A Few Words About SubscriptionsAugust 19, 2014
Many people have asked why we changed to a subscription model, and some have even gone so far as to say that we don't care about our users (which couldn't be further from the truth), so we wanted to provide everyone with a little more insight into the reasons behind the decision that we made.
With v2 (major update), we changed Race Monitor from it's original pay-to-download model, to the new free-to-download + subscription model. It wasn't an easy decision for us to make, but it was something that we felt needed to be done for a variety of reasons.
To help ease the transition for those of you that previously purchased v1 of the app, we automatically issued everyone a limited time complimentary subscription. The transition wasn't without some hiccups, but we've done our best to provide prompt resolution of those issues as they've come up (54% of emails are responded to in under 15 minutes, 79% in under 2 hours)
One of the reasons for the change is that there are a lot of people and families that have devices on multiple platforms, and since Apple and Google each has it's own store, the app had to be purchased separately for each platform.
We didn't think you should have to purchase the app multiple times to have it on all your devices (it's still a goal that we're working towards - Mac, Windows, Windows Phone), and we didn't think that family members should have to repeatedly buy it (husband, wife, kids... there are a lot of families using it). So with v2, we introduced Share Codes which allow you to share your live timing subscription on up to five iOS or Android devices, regardless of which platform the subscription originated from.
Another reason we changed to free-to-download, is that it makes some other opportunities available that previously weren't. One of which, is that races now have the ability to offer live timing of their events free to their fans.
The biggest of the reasons for the change though, was so that we could become a sustainable business (we're just two guys with a startup) and be able to continue to offer the live timing that so many people love.
Race Monitor is ultimately a service, and the single-purchase-all-you-can-view-live-timing model simply isn't sustainable with the amount of use that the app has... far beyond anything that we ever expected or projected when we started this journey.
Over the last 3 1/2 years, between all the app versions (iPhone/iPad, Android, Mac, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and web), the live timing services, the website, and our APIs, we've written well over 2 million lines of code, and shipped 30 updates for Android, 25 for iPhone/iPad, and several more for the other platforms.
We want to be able to continue to offer live timing and keep shipping updates with new features and functionality, and the recurring revenue that the new subscription model provides will help to ensure that we can do that into the foreseeable future.
Thank you for all of your support!