Talkatone Premium Services
March 22, 2011 19 Comments
Exactly 3 weeks ago we introduced a completely redesigned Talkatone and made it available for everyone. Along with a new more standard looking UI came support for multiple Google accounts available as part of the Talkatone Premium Services.
Talkatone Premium Services are targeted for professional users and include:
- Support for multiple Google accounts, thus giving people multiple phone lines in one app,
- Per-contact personalization,
- Priority Customer Service (guaranted response within 24 hours).
The price for premium services is $2/month. We honor longevity and give 2 months for free when an annual subscription is bought, the price for 12 months is $20. We believe it’s a fair price for a professional service which is often reimbursed by employer.
Is this a monetization model for Talkatone down the road? Today, we definitely see subscriptions as one of the key contributors in our future revenue model. Long story short – subscription model does work, but we will need to scale it.
Why subscriptions? Why did we choose to introduce a subscription model instead of just charging for a pro-app? In our vision Talkatone should provide a free way to communicate using any mobile data connection. It should not cut away essential features. We created a free app for our friends and we want it to stay free. We plan to make money by offering additional services to people who need them.
Many of our users, us included, started to use Talkatone professionally and asked for a multi-account support, customization, etc. They started to see Talkatone as a tool which may provide an inexpensive phone service for their professional needs. Responding to this request we decided to rework Talkatone’s core to support multiple accounts. We also began to work on voice quality improvement layer (note: it will be optional, opt-in feature). Customer service had to be reorganized in order to provide guaranteed fast support.
Pricing services is always tricky. We could charge $20-$30 upfront for an app with extra features which might not be needed next month. We would be insanely rich by now :), but it would not make our users happy. Instead, Talkatone is providing people inexpensive services only when they need them, we respect freedom of choice.
Does it work? Talkatone is a very young startup. Our goal was to try and prove ourselves that a premium subscription is a potential way to pay for the show.
So far, almost 750 users subscribed for Premium Services, 25% of subscribers purchased annual subscription.
What’s next? Our team envisions Talkatone as a preferred method for free mobile communication using various channels. We are committed to give you a free tool which takes care of most of your communication needs, definitely more than just plain calls and text. While constantly improving free Talkatone, we’ll be extending Premium Services to respond to various demands.
Certain features initially will be offered as part of Premium Services before making it into a free product. It gives us an ability to scale them in a controlled environment.