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Blynk will introduce paid subscription in Q1 2016


#22

Furthermore, it sounds reasonable to destinguish between amateurs and professionals. That depends upon what future do you plan for Blynk. Certainly you don’t want Blynk to only cover fee for a couple of full-time programmers. You definitely want it to grow into a good monetized business. Then you need to distinguish between commercial and private usage.

  • Private users will never be able to pay much, especially in countries outside US/EU (China, India, South America, Russia e tc)… $2,5 / month is definitely too much for them. I suppose, the maximum ONE-TIME fee a user can pay to include Blynk into his project is equal to 0,2-0,5 of other hardware costs, that means Arduino/Raspberry board and peripherials. If you set higher price, you’ll definitely kill yor Blynk before it gets really popular (1M downloads), because people simply won’t evers start projects requiring Blynk. You should go WhatsApp-way (you know, they asked $1/year and got millions of users).
  • On the contrary, commercial users could pay even more. There are plenty of commercial applications Blynk is suitabe for. You just need to offer a very stable, robust, extremly well documented platform, going behind handheld devices, with lots of api’s allowing it to incorporate into commercial apps. Make commercial-only widgets with functions a private user will never need. And yes, that’s what you could ask to pay for. And they will, because they’ll be getting profit out of using Blynk.
    So the bottom line: give unlimited private version to everybody for as low price as you can, this will give your success like Arduino of WhatsApp. 10k users paying 2,5/month are not better than 1M users paying 1$/year. The idea to make expirable free tokens as very good. An amateur will be able to get a new each month and re-flash the device… A professional business user will definitely prefer a paid perpetual token…

#23

Thanks for such a detailed reply! We might definitely consider some of the ideas for future.

However, I would disagree regarding WhatsApp

Their spendings are still larger than their income, even with huge user base. But they can afford that, cause they got $60 M of investments.


#24

Ok, that was a bad example, if you wish.
The principle remains: 10k users paying 2,5/month are not better than 1M users paying 1$/year.
Anyway, that was just an opinion, how to make the project #1 IoT platofrm (you definitely don’t plan to be #99). No offense. But with $2,5/Month you’ll never reach even 10k subscribers, and never build a large enough community to make Blynk self-selling. You better find an investor and focus on programming and not on earning money.
Again, no offense, I wish luck and success to founders and devs. I just have been waiting for a service like Blynk for a long time and really don’t want it to go down because of moneytalks.


#25

@Kyrill
Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. We are very open to hearing various opinions. There are some points I would definitely agree with you. As I mentioned earlier, we are already separating 2 audiences: makers and businesses

Temporary tokens is an interesting concept, we will think about it.

I would also agree with @Dmitriy that WhatsApp is not the best example, even because it’s a mass product, while Blynk is a very very niche one (until IoT will become widely adopted :slight_smile: ).

Finding investor always sounds tempting for sure, but it also has a lot of downsides. And while we are open for a discussion here, we would definitely prefer to build a sustainable business on our own.

Again, thanks for your ideas.


#26

I think need add plan $ 2,5-10 per year eg single use, without share etc …


#27

@klbsss: what do you mean by single use?


#28

What I meant by deployment was giving the project to someone else as a complete working object with smart phone control. For example, you may make something for your home that your brother (sister, mother, father, friend) would be interested in. So you build a device and give it to them with the Blynk app to control it. I don’t think that they would be interested in getting something with a monthly fee, so the AUTH TOKEN need to be a lifetime token.


#29

With the current implementation, the ones that you share your app with are not charged. And we are not going to do that (unless in future you’d decide to make some money from them :slight_smile: )

As I mentioned in my initial post, with the subscription plan you may share every project with up to 5 people (or more - TBD). It’s included in the subscription plan.


#30

Hi,

This is a bit disappointing, and I think will ultimately work to Blynk’s disadvantage.

Previous to Blynk I’ve been using TouchOSC to control things from my iPhone, it has a one off cost of $5.00.

Now I have Blynk, which is mostly better than TouchOSC, but it is going to cost me $25 in the first year. I would hope my projects would last 10 years, so that would add up to$250.

Ok I’ll build several projects other 10 years, so the cost gets spread a bit, but if someone wants to copy one of my projects they get hit with a $250 cost and they may not use Blynk for anything else.

And for the money I get access to an online server that I’ll never user and an every increasing bunch of widgets of which I would only use a handful.

Given a yearly subscription I think a lot of people will not bother with Blynk, it is no fun when you loose control of your project because you forgot to pay your subscription.

TouchOSC may not be as fancy, but it will end up being a lot cheaper and less hassle.

I feel it would have been better to have a one of fixed price of the app, extra cost per widget and a subscription to use the online server.


#31

Thanks @NickM. We appreciate your feedback.

You also mentioned:

May be I misunderstood you, but if you want to share your projects, other people don’t need to subscribe for Blynk. They just download the app for free and scan the QR code. Or why would someone end up buying Blynk for $250?


#32

Hi,firstly I love blynk and will definitely use it until any required subscription stops me.I’ve not been able to keep a project running for more than a few hours or possibly even a day or two.my original plan was for an aquarium monitor to warn me of any high/low levels and a humidity controlled bathroom fan with some feedback to my phone.
I know it’s probably esp wifi problems and my recently learnt dodgy c programming but my point is I only have a couple of spare hours a week to tinker with the projects,I would imagine most users are only tinkering and would be more likely to pay a one off payment for say 3 auth tokens to play with.I personally think you’re still a bit early to start charging from my point of view as I still can’t use blynk successfully to warn me of high/low levels in my aquarium in a sensible timescale,blynk notify still won’t produce a sound on the latest iOS and email notifications can sometimes be up to 20 mins old but at least yahoo mail will make a sound on iOS.
I can use ardumote to control my arduino just fine ($4.99 one off) and have purchased an sms module for $4 which sends me an sms instantly (with a sound to alert me!) but I choose to stick with blynk because it “should” do everything I want.
I’m no business expert and appreciate things cost but I truly believe a subscription to play will drive people away :worried:


#33

Hi Blynk founders,

I believe so many Makers out there could not afford the subscription model you will have for the Apps. I wonder that something like this could be solution:

  • Basic Blynk: $5 one off, include all Widgets (except widget that cost Blynk running cost such as History Graph), 3-5 dashboard, one share should be ok. When new feature as Direct BLE and Direct WiFi added, then another one off purchase can be added.
  • Full Box: as per your description, perhaps 8-10 share access (this could be good number for gadget in large/ average families, or number of people in small startups).

So normal Makers can start using $5 Blynk and Makers Pro where the project is used regularly, startup demo, non-profit household use…


#34

Well, time will show. I don’t what is the current userbase and how much of them will pay for it.
Problem is that the equipment can be very cheap and there are many free solutions which can be also very good and reliable (for example, when somebody just want’s to monitor stuff on graphs then he won’t need to pay 2.5$ per month to get blynk, as currently the graphs are not very usable and you can only have 2 on the screen with 4 variables). For e-mail sending or push notifications there are also a few solutions.

But I’m aware that all-in-one solutions need to be monetized. Developers need to eat and pay rent for the servers. However there are 2k users on the forum, so if even 1/4 of them would pay 2.5$ a month, this will be roughly 1250$ per month. For this maybe they will be able to pay rent for the good server (paid service needs better SLA), not even mentioning the salary for the development guys.


#35

We don’t like to talk about it, but @Garreth is right, many people don’t realize the amount of time and effort needed to create something like Blynk. Needless to say that it’s not only apps, but a complete infrastructure, where all the components work seamlessly with each other.
@Garreth, you also forgot that Apple and Google are taking their 30% from every purchase :slight_smile:
More space for project is planned before the release, so you’ll be able to add more graphs and other controls if needed.

I think many would agree that software in many cases plays a much bigger role than hardware, but still it’s considered ok to pay for hardware and consider software being a commodity. Well, in reality it’s not.
A good example: ESP8266. Great hardware, super cheap. But would it become so popular if there was no software to work with it? It was just a brick of silicone for the majority of people until software unlocked it’s full potential.

We should accept the concept, that software is a product with it’s own manufacturing specifics and costs, so comparing it with hardware development is incorrect.

@Rob.b
We’ll figure out what’s not working with your notifications. With all my respect to Ardumote, I can’t compare it to Blynk. BTW, does it work outside of your home network? I couldn’t find this information.
And you paid $9 for an app that was last updated in 2012.

@akm17
Thanks for your ideas.
Adding lot’s of in app purchases might be a solution, but we will mean spending all of our time on managing them :smile: instead of adding new features and widgets.


#36

Hi,
I wonder what the service level (SLA) would be. Is the system (your servers) running 24x7 hours with fail safe backup?
I cannot rely on a fire alarm application if your server is undergoing maintenance and no mirror site available.
Will the collected data be stored and backed up by you, for how long?
Thank you


#37

@Kyrill definitely thinking properly.
I am a Serbian and a regular and not my job.
Paying $ 2.5 every month to me is much more, I would like to be $ 2.5 to buy a one widget a lifetime.


#38

Well, for the last 9 months we had 0 sec downtime. We are also updating infrastructure before introducting paid features, in order to introduce reliability and lower latency for EU and Asia.
Backups are planned of course

We could make 5-10 year storage backups (history graph data).


#39

@Pavel Well, I didn’t expect you would use apple or google payment API, just your own with paypal and credit cards :smile:

However Pavel, I’m afraid that you’d need to take into consideration something like pre-purchase price. I don’t know what will be the status of the project in Q1, I don’t know how much will you put out there, and I don’t know current userbase/projectbase. However I believe, that it would be much better for your business to start up slowly and cheaply to build up userbase, then increase prices as the features and reliability comes into place.


#40

@homerruma
We can regulate regional pricing for Android, but it’s impossible on iOS.
Also, the transition period is planned with a discount price for a year subscription. If you’ll decide to support Blynk development - you’ll be able to do that for less.


#41

@Pavel To make it a regional discrimination.
Also, in every country there are differences in ability to pay.
I still think it’s best to sell Widget 2.5 $ a lifetime, someone will buy 2 and who can will buy 10th
Sorry for bad english This is google translator.