Turns out my online subscription expires sooner than I thought, at the end of this month. So, I've switched over to the paid app, and just like KSC02 says, thanks for the savings, WS!
Punch it , Chewie!
Well, I just changed my auto renewal status so that I can switch over when my current subscription expires. The bad news is that My current subscription doesn't expire until June 30, 2013.
Just cancelled my auto renewal!
I was lucky, it was set to renew at the end of November.
LMAO! I'm sure the brain trust at WS never saw this one coming.
<IT> We're ready to launch the new ratings app for smart phones.
<MARV> Now we're going to be soaking them for that, right?
<Marketing> Yep! We're going to charge them an additional $2.99 per month to use the new app.
<MARV> Excellent. I have a trip coming up and could use the pocket money.
<Mousy guy hiding in the back raises hand> Uh, sir? What if they cancel their online subscription in favor of the new app? We'll end up losing money, sir.
<MARV> Fire that cretin! We only want team players around here.
Wine is like potato chips around me...if it's open, it's gone.
MyBlog @ www.wineismylife.net
I'm thinking the logistics for putting out 2 different versions of the app might be the problem. I'm not sure if it's possible to offer an app for free to one person (who has already paid for the print/online version) but charge another person (who is not a subscriber) for essentially the same app. So the easiest option may just be make everyone pay for the app, and assume people with online subscriptions should just use their browsers to access info.
If you're young and conservative, you have no heart. If you're old and liberal, you have no brain.
Apostrophes don't make things plural.
Sure it's possible. Just a simple matter of programming. Instead of enhancing the existing online members' experience in what could have been a good PR move, they've made a decision that ultimately, this move will gain them a net increase in revenue. I'm not surprised, it's just the way things are done these days. I'll be pulling the plug on my online subscription. I really don't use it much anyway.
+1. There's no reason one can't use the same login/account information for both. This is just as objectionable as having to pay for both the print and online versions for effectively the same content. This is even worse -- it's a subset of content that one has to pay for twice.
At a minimum, a generous discount for existing online subscribers would be appreciated.
I just want to echo the previous comments. I was annoyed when WS didn't offer a free digital Zinio copy to print subscribers as many, many other publishers now do. And now WS wants to charge me an additional $36 per year for the same data I already pay to access online! Why should I pay to access the data via the app that I can already access via the mobile website. Greed that angers loyal paying customers isn't a smart business strategy.
Actually, oddly, by using in-app payment instead of just accessing the regular subscription service, they have to give Apple 30% of the revenue...
It rhymes with wine...
Thanks for the feedback on our new app for iPhone, WineRatings+. We learn from all the comments, positive and critical.
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry when we are first called greedy because we have the temerity to charge for a new product, and then are called stupid because the new product allows our customers to save money.
Bottom line: We’re not taking anything away from existing customers. We’re not raising prices, or forcing you to buy anything you don’t want. Our goal is to offer a range of products and allow you to choose those that fit your needs and your budget.
Our original app for iPhone, VintageChart+, was a free download that delivered free content, specifically our vintage charts, a news feed and a range of educational material.
The new update, now called WineRatings+, is also a free download. It delivers exactly the same free content, only now it is improved and expanded. Anyone who liked and used VintageChart+ should find WineRatings+ even more valuable. And it’s still free!
However, the new version also offers what we think are exciting new features: searchable access to our entire database of wine ratings, automatic uploads of new ratings each month, and wine recommendations from our editors. For all of this additional information, we are charging a subscription fee of $2.99 per month.
Some people believe that because they subscribe to another Wine Spectator product – the magazine, or the Web site – they should receive this new product for free. We respectfully disagree.
Each of our products offers different content and different features, and they are targeted for different uses. We expect wine lovers will examine our suite of products and select those they find useful. We understand that some people will “trade down” from a more expensive product to a less expensive one. We hope some will use them all. That’s up to you, folks; that’s the beauty of a free market.
I don’t expect this response will satisfy everyone. But I hope it will help clarify our decisions and our goals.
Thanks for writing in. I think that has helped to clarify things considerably.
Any chance that the WS Forum members can get a free month or two to try the App out? What if we promise to write a review?
Are you actually requesting $3-6 here?
I'll assume you're not serious
It's not clear to me how this content differs from what is on your website available to subscribers.
I don't think anyone here thinks you're not entitled to your business model. Rather, we're observing that a lot of publications make content available to subscribers on various platforms (print, web, tablet/phone) available for a single price. And we (or at least I) think it's unfortunate (and perhaps not very customer friendly) to ask customers to pay multiple times to obtain access to basically the same content, just packaged slightly differently.
I completely disagree.
I also don't understand why people are complaining. I have an online subscription, and bookmark the mobile website's ratings search page on my phone. All I have to do is open my phone's browser and click the link. That uses my existing subscription.
If you want to use an app, because it's "easier," then pay for it - although I don't understand how it's easier than what I wrote above. I personally find most apps useless, and just waste space.
While I believe that I understand your explanation, I must respectfully disagree. I subscribe to both print and the website versions of WS. Print gives me the articles and wine reviews in print; my digital subscription gives me much of that same material and some additional material, but in a different form, namely digital. I can access that material from my computer or, when I'm away from home, from my phone.
What you've now created is a portal that allows me access to the very same content (or, perhaps less of it) that I've already paid to access. I can access that content via my phone and the specially-designed mobile site. All your app really does is provide me a slightly different way of viewing that same information (I don't really know as no demo is provided).
What content are you providing via the app that is not already available via mobile website (or via the regular website) for which I've already paid for access? What are the "different uses" you mention? Looking up wine ratings via the mobile website is precisely the same as looking up wine ratings via the new app. The only difference is that you've built an app.
I wouldn't mind paying a minimal fee for the app itself (in a range similar to what other apps cost); but the notion that I need to pay a subscription fee to access digital data that I've already paid to access is simply non-sensical.
The other point that I'd ask you to consider is how many loyal subscribers you will alienate and how the virtual chorus of one-star reviews in the AppStore will impact both the reputation of Wine Spectator and the likelihood of a profitable app. Add to that the fact that you will have to share revenue witah Apple, and your business decision makes even less sense.
I implore you to reconsider your decision.
Slight tangent. I just looked up a couple of WS Wine Ratings on my soon to expire online subscription and noticed for the first time that they are asking for a "star" rating on wines based on a 5 star scale at the bottom of the tasting note. Kind of strange that they'd use a 100 point scale and ask for a 1-5 rating from users. Wonder if they're going to incorporate aggregate scores from the herd in their ratings.......
And then there's the way mental_floss treats their customers. Understanding that customers are paying for content, they develop a new IPad app to access their magazine on-line and give it away free to subscribers. Guess where my support and loyalty is going to.
Okay, so in spite of my griping about having to pay twice etc etc, I have to say that I've been using the new iPhone app for well over a month now and it really is very good. I've pulled out the phone at local wine stores to look up ratings and pricing, and it's fast and easy to use. Well worth three bucks a month, especially as I've given up the web and print subscriptions.
Punch it , Chewie!
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