New DVB Dream version: subscription based

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New DVB Dream version: subscription based

Postby rel » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:51 am

I want to move the DVB Dream to a subscription based model to sustain the project. a life time license basically kills the project's finance.

I wonder how many of you would be willing to pay say $ 5 or $ 10 per month to use DVB Dream.

That way you would have fully 64 bit and unicode, renewed interface, new features, better OSD, Streaming/IPTV support, more stable application and faster bug fixes.

There are tons of things and improvements to do but currently DVB Dream's income doesn't provide enough finance for work-force. :?

Any ideas? 8) :!:

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Re: New DVB Dream version: subscription based

Postby amatorul » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 am

Hi @Rel,

To some extent,you are right.It has to be an incentive to keep your player up and running.But to put a monthly subscription for an application,it seems unusual,not to say otherwise,no matter what it costs.Such a system,as we know,is made only for TV subscriptions,cable or something else.Under no circumstances for software/applications.What you want is done only for an upgrade and in no case with monthly subscription.Developers who ask for another price for their applications,they do so only after making a major change/upgrade to them( see DVBLink change to TVMosaic).
If you want to do this,you will lose many users who have already bought the license.
And you have to take into account a very important thing:that you have strong competition from other developers who offer dvb-s players(ProgDVB,DVBViewer,SmartDVB,etc) without increasing the price for their application even if they update them.Some applications are free,such as SmartDVB or Crazyscan,IQmonitor,EBSpro!!!
To attract other users to your player you must find another solution,to have, as they say,1.a "sex appeal", but also 2.a Formula One engine.And then you can claim another price for your player.In this respect,I did not understand why you refused @foufou3's proposal for another the (inter)Face of your player to change with very interesting features,which I am convinced that would be interested other users too.
Here are some observations that I make with good intentions,because I admit that I like your application and I want to use it further.If you put a monthly subscription,I have to give up your "Dream"(dvb) :(
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Re: New DVB Dream version: subscription based

Postby Betatester » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:48 am

Well... that's complicated.

As a programmer I can say that:

If development should speed up - the only way is to develop on full-time basis. It is impossible to work for 8h/day in some "normal" work and at the same time develop after work - because there are other important things in life, family commitments etc. And also because you will burn out. I tried that for hundred times and it never worked out. It's maybe good for some short sprints but bad for any longer projects.

To be able to develop as full-time job, monthly income need to be stable and high enough to let you quit normal job. And it is easy to get stable financing for projects with a lot of users, but it's hard to get that for dedicated projects, DVB player is a project targeted to a small group of users, with DVB cards. And has got many competitors - paid and free ones.

If monthly subscription fee will be too high - it will be hard to find anybody interested to pay, but if it will be too low - even a lot of supporters won't give stable monthly income.

Let's take for example a 5$ subscription. For example my monthly living costs are ~1000$, but in different parts of the world it can be higher. Anyway if I would be a developer - I would need ~200-250 subscribers to be able to move on to full-time development. Subscribers count should be higher, because subscribers can leave at any time, for example unhappy with direrction of development.

There is additional problem which I mentioned above - sometime subscribers can be unhappy of direction and can stop to pay. For example amatorul would like to see foufou3 user interface changes. But for me these were not interesting and probably if that would be main development direction - I would stop to pay. And that's the catch - not always everybody can be happy with development direction and it's impossible to make everybody happy.

Also another issue is that if there would be monthly fee - supporters would expect that every month (or more often) there would be any release with some new possibilities. If you won't be able to speed up development in this way, probably subscribers base will get smaller.

Monthly fee also need to be well calculated. For example with 10$ - after a year cost for user is 120$. That's pretty high and for that money it is possible to buy lifetime licence for nearly any other DVB player and even for some professional tools like TSReader. Of course that's your decision how you will measure the price for monthly fee, because it's something more that just development - it's a lot of heart and devition poured into this project. If you would set fee even to 1000$ - it's your right and I fully respect that. But of course you will probably get none subscribers.

Another tricky issue with monthly subscription is... how to treat subscribers then they will stop to pay. It seems to be logical that when user will stop to pay - DVB Dream should stop to work. But if somebody was a supporter for a whole year - he paid 60$ or 120$, that's a high price. If after a year of supporting user will got nothing, that will additionally cut subscribers base: user will ask himself - why I should pay, if at the end I can get nothing? Of course you and I understand that paying is for one month usage and user in fact had what he paid for. But from user point of view that deal is the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever :D ;)
But if you would like to change that and for example give an ability for user to stay with last paid version of DVB Dream... that would be also unfair for long time supporters, because somebody can pay every month and get latest updates and other user will pay once a year and get all updates from the whole year for 5$ instead of 60$, the only difference will be that 5$ user will get updates not as instant.

And there is another catch related to what I have written above. A sad one. Some time ago one of my friends has passed away. He was a developer of shareware app, very useful one. After he deceased, his websites went down, app stopped to work even for users who bought app, because app was unable to check is it licenced or not.
We won't live forever. There should be some way to let app live after we will stop to develop it for any reason. Especially when it is based on subscription fee, because users even after many years of support can left with nothing.

I will respect any your decision. And as an user I would accept fee up to 5$. Maybe eventually higher if there would be discounts for payment for a whole year? Not sure yet, I would need to see a final offer.

The saddest thing is that unfortunately in my whole dev carrier I saw no good idea for maintaining dedicated projects for small, targeted user base.
Already tried or saw results of:
- Shareware with lifetime licences
- Shareware with limited time licences (one year or to next major release with bigger changes, minor upgrades were free)
- Shareware with different levels of support and/or features set
- Adware (that was the worst idea I've ever had, no control over ads, users were mad as hell, that triggered a lot of security and privacy concerns)
- Subscription
- Freeware + Donations (donors: dedicated support with access to issues reporting system, Mantis and ability to see progress of bugfixing and addition of new features)

None of these ever worked out for me. Always income was low and often additionally - irregular. Pressure from users also wasn't helping at all - they paid and they wanted features, it's hard to say 'no' to them.
I've finally opensourced smaller projects, move one to freeware and ceased development of bigger ones (in my uderstanding DVB Dream would be a bigger one).

Not very optimistic post. Sorry to say that. Hope you will find a better way. But also I'm pretty much sure that as a developer you already know that. If there is now not many licenced users, I'm afraid that there will be not many subscribers as well. And that's the main issue here.

Please do not cease DVB Dream development, you can always try to search and explore different ways and always - if some idea won't be right - go one step back and try to something different, other approach.

Maybe try to do some experiment - keep shareware version for now, but do not update it too frequently and start subscription based version for some time with regular updates? And we will see what will happen?
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Re: New DVB Dream version: subscription based

Postby rel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:18 am

@amatorul and @Betatester
Thank you both for beautiful insights and thoughts
I appreciate
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Re: New DVB Dream version: subscription based

Postby Dreamer » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi Rel!

Well... $ 10 per month is too much, perhaps $ 10 per year, but I don't like subscriptions for software at all, actually I hate it, sorry.

Moreover, I think most other DVB players are classic shareware, partly shareware, or even freeware - and some DVB tuners have a built-in software.

I think it's not a good idea, but I have some suggestions.

Make a freeware - limited version, e.g. scheduler, or/and PIP, or/and recording would be available only in the shareware version.

More freeware users means more beta testers, more potential shareware version users.

If you want money also from existing users, perhaps a new version with more features could be cheaper for existing users, because if you'll ask for more money from existing users, they just switch to another player.

One freeware program (non-DVB) has a donation system, it's freeware, but 64-bit version with more features and more frequent beta versions is for donators only:
- one 64-bit version without updates - for 5€ donation
- 64-bit version with one year updates - for 9€ donation
- 64-bit version with a lifetime updates - for 25€ donation

So... think about it, of course we'd like to have a new better DVB Dream, but 120€ per year is really too much, even 60€ per year.

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