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CLOSED [Outdated] Break even point [pricing of pro accounts on renewal]

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Danni Parker says:

My pro account recently expired and I felt like not extending it.

I've been with Flickr for 1 year and the benefit offered to me is no more than a new user would receive.

The math is basic:

The percentage of people not extending their pro account should be proportional to the discount Flickr should offer as an incentive to increase its continuity.


I know it wouldn't buy a big mac... but I'm talking about concepts (economics).
Originally posted at 10:13AM, 12 October 2010 PDT (permalink)
ernstkers edited this topic 7 months ago.

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Arie's Photography says:

You mean you're suggesting that flickr should follow the old business belief that it's far less cheaper to keep an existing customer than to get new ones and should pass that savings back to the loyal customers??? HAH! Flickr is just too cool to act like it wants to keep customers. You should be very glad to give your money to flickr and the honor is all yours. Their utter indifference to the ideas in this group and the attitude of staff in the help forums made that very clear.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Lú_ is a group administrator Lú_ says:

Staff referred the idea here from the Help Forum.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Lú_ is a group administrator Lú_ says:

I just added a bit to the subject line for searchability here.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Lu:
Thank you.

Houston cougars:
I apologize but English is not my first language. Irony tricks me sometimes... it seems you are pretty angry with Flickr.


In addition:
This is a business... sometimes people get lost into numbers... this re-evaluation is more like a suggestion to Flickr's financial/marketing departments.
The pro account advantage that I perceive is based on the fact that profiles wouldn't be deleted/vanish because of planetary alignments.
(I don't want to restart my profile from scratch aiming to recover 6,000 contacts).
43 months ago (permalink)

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Buckeye. says:

So... You get a discount (calculated according to your personal formula which is actually quite arbitrary and doesn't seem to have any logic to it) and I (because I'm not thinking of not renewing) don't get one? How does that work exactly?
On top of which... how is a discount a flickr feature? I can't help feeling that this topic is tolerated here by admins only because it's been sent here by staff in order to suggest (I'm trying not to be cynical but it's hard work) that they're 'listening'.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Brock says:

Yeah, this smacks of "I'd like a discount because I think I should get one".

If the price of the account is based as low as their business model allows (which, let's face it, it is pretty damn low) then there is zero incentive for Flickr to give discounts. So some customers stop paying? Big deal.

If you can show that there is a significant trend of people paying for Pro accounts and then leaving after one year and that this is a majority use case, then I am sure Flickr will address it and price accordingly for best profitability (ie most users paying). Being as you are basing your sums on absolutely zero hard data, I can't see this gong anywhere.
43 months ago (permalink)

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elementalPaul says:

Buckeye. - the OP was redirected from the Help Forum because the topic is an idea related to Flickr. Nowhere on the front page does it say that this group is only for suggesting features to improve Flickr. I don't necessarily think it's a good idea but it's certainly not a topic for the Help Forum.

Brock said:

I can't see this gong anywhere.

Do you need help looking for your percussion? Sorry, I couldn't resist ;-)
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
elementalPaul edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Brock says:

It's hovering at the back of your head, smart arse.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Scott - Stellar Day Studios says:

but there already is a discount - it is called a two year membership ...
43 months ago (permalink)

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phlewte says:

for what it's worth, the OP wasn't sent here by staff to begin with - just another regular flickr member in the help forum.

www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157625149744652/
43 months ago (permalink)

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Jim3535 says:

I think your logic might be flawed. Old users have had more time to build up lots of photos and people who look at them. This means that they cost more in terms of storage and bandwidth than a new user.

But seriously, if you think it's not worth it for you, then don't renew. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best gig in town.
43 months ago (permalink)

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phlewte says:

i will say this: what about offering a discount to existing pro members as a bit of further incentive to renew their pro when expiration time is coming up? say 10% or something? or after it's been allowed to lapse, as an incentive to purchase it again?

from personal experience - i had an xbox live gold account. these cost upwards of $50 per year (i can't remember exactly off the top of my head - it was a gift anyway). when it expired, i didn't renew it - mostly because i didn't have the extra money for an unnecessary luxury like that.

ever since, xbox has tossed every single discount they could probably think of in my direction, practically begging me to purchase gold again. eventually, i caved. the discount i was offered was really great and i could afford it. i never would have bought it, though, if i hadn't been offered that discount.

from my experience, offering discounts does work. especially when it comes to someone that someone used to have and no longer does (but might still like to).
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
phlewte edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Danni Parker says:

To simplify:

i) Flicker has 100 pro accounts (A).
ii) Lets say 20 pro accounts are unlikely to be extended (L).
iii) Hypothetically 15 of them are not being extended (R) because of poor incentive (It can be any number you want... I chose 15)
iv) if Flicker can recover those accounts the maximum incentive (I) that could be offered to all pro accounts that will expire without incurring in any loss of income would be:

I=[1-(A-L)/(A-L+R)]*100

E.g.: [1-(100-20)/(100-20+15)]*100 = 15.7%
95 pro accounts with a 15.7% discount generate the same revenue as 80 pro accounts... for those numbers, if Flickr could offer a discount as benefit, anything below 15.7% would increase its income right away.

Please, I'm just trying to say that Flickr should value its current customers when extending their pro accounts... instead of giving them the same treatment as any other new account.

If the math is right or if extra variables should be considered, that's other department. If you want to hire me to develop complex models, I'm available. Lol!
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Danni Parker edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Brock says:

You're just making up numbers to support your case. Unless your stated 20% of pro accounts not renewing is an accurate figure, your 'mathematical model' is worthless and just as accurate as picking a number out of your arse, though. Your statistical analysis is worthless.

Please, I'm just trying to say that Flickr should value its current customers when extending their pro accounts

Fine. Just don't make a load of fanciful numbers up to 'support' your idea - you have zero research or data to support the impetus for Flickr to take on your idea, and that has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

Alternatively:
People have more invested in their accounts after 12 months of usage (more images, more contacts, more social connections) and so the original cost for the second year is actually cheaper because not only do they get the advantages of pro (uploading space, images to show etc) they get the additional value of not losing all that social interaction. So, as you suggest with your desire not to re-add your 6000 contacts, there is added value in paying the same sum as you did in the beginning.

Basically, if someone is likely to consider the first year of Pro good value, then it will have more value as they invest their time into their account. The value for money gets higher every year even though the physical cost stays the same.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Buckeye. says:

So your 'idea' is (in summary and in total)... That flickr should be 'offering a discount to existing pro members as a bit of further incentive to renew their pro when expiration time is coming up'. I wish someone had said exactly that earlier. Ah - someone did (Phlewte). So all subscriptions after the first year would cost less than the first year's subscription. Hmm.. won't that just piss off all the not-yet-subscribers and make them less likely to join? (and new subscribers must be the thing that flickr really wants). Or do you keep the 2nd-and-later-years subscription secret somehow? I can't actually see any part of this that's workable.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Brock
The formula works for any number.
And the answer is: yes. Flickr knows the percentage of every variable I mentioned. I do believe they are running a business here... where "fancy" numbers are real and necessary.

Buckeye asked for facts to support my suggestion. That's exactly what I presented.

Now, regarding things "coming out my arse"... I have to say that I'm sorry if you were born in a barn. And if you don't understand math, that's your problem. Not mine.
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Danni Parker edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Wil C. Fry says:

Actually, it kind of makes sense.

Auto insurance works this way in the U.S. If you keep your account long enough, you'll start getting discounts. I just got a discount *today* on my auto insurance, for being a "loyal customer."

I've also lived in apartment buildings where rent was slightly discounted after the first year, as an incentive to stay.

However, I imagine Flickr has to think of this two ways: (1) How to get new customers, and (2) How to keep old customers.

The price point works better for #1. Once you've agreed to pay this amount, the best way to keep an old customer is to keep the features coming, keep them working.

I'd guess that the price doesn't drive away as many existing pro users as broken features or lack of certain features...
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Will C. Fry,
Thank you for the perfect picture!
That's what I was trying to say!
1-hug-XL
43 months ago (permalink)

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Brock says:

Buckeye asked for facts to support my suggestion. That's exactly what I presented

Those are not facts.

The formula works for any number.

Not really. Even if the number of not repeating Pro accounts is as high as 1% (which I'd doubt), then you're looking at a $0.24 reduction in cost for repeat purchasers. I can't imagine that is in any way a big enough impetus to re-subscribe - your idea depends on someone who is not inclined to re-subscribe for $24.95 but would be swayed by a few cents off the cost. Even in your example, their mind needs to be swayed by a change in price of just $4. And that would be with 15% resubscribing that otherwise wouldn't!

Also, if your scheme were to be implemented and be successful, then the discount your edge case would get would reduce every year.

Basically, you need to admit that you just don't want to pay full price for a new year of Pro. There is no evidence to support your theory that a significant percentage of users pay for one year and then don't renew purely because they don't want to pay $24.95, but would pay slightly less. It is unrealistic as a solution to a problem that may not even exist in any sort of number of users - after all, you have zero clue how common your scenario is.

And if you can't understand math, that's your problem

The problem is not with the maths at all. Quite the opposite. The problem is with the assumptions taken that magics a number that seems to support your idea that a 15% discount is warranted for renewing customers. I'd say that maybe even a 2% discount is the highest you'd see of people that not only are not going to renew but (crucially) who would also reconsider this decision if there was a couple of cents off the price. 2% is no selling point, and 15% failure to renew would probably have Flickr going bust pretty soon, so wouldn't be able to afford to offer the discount as they'd be paying redundancy fees.

Your business model claims make no sense.
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Brock edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Buckeye. says:

Actually it's not a fact that I asked for facts. I said your 'formula' was arbitrary - which it was and is. It's not a model - it doesn't attempt to predict the behaviour of the market when faced with various prices/discounts. So you might as well, indeed, pull a % out of... fresh air.
Your understanding of what does/doesn't encourage a potential/existing member to subscribe/re-subscribe seems to me to be fundamentally wrong-headed - for reasons that others (and me) have described above - and thus unlikely to appeal to flickr.
(Was this group really intended to discuss flickr's business model? I can't believe it. I see it as being a forum which has the intent of improving the user's experience - not maximizing flickr's profits.)
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Brock/Buckeye: Yeah... you are right.
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Danni Parker edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Lú_ is a group administrator Lú_ says:

I really should not have tried to catch up on this topic at the end of the day when I'm tired ... *brain shut-down*
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Lol!
43 months ago (permalink)

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Buckeye. says:

'Brock/Buckeye: Yeah... you are right.'
OK. All wrapped up then.
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Buckeye. edited this topic 43 months ago.

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FlyButtafly is a group administrator FlyButtafly says:

I see it as being a forum which has the intent of improving the user's experience...

If that includes a reduction in price, then it's a valid idea (valid in the sense that it's fine for posting here, and not off topic in regards to the group's purpose). Whether it's workable or desirable, well, that's what the discussions are for - to suss that out. And of course, leave the final decision to flickr, as always.

:)
43 months ago (permalink)

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iansand says:

I'm all in favour of stuff being cheaper but, as someone in a first world country with a comfortable income, I think flickr is pretty cheap already and a discount of a few bucks (let alone cents) will not make an iota of difference to my decision to renew.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Chrishyson90 says:

So having unlimted photo uploads and video uploads is not an incentive?

Quit being a cheepskate.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Allow me to bring the focus on the topic again:

It's not about "grabbing a piece" of Flickr... it's about (1) increasing its pro account renewals and (2) differentiating the old customers from new ones.

It's not about money. It's the concept of customer valuation.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Brock says:

It's not about money. It's the concept of customer valuation.

To a business, those two concepts aren't at all different to each other.
43 months ago (permalink)

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harishankar says:

So the magic number $24.95 somehow makes more sense or logic because that was fixed by Flickr as their Pro account price? What data do we have to prove that the price is fair from the point of view of a customer? Apart from claims that it's not that high for somebody living in a "first-world" country? Such statements smack of ugly elitism to me!

Yes $1 or $2 can make a difference to many people and we are all not cheapskates!!! We can equally offensively call you rich spoilt brats with lots of pocket money from mommy!!!!

I really cannot see what was so wrong with the original idea that people tear this person to bits (and use some amount of foul language in the process) for a simple request to provide an added incentive for existing users to continue pro.

I am sometimes frightened by the fanaticism shown by some "Flickr fans" who WANT everybody to give and continue giving money to Flickr blindly and who would almost argue convincingly that shit smells of roses because it's produced by Flickr!! It is almost like they are brainwashed to automatically attack anybody who suggests anything that is perceived as "against" the establishment.

To the OP: My experience of the flickr forums tells me to ignore these forums and focus purely on the larger user community who actually contribute to the wonderful experience. Stay on your own photostream and your contacts' photostreams and never visit Flickr official forums if you can help it (unless you want to raise your blood pressure needlessly). It's not worth the time you take to suggest anything and 99.99% chance of it never being considered, let alone being implemented.

Yes, I pulled that 99.99% figure out of my arse. So sue me. :-p
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
harishankar edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Arie's Photography says:

That sounds good on the surface until you find out there is not all that much that you can do with those pictures. There is no official downloader and they force you to rely on untested downloaders from third parties. The official uploader is also very buggy which they have not really updated in the last year. There is no FTP. There is no bulk downloading when sharing with non-members. There is no hot linking allowed.

And it's not really that big of a feat these days to offer unlimited storage. Most file backup services offer unlimited storage for ALL files and they have one button solutions that restore directory structure.

It's not being cheap to expect value for your money when everybody is competing for our entertainment dollar. $25 here, $50 for a separate backup service, $40 for internet service, $70 for cell phone...it adds up.


I tend to focus on the other groups too which have helped me with photography and I try to return the favor. You are correct about how scary the fanboys are on this forum. Ironically as many forums as I frequent on this site, I have never ever seen the fanboys from this group helping others with actual photography. This IS a photography site right?
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Arie's Photography edited this topic 43 months ago.

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harishankar says:

You make some interesting points regarding the drawback of Flickr. My feeling was that because Flickr is more a community site than an uploading site, it lacks the features like FTP or mass downloaders. However, it is clear that unlimited storage is not really a big incentive especially considering that even web space is very cheap these days.

What IS an incentive in a negative sense is that 200 visible photos limit in photostream in free accounts which can make people sign up for Pro.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Arie's Photography says:

Well I was a happy free flickr user for a while and kept getting tempted by the unlimited storage and it wasn't until I paid and saw how basic and limiting it was that I started becoming jaded. It's hard to complain about a free service but things change when you're a paying customer.

Overall though I feel flickr really needs to look at their business model or they'll risk being another Livejournal or myspace. Sure at first they were unique and giants but other alternatives popped up. Once facebook's new high-res pictures show up and they refine it, it's going to get interesting.
43 months ago (permalink)

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iansand says:

harishankar Flickr is a photo sharing site. Not an uploading site (whatever that is).
43 months ago (permalink)

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Arie's Photography says:

ok great, it's a photo sharing site. How would you share 500 pictures with non-members without them having to go to the correct menu and right click on 500 pictures? How about dealing with an uploader that freezes and uploads duplicates on a regular basis?
43 months ago (permalink)

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iansand says:

Put them in a set. Send a Guest Pass

Uploader never freezes for me. Check your machine.
43 months ago (permalink)

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ColleenM says:

What data do we have to prove that the price is fair from the point of view of a customer?

None, and you won't get any. It's a corporation, not a cooperative. There's no need to share your financial planing data with the general public when you're a corporation.

If you'd like to start a consumer/producer cooperative for photographers, you're free to do so. You can even make all your financial information public for non-members (you're required to make it public for members).

There are hundreds of photo sites on the web. If Flickr's price is too high, you can always use one of the other sites. Or you can start your own website. Really, there are lots of options besides paying Flickr $24.95
43 months ago (permalink)

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Arie's Photography says:


Wow you are the only one who has figured out how to do this. So you're saying I can send a guest pass to non-members and they don't have to right click on 500 pictures to download those pictures?? Please share your finding because nobody else had mentioned that.

As for the uploader freezing, all it takes is a slight hiccup in the connection - in particular with larger uploads and the whole thing becomes unhinged. I'm running an i7 Quad Core so my machine is fine.
43 months ago (permalink)

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bunnyfrogs says:

Dang there's some bitter people here! Flickr haters just need to log off and leave the rest of us to enjoy ourselves. Flickr isn't anything like myspace or backup storage sites who get or supplement revenue from advertising. Uploading is fine for me. And for what it's worth.. I have been helped by buckeye in a birding group several times.

Established pro accounts already have enough incentive to renew. The question I think, is when...

Discount for early renewal. Benefit to Flickr? Time value of money - a dollar now is worth more than a dollar later (unfortunately becoming more true every day). Renew at 10 months instead of 12 and get x$ off. Requires no fancy math and is widely known worldwide to be successful for both parties. Plus... they're already doing it in the form of the 2 year discount (early payment of 2nd year). And I bet they could sell the heck out of 5 year agreements... $99.

My 1st pro year expires the end of the month. I didn't know if I'd receive a notice so I proactively renewed - 2 years worth. Well worth it to me. I would have bought the 5.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Brock says:

Renew at 10 months instead of 12 and get x$ off.

Now, I could see that version working to encourage a more constant revenue stream.
43 months ago (permalink)

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Danni Parker says:

Bunnyfrogs:
Your idea is valid. You are talking about discounts regarding volume: buy more than 1 and pay less than 2.

What I'm trying to say is: buy anything you want... and voila, because you are a customer already you have this XYZ benefit in comparison to a new account.

I think it would be a good appeal/incentive to extend a pro account.
User saves and Flickr extends one "almost lost" account.
Originally posted 43 months ago. (permalink)
Danni Parker edited this topic 43 months ago.

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Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

It's already implemented isn't it?

Flickr value $99 / year
75% off for continuing members.

Also, Flickr has a 75% off discount for new members.
it's impossible to prove they don't have a lapsed account in their closet anyway. You can set the numbers any way you like but some people will always fail to renew.
43 months ago (permalink)

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ernstkers is a group moderator ernstkers says:

With the new account types since 20 may 2013, features for free accounts and the old pro accounts not on offer anymore, this topic is outdated. For ideas and feedback about the new account types please use User Voice:
yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/211185-us-flickr
7 months ago (permalink)

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