Legacy Pricing of TR

Start at 28 minutes in to minute 47 of Nate describing new features and then 3 minutes up to minute 50 of why they want more money to pay for more development teams.

So since Nate asked in the podcast today (#346 at ~47 mins in) about trying to get more money to develop newer features. I am grandfathered in so don’t really want to pay more so a bit biased but do want more functionality. While there are features I wish you would implement so I’ll never not complain… I do like the functionality and direction TR is going.

Anyway, my thought was many people don’t train year-round (I assume most are like me, cause biased) but would rather pay annually and know that I’m saving money long term even if I’m not using TR cause to drop my subscription means I know it will get much more expensive. But if I look back at my actual usage of TR I’d probably save money if I paid month to month and only pay when I’m actually using it.

I’m perfectly happy paying $5 more to help spur an increase in development.

So to use real (still made up) numbers, person A is grandfathered in at $149 and person B is grandfathered in at $159 with the current rate being $189. They can pick to keep Classic TR and be locked into the current function set at their current rate or agree to pay $5 more to stay current. So A will pay $154 and B will pay $164 to stay current. But say 2 years from now the price goes up to $199 they will then pay $20 over their grandfathered rate.

This would imply all new subscribers wouldn’t gain access to the classic version so have no chance to get grandfathered in as their rate will always increase so maybe include it so you don’t pay any increase for the first 2-3 years?

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I am grandfathered and train with TR pretty much year round with a few short breaks here and there.

For me (n of 1) I have gotten a ton out of the program going all the way back to 2015. I would have no problem paying more and honestly feel like they have earned it.

I have Zwift and Strava premium as well but could easily live without them. However, with my busy work and Dad life TR is a must have for me and provides me a ton of value for the price (even if that prices increases).

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Wasn’t the annual cost $99 a few years back?

I’ve only used TR since 2017 (I only pay monthly when I use it). Judging by the current annual subscription price if you only use TR 9 months out of the year it saves to go month to month.

I vote for letting people who are on a legacy price stay on that price and enjoy any new features that come along.

Nothing wrong with rewarding loyalty. And if you’re currently paying $189 annually you’ll be thankful that you can be grandfathered in at the $189 a year price when the cost goes up to $229 and monthly becomes $25.

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Then Nate should put a “Donate Now” button on the site so all the people who feel as you do can go ahead and throw some extra cash to the crew.

Or TR could create an “Early Adopters Club” whereby generous folks like you can donate extra cash towards the new features. Then when those features are ready to roll out you all could be the Alpha and Beta testers? That might incentivize the more cash advantageous amongst the crowd to invest a bit more?

Or just raise the prices again, lol.

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Maybe start a podcast subscription as well? I mean, there are 3 podcasts and most of us pay for other podcast subscriptions as well.

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As someone who has been locked into a price since roughly 2013, I’d LOVE to stay at that forever… but it just isn’t realistic. I like the idea of rewarding loyalty from the perspective of long-term patronage, and for keeping the membership over the whole year rather than monthly.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather pay less than more… but if there was a decision made to increase the rate paid by those of us locked in (maybe a percentage increase?), I’d still subscribe annually.

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Being in the software industry, this type of pricing will make the TR development much more complex, and force thinking like: is this new functionality enough to warrant being stand-alone, and thereby be an higher charge?

Also, TR would end up with endless versions of the service. That is, almost each person would have a different set of features, functionality they are entitled to, based on when they joined. And what would happen if you said I only want to add feature X, but not A, C, D, Z?

Could TR implement a scheme like this? Yes. But it would take planning, and would be easier to implement if features fell into tiers. E.g.,

  • Base TR for people who just want the workout player, calendar, and workout library
  • Base+ TR where you would get access to everything in Base TR plus the plans and plan builder - you could consolidate this into Base TR, just an example of 3 tiers
  • Adaptive TR where you would get everything in Base+ TR plus adaptive training / anything new that leverages machine learning

And you could say that grandfathered pricing only applies to Base TR and Base+ TR. So everyone on the Adaptive TR plan would pay the same amount, no matter when you signed up at this level.

I’m not advocating the above, just doing a thought exercise. But this would add complexity in marketing / support / development.

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I’ve been a member of TR since 2012, but sadly I let my grandfathered subscription expire when I took a few year break.

I’m also a software product manager in a different industry, so I see both sides of this.

While there is always a sweet spot between price of the product, and the volume of users, I would gather that the vast majority of us are not overly price sensitive.

Think about it this way. TR’s BHAG is to make the world a healthier place. The way they are doing that today is by making us all faster cyclist. So with that as the primary focus, I would propose the following:

The number of faster cyclist (call it N) multiplied by the amount they have been made faster (call it F) is the outcome they are seeking. So how do they maximize this outcome (Outcome = NxF). If they were to raise the price slightly, this would allow them to bring on more staff and increase the value of the product. This would increase F. If they can increase F at a faster rate than N decreases, they are improving their Outcome O.

The higher F factor they can achieve, the more cyclist want to join the platform, because no-one likes to get dropped by their friends.

So by increasing F slightly, they actually increase N, which again leads to a higher Outcome.

But let’s be honest, Nate’s predicament is that he has made a promise, and I believe he is a man who keeps his word. He doesn’t want to violate our trust, and let’s be honest. We are more of a family than most other consumers of a software product. Nate doesn’t want to create family strife.

So then how can they increase the Outcome, while not violating their promise.

If Nate were to ask me, (and he isn’t) I would suggest that we look to emulate the same trickle down effect that we see with components in the industry. Keep the grandfathered price but new features would go to a new, higher price subscription model.

Then over time, as more and more features are released, eventually these trickle down to the basic or grandfathered subscribers.

We are already used to this trickle down model, and we are all used to basic vs premium subscription models. So combine the two into a uniquely valued package that allows them to maximize the Outcome, while staying true to their promises.

@Nate_Pearson

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Strava tried the 3 tier approach… Didn’t worked for them…

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Hey people… I think the preferred named used by TR is legacy pricing…

In any case… I’m very happy with my legacy pricing and would like to keep it, although i fully aware that it will not be a forever thing

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As I said: not something I’m advocating, thought experiment.

Strava + others is exactly why I called out that having multiple tiers is tricky. But it is done in the enterprise software market all the time. I think part of Strava’s problems were self inflicted, as the bundles didn’t make logical sense for why a feature was in one versus another.

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The last thing I want to see is a bunch of tiers with different services unlocked at different prices. I’m not a fan of that kind of pricing, and would much rather have one price that I pay and get All the Stuff.

I joined up right before the most recent price increase. I’m happy to keep paying that same price forever, but I’d much rather that legacy pricing go away than have to worry about whether the latest features are worth ditching my old pricing. I just want to throw money at TR once a year and then get on with the training.

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What? People pay for podcasts?

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Yea, that Strava scheme was a mess. I was a premium subscriber before that and I literally switched to a free account then. Once they switched back to their current model I eventually started subscribing again.

Would hate to see TR go down a path like that. I think something like the tiers proposed earlier in this thread may have their place for TR, but would need to be carefully thought through to avoid pushing customers away like Strava did.

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2013 member here.
The “commitment” Nate made to not raise prices was noble but I think a large majority of us while having been paying members for a long time know that the value/features have grown far beyond what we originally signed up for.
Without complicating things with multiple tiers that will leave everyone unhappy (my work consults/researches this type of stuff) either doing some inflation adjustments or modest increase at a minimum could be a way to shore up the funding delta that currently exists.

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Looks like TR is doing just fine, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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What funding issues do TR have?

What percentage of users have legacy pricing?

Would raising the price for a small number of users really bridge any (unsubstantiated) gap?

Would it be worth the risk of losing some users who have been on the platform for years just to raise a few extra bucks?

I’m a legacy user and feel I’ve contributed my fair share to the company, both in terms of my money, my data and my input to the beta trials. I’ve also told A LOT of people about TR and steered them to subscriptions. I’ve also cut them slack when things haven’t gone to plan because to be fair I really like them as a company.

And yes I feel I’ve benefited a lot from the platform too.

Frankly this whole conversation is absolute nonsense. I’m sure the continued support from loyal users who keep paying their subs every month is worth more to Nate and his team than an extra $10 a year or whatever. That and Nate being seen as a man of his word, which I’m sure he is.

For all those with cash in their pockets burning a hole, go give it to a charity that’s close to your heart and let Nate and his team worry about the finances.

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Yeah I’d love this stripped down option. I know the tier system won’t happen but I think you have a good idea.

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This is why I said classic TR for those who want to stay as is and current TR. Only two branches to deal with. Those who want new features give up a fixed grandfathered price and have a price that can increase but to honor the original grandfathered in price their ramp starts lower. If you think of the price increase as a linear line, everyone who is on current has the same slope, the y intercept is different based on how long ago you grandfathered in.

So only 2 versions going forward

I have been on Trainerroad since 2013 at least so I’m on the legacy pricing. I don’t actually use it much in my training but I think they are developing some interesting things and I won’t hesitate to recommend it to my friends. I’ve kept paying because I like what they are doing, I enjoy the podcast and they seem to keep pushing to make it better. If they want to increase my price I have no issue as long as they are as forthcoming with the roadmap of developments as they were today. It’s great to see what’s coming and that i’m paying for an evolving product. I will most likely move back to TR at some point for all of my training since it seems to really be pushing to be the best.

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