Faithlife Study Bible as a Subscription Service

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David Chang | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Aug 3 2012 4:22 PM

Hi there,

I have wanted to start using and promoting the use of the Faithlife Study Bible as it as a lot of really useful features. I initially thought the Faithlife Study Bible (with the coupon voucher) was free, but after reading a little bit more carefully, I realised it was a free subscription until March 2014, when the subscription fee would be $30/year.

I have found the advertising misleading, e.g. "Get the Faithlife Study Bible for free!". So I was wondering if you would consider either making the Faithlife Study Bible a one-off purchase (which I would be happy to purchase), or at least have greater clarification in the advertising?

My issue is that I do not wish for people (and especially groups) to place all their time and effort into making notes and highlights, becoming reliant on it, only to come March 2014, realising that they now have start paying $30/year to access their own and friends' notes that they've become so accustomed to using (hopefully daily/weekly) for the past two years (similar to the uproar that would ensue if Facebook were to announce that it will start charging an annual subscription fee).

Furthermore, one of the features that makes the Faithlife Study Bible stand out from the others is its group sharing and community functions. Most of these functions are available elsewhere, either free or with a one-off purchase price, but I especially like how Faithlife combines everything into one application, making it much more convenient. Yet (from my perspective), due to what is out there, people expect to be paying a one-off price for such a feature, rather than a subscription fee.

If there is a feature that may possibly justify a subscription fee, it is the continuous adding of more notes/resources (someone should be paid for all the work they put in!). However, I do not see a subscription fee as the right option in order to have someone access the same content that they have been accessing (despite updates). Imagine paying $30 for a book that you read daily, after a year, you were told you are not allowed to read it anymore because an updated version has been released. Perhaps a small voluntary purchase fee for each update would be more practical? Subscription fees usually apply for services that provide completely new content each time they update (think newspapers, Times magazine). In contrast, the Word of God is set and does not change, and so I would expect little change in the commentary/notes, with the majority of the content staying the same, and occasional updates to media and articles.

Above are my concerns regarding the subscription structure of the Faithlife Study Bible, and as a result, I have been reluctant to begin using it as my daily reading bible in which I make notes, and reluctant in promoting it in my Christian circles for sharing our reflections.

If my suggestion are not implemented, that is fine, but I would ask that the team make it more clear that it is a subscription service, rather than a content purchase (e.g. "Access the Faithlife Study Bible for free until 2014!"), lest that there be some unpleasant surprises come March 2014.



Posts 10445
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 3 2012 6:25 PM

Hi David, and welcome to the forums!

And all great points; I'm certainly in agreement.

The owner of Logos (Bob) queried users on their pluses/minus of Faithlife ... you might want to also add your input to his thread also.

Posts 214
Dan | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 6 2012 2:36 PM


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