Thanks for bringing up the issue of pricing, which is an important one for both DT and its user base. I imagine most of us on this forum place a high value on DT, so I think we are in agreement about that.
However, I think it is difficult to calculate the most appropriate price point for any good or service, because you have to consider many factors such as the users you are targeting with your product and the business models of your competitors. The list goes on and on, but my point is that it is not simply about the intrinsic value of a product or service, however we define that.
Put another way, I find many things to be amazing and appealing, but I do not spend any money on them—and, as long as they have a subscription model I am unlikely to ever spend money on them. In my opinion, subscription models are fabulous for businesses, and I can see their appeal there in terms of recurring revenue to support past and future development, but I think they are terrible for users, who have to shoulder that burden. For my personal use (separate from things necessary for my career and billed to my employer), I’ve found that I can happily do without just about any subscription, and the few that I have are more about “lock-in” than “loyalty.” As soon as I can extract myself from their services, I will, regardless of how great I think the application is.
I appreciate that DT offers both models for its iOS version. When they set the price point, I felt that they listened to the needs of their user base while making sure they were fairly compensated for their work. It’s not ideal, but it works. In contrast, another app competing in the same space drastically raised its subscription pricing, offering lots of new features and redesigns that wreaked havoc on my workflow and brought nothing of additional value to me, even if it may have been a good business decision for them for the short-term bottom line. They continue to churn through new “improvements” to support / justify their subscription model. Perhaps they are as much a slave to it as their users are, because I do not think anyone is enjoying the ride they are on now, and anecdotally speaking, its user base seems to have cratered in the country where I live and work.
I was glad to have finally escaped lock-in after over a decade of relying on the app. It was a great service I was willing to pay for over the course of a decade, even though I loathe the business model, but it was not sustainable for me once they used that lock-in to raise prices and go in another direction. In my opinion, the subscription model and aggressive pricing drove them to look for new users at the expense of retaining existing ones—longtime users preferred a slow, incremental improvement approach with regular bug fixes to the “disruptive” reinvention of the app ever few years.
An anecdote is just one user’s experience, but speaking personally, I am much less likely to agree to any pricing plan that attempts to amortize the cost over time through a subscription model. It’s not so much about “what” I am willing to pay as “how” I am willing to do it. If DT is looking for more revenue, I think there are some systemic pricing issues that could be adjusted to encourage expansion of the user base, but that is a topic for another thread