there is a lot more flexibility. If people need a lot of help then they can continue their subscription to get help. Those who are a lot more confident can let their subscription expire and then pick it up again when there is a new release.

It’s the best model IMO for the situation, it has less of an impact on the user, there’s no requirement to renew the license and it lets you focus on just keeping it updated rather than balancing different versions or editions around release cycles, some people just can’t be pleased whatever you do. :slight_smile: