info-beamer

Premium / paid add-ons

#1

Hi everyone, just interested to see what people would think ( including info-beamer devs ) of having some ‘premium’ add-ons for use with info-beamer?

Personally, I think if the community has a suggestion for a feature that is popular enough to be developed, then this would both reward the developers ( info-beamer ), users would get the most requested new features and continue to make info-beamer even more awesome!

Maybe a poll or vote system for new features?

If these were available to purchase and include unlimited use within the account that purchased it, then I would think that as long as they were reasonably priced then it would be a win-win for everyone.

I’m sure the Devs at info-beamer are busy enough :slight_smile: and this may go against the whole business model of info-beamer, so this might be the last thing they need, but just thought I’d suggest it.

#2

I thought about that a bit but I’m not sure how to best implement this. At least from the monetary point of view: Would you pay per device/day, like with devices now? Or one time payments? How expensive?

I think offering a way to sell you own packages would be a really nice feature as that could incentivise 3rd parties to sell their own packages through the store. But that in itself might create various conflicts of interests: What is 3rd parties takes an existing package, improves it in a nice way and then sells that. So far so good, but to be fair this could mean that info-beamer couldn’t improve its own packages to match as that would screw that 3rd party. Similar to how how Apple and Spotify fight at the moment.

Actually at least for packages “premium” sometimes already happens. Except that that it’s not really noticeable: Some of them were developed as a result of some customer use case. Often is possible to convince customers that open sourcing the result is beneficial: The package might get further improvements later due to either contributions or other customer requests. And once the package is in the store, info-beamer basically takes ownership and will make sure that they work in future releases. Some of the video wall packages were developed that way.

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#3

Yeah, it’s probably more complex than my post made it sound :slight_smile:

I was thinking that the premium add-ons would be a one time purchase, but restricted to the number of simultaneous installs, similar to how premium Wordpress plugins are licensed to a single domain.

So the price for each plugin could vary, depending on its complexity and development time, I was thinking something like €20 - €50 per plugin, and with the option of purchasing it for a different number of ‘activations’.

Say a simpler add-on was €20, one-time purchase, but could only be active on 1 setup at a time, and then there are pricing tiers for those that require multiple simultaneous installs such as up to 2-5, 5-15, 15-30, 30+, with discounts applied to the larger tiers.

I think as long as the pricing tiers were fairly priced, even just an additional €1 for each additional device, and there could be an option of ‘upgrading’ by purchasing additional activations if needed.

I think would be the fairest option, as opposed to an increase in monthly costs, which would get costly for users with lots of active devices who already pay more for the increased use of the service and which ultimately would have to be passed onto the end customer.

It also means that those users who need, say 50 activations, pay more, but just pay once.

I guess from info-beamers point of view, selling even a simple add-on for €20 could seem like a lot of work for very little return, but if these premium add-ons were developed when the requests had reached a minimum number of votes, then at least it would be more likely that customers would actually want/purchase them once available.

I’ve seen other examples of similar systems, where the users vote for new features, and I think most users would be happy to pay a small cost if it added the feature they really needed.
I don’t have a clue as to your user base and so don’t know how many users would participate in voting for new features.

Obviously, this wouldn’t interfere with the development of ‘one-off’ features/packages for private usage for customers.

#4

This sounds like a headache for all involved.

I am very happy paying “as I go” for my screens and getting the packages included “for free” (in practice I already pay more if I need more packages/assets/whatever when I go over the 1GB limit) - it makes it much easier to justify switching up setups when experimenting/etc, and it gives me a really predictable cost.

Of course if I have a requirement for a specific large piece of functionality I’ll pay for the development time, but I’m wary of license models (and in fact “democratic” feature wishlists, but that’s a story for another day) because they rapidly add large amounts of complexity that just doesn’t need to be there.

EDIT: I think this conflicts with the wonderfully open-source nature of info-beamer, which is actually the reason my employer switched away from a certain other raspberry-pi based digital signage system (rhyming with “cleanly”) in the first place.

~a

#5

Interesting thoughts, and yes you may well be right, I just wanted to hear other peoples opinions.

I would have thought having votes/polls on possible new features would be a good thing, as it would allow development time to be focused on features that the majority of users want.

I guess there needs to be a balance of affordability for users and sustainability for info-beamer, although may it’s a case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

#6

Thanks for the comments. I agree largely with @alfie.pates. Having flexible but predictable costs is indeed a nice feature. I guess some of the concerns could be addressed by “trial periods” or other measures. But that sounds all pretty complicated and clunky.

The mentioned open source nature might also make it difficult to properly enforce “premium package purchases”. You might just take a deep look at what ends up on a device, create a new git packages from that and import it in your own account for free.

For now, the model will continue to be: Contact support, get the package developed, use it and decide if you want to share the result with the community.

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