if you've been using our free plugins over the last few years, you've probably noticed that we've recently started to charge a fee for some of them. The reasons for doing this are pretty straightforward and well covered in our blog posts and forum responses, but in essence, moving to a commercial model allows us to spend more time improving and supporting our plugins and also lets us continue producing free ones.
We are experimenting with different charging models at the moment and currently have 4 types of plugins available:
1. Free (there are more than 20 free Adaptavist plugins available)
2. Paid via Vendor (our Community Forums plugin is the most recent example)
3. Paid via Atlassian Marketplace (Enterprise Notifications)
4. Freemium (latest version of Content Formatting)
Freemium is probably the most interesting one and currently it only applies to the latest version of our Content Formatting plugin. The way it works is that all of the macros from the previous versions remain free to use, but to unlock the brand new macros, you will need to purchase a license (you can evaluate them in the usual way).
I'm keen to get some feedback about what you think of the various approaches, for example; would you only ever consider using free plugins? does the support and reliability of a paid plugin suit your organisation better than free? Is the 'freemium' approach a good compromise?
Let me know what you think.
The aim is to continue releasing for free the macros that were previously free, and to charge for an additional enhanced set. People previously using our content formatting macros can continue to do so without change should they wish to or to pay for some extra macros if they are interested in them.
Personally, I applaud you for going for the Freemium approach for the content formatting plugin. It doesn't screw the customer, but allows you to raise revenue. I don't think anyone can complain about having to pay for new macros where they didn't exist previously in the same plugin.
And creating a new plugin just because you want some stuff to be commercial, when the functionality logically belongs with content formatting, makes no sense. So the freemium model for that particular one imho is the right way forward.
Speaking on behalf of my employer, paying via Atlassian is by far the easiest... as Atlassian knows full well. Hence probably worth the 25% cut. Most of the battle is to get a vendor on the list... if you've already bought Confluence/JIRA then Atlassian is already on that list.
I'd say freemium is a fair and well accepted concept looking at other markets like mobile applications (compare it to in-app purchases). You guys are offering great products (like those who have already answered to this question:-) and I'd say that people have to understand to value those products. Of course people love free stuff but the same people sometimes are the first to DEMAND support and start complaining if they don't get it it ASAP. I (and I think I'm speaking for my customers) would definitively pay for service as long as I don't feel screwed (like paying 10 $ for a product and additional 200 $ for every add-in like another macro). Keep on the good work and customers will follow you I guess...
Thanks for your feedback everyone. It's really pleasing to see the freemium approach gaining some approval.
With the latest release of Content Formatting we've learnt a few things about making it clear that the plugin is still free. Because the Marketplace and Add-on manager are geared towards either free or paid, our freemium plugin looks just like a paid one, and this has turned a few of our customers off. Wherever we can, we've now updated text information to make it clear that you can still use the plugin for free, but I think the freemium model can't really be exploited by plugin devs and users until it's embraced as a core part of the marketplace.
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