New WS WineRatings+ App

So, I was excited to see that an update was available for the WS iPhone app and quickly downloaded it. It promised easy access to the WS tasting note archive. Much to my dismay, it turns out I can only access the tasting notes if I subscribe to a $2.99 monthly fee! I already have an online subscription, so I can access ratings on my phone using my web browser, but it's cumbersome to log in. If anyone at Spectator is reading this, how about discounted or free access to the full app for existing online subscribers?
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
...not cool....


Not cool indeed. This should have been offered as an enhancement for those already paying. We have access to the data, although as the OP correctly state it's cumbersome to get to. So, to allow us convenient access to data we're already entitled to we must pay. Again. Humbug.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I loaded it on my iPhone and it works very well, and glad I bought it.

I do not subscribe to their online services.


Now that I come to think of it, the primary reason I signed up for the online service years ago was to gain access to their wine reviews. Now that you mention it, I can save $$$ by cancelling my online access and just subscribing to the app! Winner

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I loaded it on my iPhone and it works very well, and glad I bought it.

I do not subscribe to their online services.


Now that I come to think of it, the primary reason I signed up for the online service years ago was to gain access to their wine reviews. Now that you mention it, I can save $$$ by cancelling my online access and just subscribing to the app! Winner

PH


that's actually what i was thinking ;-)
To the people saying its tough to log into the site via cell phone, what do you have? I have an iphone and I just leave WS open all the time in my browser. I actually do the same with espn so I dont have to log in and out.

I agree its weak sauce to charge subscribers for something they already have already paid to have access to.
Very cool. You will have to show it to me Wednesday. I have reached that point of cheapness where I don't buy apps unless I have actually seen them.

quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I loaded it on my iPhone and it works very well, and glad I bought it.

I do not subscribe to their online services.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I loaded it on my iPhone and it works very well, and glad I bought it.

I do not subscribe to their online services.


Now that I come to think of it, the primary reason I signed up for the online service years ago was to gain access to their wine reviews. Now that you mention it, I can save $$$ by cancelling my online access and just subscribing to the app! Winner

PH


That's a great idea. My online subscription expires soon.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
Aren't you guys the same people who don't purchase wines without tasting them? Then why the appeal for having online access to wine reviews through your phone? Smile


Confused...not sure what that means?

It is an useful tool. I know Longboarder and I were recently at dinner trying to recall how an older vintage rated, and an easy tool to use.

I like to use it at restaurants for tasting notes for wines that grab my attention, and I killed an hour recently on the plane reading their WS360 which is part of the app.
Are we really complaining about $3 a month? We spend more on cooking wine than the average wine drinker spends on the wine they consume! Looks like a good amount of work went into it so I can see why they don’t want to just give it away. If you use it a couple of times a month, I think it’s totally worth it.
quote:
Originally posted by LBJ2012FinalsMVPisclutch:
To the people saying its tough to log into the site via cell phone, what do you have? I have an iphone and I just leave WS open all the time in my browser. I actually do the same with espn so I dont have to log in and out.

I agree its weak sauce to charge subscribers for something they already have already paid to have access to.


You're right. I've been foolishly using the regular website on Safari on my iPhone which is cumbersome, but the mobile site works much better.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
I loaded it on my iPhone and it works very well, and glad I bought it.

I do not subscribe to their online services.


Now that I come to think of it, the primary reason I signed up for the online service years ago was to gain access to their wine reviews. Now that you mention it, I can save $$$ by cancelling my online access and just subscribing to the app! Winner

PH

+1
Came to the same conclusion earlier. I will not be renewing my online account.
Thank you for saving me money WS Smile
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
It ain't about the money, GlennK. No one here would be hurt by the $3 a month. It's like a baggage charge. We thought we'd already paid....for that.

PH
Yeah, I can see that point now that I think about it. I guess it’s the same information but just in a more user friendly format.
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.

Devilish
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.
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
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.


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.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
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.


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.

PH


+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.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
quote:
Originally posted by NolanE:
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.


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.

PH

Actually, oddly, by using in-app payment instead of just accessing the regular subscription service, they have to give Apple 30% of the revenue...
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.

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
. . .

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.
. . .
Thomas Matthews
Executive editor


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.
quote:
Originally posted by drewguy:
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
. . .

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.
. . .
Thomas Matthews
Executive editor


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.

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