Will Potential Logos' Subscription Model Kill the Value of My Investment?

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 10:28 AM

Tom Reynolds:
I would never pay a monthly fee and risk losing something I've used so much and potentially added a lot of notes to and marked up.

 

Where's my like button?

Yes +1

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 10:32 AM

Jeremy White:
Neither of these options negates the value of paying money upfront for a perpetual cross platform license like we currently do

Good thoughts Jeremy. Smile

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 10:42 AM

I doubt the rental model would kill the value of owning it. Abingdon has a similar model you can buy or subscribe but subscribing for 2 years you have more than paid for the resource, if Logos did something similar I don't  see that it would make ownership less attractive or valuable and might make resources available to people who do not want/need to purchase an item but could benefit with a rental of it.

-Dan

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 10:59 AM

"Hello? Customer Service? Hi, our offerings were down this last few months and we had to temporally suspend our subscription. And I was wondering, how much would it cost to look at a Bible for a few minutes? I just need to make a few notes for this Sunday's sermon..."

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Sogol | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 11:05 AM

Dan Francis:

I doubt the rental model would kill the value of owning it. Abingdon has a similar model you can buy or subscribe but subscribing for 2 years you have more than paid for the resource, if Logos did something similar I don't  see that it would make ownership less attractive or valuable and might make resources available to people who do not want/need to purchase an item but could benefit with a rental of it.

-Dan

I think it all really comes down to what the subsciption pricing looks like. If two years of a subscription more than pays for the cost of buying it, that would be like paying $1,000 per year for access to just the Anchor Bible. However, I understand Logos' vision to be charging less than that for access to far more.

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 11:20 AM

How subscription profits work:

  1. Take the number of people who will subscribe.

  2. Count as loss the number of people who will constantly access a wide variety the subscribed information.

  3. Count as gain the majority of the people who will pay the full price, but only access a few resources once in a while.

  4. Subtract 2 from 3 and use the info in a complex formula to determine a subscription fee that meets profit expectations.

This is exactly how Netflix works.

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 189
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 12:20 PM

Dan Pritchett:
If we were to offer subscriptions to individual titles, what would be your idea of the best break even price point between subscribing and buying? If a collection costs $500 to purchase outright, how many months of "subscription" should it take until it breaks even and equals $500. In other words, how would you decide which collections to subscribe to and which to buy?

My answer to this specific question takes its cue from media vendors like Apple and Amazon where I often am presented with the rent or buy option. A quick look at new releases suggests I can rent these for about 25% of the purchase cost. This kind of makes sense because the primary value I get is when I view the movie the first time. I would be happy with similar pricing to rent a book but obviously I would want the loan period to be a number of months (at least three - maybe even have a 12 month option in the way that you can rent text books) and I would also want to have the option to upgrade to full purchase during the rental period with the rental price being credited towards that purchase.

It doesn't make much sense to me to subscribe to a collection unless it was one that grew over time (like my suggestion regarding public domain works) If I am interested in a collection and I think over time I will get reasonable value from having access to some or all of the books in that particular collection then if I don't have the ability to purchase outright I can always put it on a payment plan. That way I don't have to worry about a situation where I discover over some period of time I've paid more for access to a resource then what I would have if I had just purchased it outright,

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 1:27 PM

Dan Francis:
but subscribing for 2 years you have more than paid for the resource,

With the 2 year formula it would make the Anchor Yale Bible rent for $79 a month. I doubt that high of a rate would succeed. 

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Sogol | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 2:07 PM

Super Tramp:

Dan Francis:
but subscribing for 2 years you have more than paid for the resource,

With the 2 year formula it would make the Anchor Yale Bible rent for $79 a month. I doubt that high of a rate would succeed. 

For the AYB subscription model to work, I am guessing Logos would have to come up with something that looked very roughly like this:

- Determine that $50/yr is an attractive annual subscription price for customers.

- Tell the publishers that they can replace each $1,900 purchase with 40 $50/yr subscribers. So for each sale the publisher would normally get, it now gets its share of $2,000/yr in subscription fees. The publisher also benefits because subscription revenue is much more steady and predictable than the lumpy pattern of individual $1,900 sales.

I assume Logos would also like to offer a subscription plan where customers pay Logos a flat monthly price for access to all or a limited number of resources. That's a lot more complex, but there is probably a way it could be done.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 2:51 PM

The one arena where electronic books for rent have taken hold is in the academic market. The liberal arts college from which I graduated has found to its surprise that many students rent and buy - rent for mobile use to avoid carrying heavy books, purchase for dorm room studying.

It may be that Logos offers academic term rentals long before general population books.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 3:18 PM

Agree with MJ.

Whenever Janie breaks up one of those monster academic collections, it's $100+ apiece. I'd go for a subscription easily, since I usually want to know what's in the book (once).   I'd even be happy to pay for the book for 60 days (ie 'rent?').

Yes, the subscription model would REALLY make sense for the vast academic world and journal. But then (1) you'd probably not want to have to tag it (similar to Vyrso since how many strange-readers are there?) and (2) You'd have to know what funds the academic market in the first place (libraries, what?).

In a sense it'd be similar to Perseus ... just not free.


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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 5:02 PM

I am very interested in this subject, but don't have time for a long answer right now.

I believe you can sum up all the predictions about the future into one observation, though:

Some people LIKE to own. Some people LIKE to rent.

For any product -- housing, transportation, access to entertainment, etc. -- there is a market for people who buy and a market for people who rent, and (generally) each of those two types of customers thinks the other is crazy. :-)

"Who would rent a house? You're throwing money away! You're paying someone else's mortgage."

"Who would buy a house? You're committing for years, tying up cash, restricting opportunities to move for work or ministry or family."

And often someone is a renter for one type of goods and an owner for another. I have always owned my house and car, but 'rent' entertainment. I have a friend who has never owned a house or car, but who buys DVD or Blu-Ray discs for every movie or TV show he likes. I can't imagine doing that.

Today most Logos users are purchasers -- because we don't have a rental offering. But don't worry that we're going to abandon you, or leave you, or force you into a model you hate. We're trying to grow to a new market, where people are presently aren't our customers (because they hate buying at full price) will join us.

Most people I've talked with that have offered both models after offering one have not seen sales split into two camps, but have seen sales increase as they attract new customers. I believe we'll ultimately offer both models, and that our forums will have permanent threads where fans of one model express amazement that anyone would participate in the other... :-)

-- Bob

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 5:11 PM

Dan Pritchett:
If we were to offer subscriptions to individual titles, what would be your idea of the best break even price point between subscribing and buying? If a collection costs $500 to purchase outright, how many months of "subscription" should it take until it breaks even and equals $500. In other words, how would you decide which collections to subscribe to and which to buy?

Dan, I am thinking of a monthly fee to use the entire database, say $50.00). You make the money when several thousand 10,000 people buy into it. That is 500,000 a month or 6,000,000 million dollars a year.

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toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 17 2013 11:57 PM

Tom Reynolds:
I would never pay a monthly fee and risk losing something I've used so much and potentially added a lot of notes to and marked up.

The note file belongs to the user, so how can one lose it? Include some context (like a sentence or paragraph) of the original book when you write your note and you are set.

Posts 162
Wayne | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 12:37 AM

I am in a situation where the organization that I work for requires that anything that is purchased with ministry funds stay with the ministry in the event you leave. They believe that is the safest way to interpret IRS policies.  I know that there are other organizations and churches that have a similar policy. I have been buying Logos books with personal funds to avoid that situation. If I was able to rent a book that avoids the problem of owning the book and needing to reimburse the organization when leaving. I could turn in a rental fee for reimbursement for books that are needed for a particular course or series without any problem.

I would think that many of us would be hybrid users of the system. We would purchase reference books such as BDAG and Bible Dictionaries that we would use frequently. But we would rent books that deal with specific topics such as Apologetics that we need for short period of time and tend to get dated much quicker.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 1:01 AM

Jeremy White:

I doubt that Logos could ever offer an all you can eat option that was priced low enough to get enough takers and for them to actually make a profit on it.

Super Tramp:

This question is precisely why I doubt we see a move to the subscription model.

The licensing issue precludes an all-access subscription.

Bob Pritchett:

My long-term dream is that Logos can offer something like the $8.99 / month Netflix subscription -- all the Bible study materials you could want for an incredibly low monthly price. In that model we wouldn't allow account sharing or content resale, But we'd offer incredibly inexpensive access to everyone. You wouldn't need a used-copy at half price; you'd get everything for less.

-- Bob

 

If Bob says it's something he would like to do--a "dream"--why on earth would customers say Logos can't do it?

Yeah, like most, I want to "have" the stuff I have to have. At this point, I pretty much do. But I could legitimately make good use of more. All I need to have at this point is access. For the most part, where resources are concerned, it's in and out--grab a quote and go. I don't need to own X resource just to get a quote. But I often don't know the quote exists without the hyperlinks Logos provides. A subscription solves my problem. If I feel that I eventually need to "have" a given resource, I'm sure Bob won't say, "sorry, no more sales on my watch!"

I think the grumblers are forgetting that no one is threatening to take anything from them. We ought to know by now--

T H A T ' S N E V E R G O I N G T O H A P P E N .

All Bob and Dan are doing is trying to offer an OPTION that could make a ton of sense to most Logos users...whether they are prepared to acknowledge it or not.

So...stop talking dirt about the idea. I bet on the Pritchetts making it happen if they want it to happen. But that depends to a large extent on if we want it to happen. At this point, it's gravy on the rice and frosting on the cake. Stop grumbling.

 

Posts 241
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 1:33 AM

 

It sounds reasonable to offer both options. I am glad and will take it at your word that no-one will be forced into one or another mold.

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Milton C.Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 7:59 AM

With interest, today I read these posts. No matter what is done it will not matteer to me since next month I will be 80. I'm still in the ministry full-time and love to read. I am in agreement with my son "Super Tramp" when he says....: "why should I rent what I already have?" My library this month will pass 12 thousand volumes. I know that I'll need to live anotheer 50 years to get through them all but how much easier it is for me today that it was 30 years ago. I started with Logos when I met Bob's dad at a convention. I returned to Japan and to be honest.....I hated it. For several years I quit using it. Then after returning to the States in 1991, I became reacquainted with Logos and the other software has dropped by the wayside. THINK OF IT LIKE THIS: They just had an auto show in Detroit. I'm not going to buy a car now because in 5 years they are going to have so much more on them. (Like that camera that takes pictures of what you see when driving) Today....LOGOS is the best and I want the best.

Milton in Kansas

 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 8:39 AM

Milton, you have a very nice son and daughter-in-law. And we've been learning all about your sojourn in Japan! Thank you.


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 18 2013 9:17 AM

 

David Paul:
If Bob says it's something he would like to do--a "dream"--why on earth would customers say Logos can't do it?

Bob would be the first to admit not all of his dreams come true. Netflix would also admit losing many of their content provider contracts this year was not part of their dream. Not even Bill Gates gets everything he dreams up. The free enterprise system requires a viable business model. I am just being a realist when I point out the numbers do not crunch right to promise a $9 per month fee for all-access. Too much revenue will be forfeited from lost sales.

David Paul:
Stop grumbling

Grumbling? I would be thrilled to subscribe to a $9 per month all-access subscription. It would cost Bob Pritchett $6,000 to $10,000 in annual revenue loss from me alone.(I believe there is still another $50,000 in resources I do not have yet.have)  Why should I continue to buy 2000 books a year when I can rent everything for $108?

Why should Safari books command $40 per month subscription and Logos settle fot $9?    It is not viable.

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