Next Tuesday (16th June 2020) Music Meal plunges into its next evolutional phase and becomes paid to use. I have thought about it for a long time now. Typically apps have several ways to become profitable enough, so it’s worth it to invest time and effort into them:
- Ads – I hate ads. You hate ads. This is why adblockers are one of the most used extensions for Chrome and Firefox. This is why Brave blocks ads by default. I don’t want to set up ads and ruin your experience by bombarding you with ads when you are just trying to enjoy a song, a podcast or an audiobook.
- Fremium – this usually means that a product or service has limited free features and the good stuff is reserved for paying users only.. Typical examples are free service with ads (like YouTube and Spotify) and a paid service with no ads, or a paid service that includes the whole app and a free version that is severely cut up (like Spotify limiting the number of skips or Todoist limiting the number of tasks/projects you can work on simultaneously).
This could’ve been implemented easily in Music Meal – you could listen to only one platform and be limited to only one playlist, with disabled sync services and so on if you wanted it to be free and pay for the rest. However this still feels a lot like ruining the user experience by providing a severely cut up version of the product.
- Paid – This is the simplest option. You use something (that doesn’t show you ads and doesn’t sell your data, respecting your privacy and personal preferences, meaning that you are the user and not the product) and you pay something for it.
I’ve chosen the third option for several obvious reasons and a couple of surprising ones. It will give me incentive to keep trying to make an awesome product that is useful not only for me, but for many other people as well. By having only a paid version (with a free trial, of course) you will always get to experience it in its fullest. Also, this will be an incentive for you to help me make a better product for the specific cases you have. It may sound strange, but once you have paid for something it is much more likely to reach out to the person developing it when you run into any problem. Which brings us to this – your feedback, as invaluable as it can be, is among several other ways you can “earn free time”:
- If you suggest a new feature that has not been put forward and makes sense, you will get a month for free. You will also be given credit when that version goes live (if you are OK with getting public recognition; I am open to giving credit to your cat in case this makes you feel more comfortable, just like F. D. C. Willard)
- If you find a bug, you will get half a month’s fee off. I will wait for a day or two before your billing date, before issuing you the discount, so if you find another bug, you will get a whole month off.
- If you convince someone to try Music Meal on any platform and they are active for a month, both you and they will get a whole month for free.
- If you rate Music Meal on any platform, you will get half a month’s fee off.
All of this is stackable! This means that if you suggest several new features or recruit several friends, etc, you can get several months for free.
Do these by DM-ing or just tweeting to @MusicMeal or by sending me an email at email@example.com. Sure, this can be done via a number of platforms or via an online form, however I’d prefer to make it as personal as possible. We are all in this community of music junkies together. I am an indie hacker, not a corporation and I am making this for us, so I’d love any feedback, ideas and so on from any and all of of you. This way we can have a simple two way discussion via email or twitter.
The trial period will be 14 days and the pricing will be the following – $4.00 per month or $36.00 annually. This means that the yearly subscription will give you 3 whole months off, plus any additional months off, based on your help in making a better product for all of us. I would be extremely happy if everyone comes up with suggestions to improve the product and no one pays the full subscription fee!
All payments and data will be done through Stripe so it is as secured as possible. Stripe also makes issuing coupons and discounts a breeze. Additionally everyone will have a dedicated user portal to manage their subscription to Music Meal.
So far, our community that is using Music Meal isn’t big and I want to leverage that so that we can build something amazing together! Help me make something that will be useful for as many of you as possible 🙂
P.S. Several people have already helped out with different feature ideas or bug reports in the last few months. They will receive the respective amount of free use right after their trial is over.