Michael Tsai on TextExpander 6 and Subscription Pricing

Michael Tsai:

You can debate whether the app is worth it, but the bottom line is that the price increase is huge in percentage terms. TextExpander 4 was $35 in 2012, and there was a $20 update for TextExpander 5 in May of 2015, about three years later. Now, after less than a year, the price for a yearly subscription is $47.52. (There is a one-time, one-year 50% discount for previous customers.) So the price for three years has gone from $20 to $142.56. I have paid for a lot of apps recently, and the only ones that are in that price range are Microsoft Office, Adobe Lightroom, and TurboTax. TextExpander is a great app, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s in that league.

With Microsoft and Adobe, it takes multiple years of subscription payments to equal the previous single payment. So it was more a change in payment model than an increase in price. And the subscription offered the benefit of never having to suddenly make a large payment.

I’ve been loath to pile on here, because I try to be outspoken in favor of sustainable app pricing, especially for utility apps. But TextExpander was already well-priced. Tsai has (as usual) an incredible collection of links to commentary on this story, and there’s near-unanimous agreement that Smile is charging too much for an upgrade that to many users only takes away useful features (Dropbox and iCloud syncing).

Thursday, 7 April 2016