but subscriptions for software pains me deeply.
if you're doing something with my money that I give you every month, it's worthy of being paid for.
I agree with both of you, whole-heartedly. I dislike subscription based software.
I'd pay $200 for the device if it meant I didn't have to pay anything else (if I didn't want to) for the rest of its life.
So, I think maybe I'd like to understand if perhaps there is a misunderstanding about what we are trying to do, or if we are just using words differently--allow me to clarify a bit and you can tell me where I'm missing your points.
Our subscription is for the Chumby Network *service* not software. This pertains specifically to content, like widgets, and the data that is in the widget. We take this subscription revenue and we do something with it every month--we have to pay for bandwidth and servers (so you can continue to receive widgets), write new widgets, improve old ones, and also, more importantly, pay for premium service feeds that you'd have to pay for anyways. For example, real time stock quotes is a pay service (or so I'm told) and that's one of the things you might get in a chumby premium subscription. Pay content through other networks, such as syndicated content (comics, TV shows, music etc.) are also possible pay service benefits. Normally, you'd have to pay something for these, but we aggregate them and offer them to you through a single portal at a single price. And, to be clear, we also plan on offering lots of free content as well, so you can still hook up to our network without paying anything. Basically, if it costs us real money to get content, we have to pay for that somehow, and that's what subscriptions are for. The chumby network hopefully gets economies of scale and can share these economies of scale on to the users, so there is real value for everyone.
Then again, as my CEO says, he'd love it if there was *no* subscription fee, and instead we made money on advertisements alone. But really, that model has to be vetted out and we need to figure out if we can really balance the budgets with that alone. If you read the EULA closely, there is a provision in there that says that you also agree not to disable ads, because if we chose to go that route, you can get free devices and free content but only if we can convince the advertisers that we are actually reaching our users.
So no, you aren't paying a subscription for software--it's content that you're paying for, the software is essentially depreciated and considered a vehicle for content delivery. This is just like the hardware; if hardware costed us a dollar to make we'd give that away too, but unfortunately that's just not the case. And we endeavor to do something useful and beneficial to you with the subscription money you give to us, by providing you new and interesting content that you'd have to pay for anyways. And remember, you don't *have* to subscribe. You can use your chumby all you want, and get software updates without the subscription. You can even get free content on the chumby. You just can't get content that we paid money for without a subscription--because obviously, if we pay for it and you get it for free, well, eventually (actually quite quickly) we run out of money, and no more Chumby. *poof*.
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