There are approximately four ways you can start off writing about the Zwift price increase, depending on which way you want to spin the increase. I’ve used two of them thus far in my post, but to recap, your four options are:
A) Zwift increases price $5
B) Zwift increases price 50%
C) Zwift increases price $60 a year
D) Zwift announces price increase, delayed 12 months for existing users
In fact, there’s other variants like ‘Zwift announces first ever price increase’, accounting for non-USD currency fluctuations, and so on. But the four variants above somewhat highlight different ways you could spin this. It is after all – just spin, it’s a price increase of course. In Zwift’s case, they did a somewhat poor job of spinning what I think is actually a fair deal for what you pay. Let me explain.
See, unlike most other apps in the space (such as Kinomap or Rouvy Virtual Training), Zwift doesn’t have a ton of feature pillars to call out. Those apps have core feature areas: Real videos, virtual course re-riding, separate workout functions, ERG mode, and so on. So they feel like a broader app. And in many ways – they are.
Zwift on the other hand has one gigantic virtual environment. Sure, it’s divided up into various worlds (e.g. Richmond, London, Zwift Island), and those worlds even get updates and expansions– such as the recent update to Zwift Island a week or two ago. The app functionality also has various umbrella areas such as workout mode, race/group mode, and just regular riding around mode.
But to most people, these things all just feel like one experience that may not have changed substantially over the years. In reality though, the change is actually quite substantial. Some of it is things like introduction of iOS as a gaming platform last year, then announcement of Android as a gaming platform planned for the next few months. Then there’s Apple TV set to roll-out any hour/day now. All require substantial work, and all things people have been begging for.
The same goes for new worlds and other enhancements. You probably haven’t specifically put on your Christmas list that you want a volcano or jungle ruins, but you likely weren’t upset about getting them either. And that’s the problem that developers have in general, but especially games like Zwift. One person’s favorite feature is another person’s ‘blah’. To me, for example, all of the Richmond and London courses are ‘blah’. When I see them on Zwift (especially Richmond), I often go to other apps. It just doesn’t excite me at all.
(Stats presented at Zwift Indoor Training Summit Aug 29th, 2017)
So what about the $5? Well, that too is tricky. These days Zwift has training plans, specific workouts, races, coordinated events, and far more. You can even become a professional cyclist with a team contract via the platform. Of course, as with any app you may or may not use specific functions – so you don’t feel like you’re getting value out of those areas you don’t use.
The $5 piece specifically can be looked at a variety of ways. For many, it’s merely 3-5 gel packets per month (assuming you buy them in bulk), roughly what you’d go through on a couple hours of riding. It’s less than a single trip to Starbucks for most people. And certainly, it’s far less than any coaching plan or coach would cost (not that I’d compare it directly to either, but an element of that exists in Zwift).
From an entertainment standpoint it’s certainly cheaper than a movie (especially if you have to pay for a date), and probably costs less almost per session that you could do for an hour or so. Assuming you ride it only twice a week, that’s merely $2 per workout – far cheaper than a spin class at a gym that could run $15-$35.
But is that all rationalizing price increases? Is that no different than saying that it’s ‘OK’ the iPhone X now costs $999 (and realistically more for most people)? Or the fact that an Ironman race now somehow approaches $800+ for the entry fee alone?
I do find it somewhat interesting that in the day and age where trainers are becoming dramatically less expensive year over year, that these apps are becoming more expensive. Some of that in Zwift’s case is undoubtedly driven by aspects like the funding they’ve raised. Eventually those investors want a return on their investment. But at the same time, I’m not sure a 50% (or however you want to spin it) price increase is the best way to go about getting there in the short term. After all, the company has large plans for the platform’s growth, as Founder and CEO Eric Min noted at the Zwift Summit at Eurobike this past August:
“Zwift is on track to reach 300-350K users this coming winter and I believe we can reach 1M users within the next 2 years but we cannot achieve these heights without working closely with our partners to reduce friction in the customer journey, collaborate on new products, develop standards (and possibly certifications) that benefit the industry and consumers alike, and of course to manufacture the sheer number of trainers we’ll need to meet the market demand.”
On one hand, by increasing the price now as opposed to next fall for new users, they can minimize the eventual ‘upset villagers’ aspect. Except, in some ways, by splitting the price increase they end up having two ‘displeasure events’. One they’re going through now (as evidenced by any social media platform of your choice), and then another they’ll go through next fall when people get upset again (the existing user base that got a price increase stay of execution). As opposed to having picked just one time to pull off the Band-Aid for everyone and getting it over with.
Still, I suspect for 95-98% of people, most people will stay with Zwift. If for no other reason than there aren’t any real competitors to precisely what Zwift does yet. Sure, companies like TrainerRoad and Sufferfest compete in the space, and certainly compete for user dollars. But it’s kinda like comparing a car to a truck – sure, a given person may only have one, but a person looking for a truck specifically isn’t going to buy a car, or vice versa.
And that’s likely what Zwift is betting on, they know that at this point in time for people that enjoy the holistic experience of Zwift, that it’s both addicting, as well as unique in the marketplace. And until that changes, they’ll keep your additional $60 per year…starting next year.
With that – thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
I honestly don’t mind the price increase, however I do feel that there should have been more communication for when the price increase would happen (maybe I missed this). For instance, I was notified weeks ahead of time by Netflix that they will be increasing their price in the next month or so and I could alter my membership. I do understand that they will continue the current rate for a year for existing members, but an increase heading into the holidays when most companies are either continuing or offering some sort of incentive to attract new members etc.
I’m not sure I follow.
They have given you a full years notice. Way better than the Netflix 3 weeks.
Or am I misunderstanding you?
I am a teacher and coach. If I had known this prior, I would of had many of my students/ riders start their winter training/ Zwift account before Thanksgiving; thus saving them a bit of money.
If they’re putting the price up the least they could do is give everyone access to the jungle stages, or get rid of the rotating schedule completely.
They really need to make more maps and give riders choice as to which one. If there are 300k riders then they should have enough on each map.
I find the erg modes meh at best and will use sufferfest when I want an erg ride.
Otherwise it’s the same thing for me since 2 years ago, just some expanded maps.
Riding indoors is already boring so some map variety would be nice
15 I think is too much for what they offer…still think 10$ is the right price.
I don’t think most Zwift users are the kind who use two different platforms for their indoor workouts. I’m a fairly serious recreational cyclist and I don’t use TrainerRoad or Sufferfest. I haven’t tested Road Grand Tours or any other competing platform. Zwift works for me and I have 243 hours of moving time since September of last year. It’s less than a dollar per hour for me.
I agree Solo ERG workouts are meh, but that’s because Zwift’s strength is that it’s a massively-multiplayer game and social platform. It’s perhaps something they can gameify a bit more. Introduce a party system so I can invite 5 friends and we can share workouts. They already have public group workouts in the event module, so now give us the option of more intimate group rides.
Add more payment options. A referral system for existing users. $2 day-passes for people who unsub during the summer. Discounted monthly rates for people who have pre-paid for a full year. Discounts for members from industry partners and other perks would be nice too.
All these ideas make sense. I can’t see Zwift introducing different pricing points just yet. It depends on how new user uptake goes now prices increase and what kind of drop off from current subscribers. Zwift need to maximise revenue. if new subscriber take up is high and existing subscribers don’t leave en masse, I can’t see them changing the model. I’ve ways thought a PAYG option is a great idea. For my training i use other options and use Zwift for social rides, the odd run at the epic KOM and the occasional race when I really want to test my legs. I can’t see them m oving from the current model just yet. It would be much harder to forecast revenue growth if there were different pricing structures. The most likely option i think we’ll see is an annual payment. This makes sense and it frontloads revenue and cash flow, locks a user in for a year and if they have auto renewal catch users out when membership renews who than think well I’ve paid so I’ll stick at it. As many subscribers have commented, at the new price point they are more likely to cancel through the summer months rather than let it roll at $10. Therefore I think we will see an annual subscription option next year.
I personally always thought that the price was actually too cheap before. This price is more reasonable and hardly expensive given the benefit I get from it.
I completely agree. And it’s a bit hard to take complaints seriously when you look at the amount of money most people are dropping on equipment in this sport and all the silly ways we find to waste money on stupid crap.
Incidentally, $15/month is where the majority of the popular MMORPGs are priced (WoW, EVE, Rift, etc.) Probably no coincidence. Software developers need to eat and pay their mortgages just like everyone else.
It seems a bit much of an increase.
I think this ways is better than getting the money from in-game payments for additional courses. I definitely prefer a flat fee.
I hope with the additional money they will finish the Android port, because I am still not on Swift for the simple reason that I don’t have a Windows, Mac or iOS device at home and I am not going to buy one just to play a now more expensive game.
I would just pay it in the winter anyway, do they have something that you don’t pay if you don’t use it at all for a whole month? I think Bkool does that.
It’s a good point – for 6 months of the year I rarely if ever use my trainer. I’ve always just accepted that I’m throwing away money for these months, but amount balanced against the ability to just do an odd Zwift ride if I really wanted to in the summer kind of made that acceptable to me.
But now, pschologically, I don’t know if I’d still see it that way. So if I now cancel my subscription for 6 months of the year (or put it on hold if Zwift offer that option), then Zwift actually gets less money out of me and I lose the option to hit Watopia when the British summer does its wet thing.
You can suspend your membership at any point. I did that last year: paid for December-March then cancelled and started it up again last week. It is only month to month, which is one of the few reasons I’ve paid for it.
Exactly my thoughts. I let the subscription run during the summer months – just in case. For 15 bucks I will cancel every month I can foresee I won’t use it. Less money from me.
Me too! at $10/month, I’ve just kept my membership year around even when not using it some months. Now I’ll only pay for the months I use it. $15 / month for winter months seems reasonable. I wish they’d take that into account and give an annual membership that also takes that into account, for say $120.
Also, my wife and I both have accounts. There really should be some kind of family discount.
And one more point. If people like me turn off the account during the summer months, the changes of coming back in the future go down, compared to an annual rate.
Why? A second user in your household isn’t any different costwise to Zwift vs a new user elsewhere. Why should my subscription price be any different then that second user in your household?
I think it would have made more sense to create a new membership level that limited the number of rides or hours ridden, at a lower price. Say 8, and raised the unlimited to 12. Even then, Watopia needs to grow faster for that to be justified. The ruins are pretty underwhelming from a 140 team that took months to complete it.
It’s software. There is almost zero per user cost. Servers and bandwidth are so cheap that one user’s fraction for keeping the lights on in Watopia is unlikely to be responsible for much more dynamic per-user cost than properly tallying your monthly ten dollars in accounting. In this situation, if you can identify a clear-cut subset of users (here: couples and families) where you think a lower price would cause a more than proportional increase in subscriptions, you do it.
While Zwift does employ 140 people, and rising, not all of those 140 work on game development.
Completely agree. $12.50 would have been smarter. Ray’s right about retention…they’ll keep massive amounts of subs (from professional experience). But the point here is also right. Many of us will suspend in good riding conditions. Also I’m one of the dual Suf/Zwift users & sadly I’m likely to simply cancel both during the summer and then rejoin as needed due to weather.
If you ride Zwift all the time, fine. But not a smart move versus charging annually. And maybe that’s the real move. $15/month month to month and $13/month if you pay for 12?
There is plenty of per user cost when you take developer salaries and support costs into account. Software like Zwift only keeps attracting people by getting better. That doesn’t happen by magic.
That said, I agree with your point that those costs are fixed and relatively minimal for one user vs two (unless that second user is the one that triggers the outage :))
Personally i have suscribed because the was no yearly option at a discounted rate. And honestly 10 bucks is a bit steep. So 15 is out of the question. Compared to what i pay for spotify and netflix, swift at this price is just not good value. How to you compare billions of dollars of music availabilty to a novelty training app.
Its a pity people are paying this premium pricing. Without thinking about the real value.
I can train hard indoors without such an app. So maybe its just not for me.
The scale of the markets for something like Netflix or Spotify is so much larger it’s not a great comparison. Those companies can charge each subscriber less and still have massive revenues. With a niche market like Zwift (or power meters for that matter), the fraction of the costs borne by each customer will be higher. Nobody is thrilled about the price increase, but I can accept it.
They are talking about ramping up to over 1 million users, not exactly a niche. I think they may have over played their hand, the hardcore users will pay the rate, but more sporadic users will not. They will, indeed, compare it to to Netflix or Spotify. It’s like gym memberships, the users that don’t use it all the time subsidize the hardcore users, but I’m afraid that at $15 they won’t pick up the less frequent users and others will drop it during the summer, when they might not of. Most companies trying to expand their user base don’t raise their price by 50%. But, good luck to them.
Totally agree here. I’ve seen many comments from individuals who say the new rate is still great value for money. I suspect those comments come from those that use Zwift almost every day and are hanging around at level 25. In which case yes, Zwift gives great bang for buck.
I don’t know the percentage but I fall into the category of occasional Zwifter. Demanding job, single income, multiple young kiddies struggling to make ends meet as it is. No pain cave, basic equipment. So under these current circumstances, being able to squeeze in a weekly ride if I’m lucky, I don’t get the same value for money. Therefore the new price is not for me. In one years time I will have to decide if I carry on or just quit altogether. It’s a shame, because I love Zwift and have been using it since Jarvis Island days.
Not many companies raise their prices by 50%+. Doesn’t matter if this $1 or $10. A jump like this is always hard to swallow & for me it has now clouded my opinion of the company.
There was a hint on social media about a pay as you go option. I hope this is introduced before grandfathering comes to an end.
Comparisons to entertainment venues are mis-placed in my opinion. Compare to club membership or even a day pass at a club. Where I live, a day pass at the nearest club is $15. I’m more of a runner than a biker, but in either case I only go to the club when I can’t be outside. If I do that more than once a month – which certainly happens during bad weather months – and the Zwift cost starts looking very competitive, even at increased rate. In this light, even light use makes it worth it for me. One or two rides a month and I’m still ahead of a gym visit.
I’m confused how people are comparing the value proposition with a gym membership. This is a software app, a gym provides equipment and a location (as well as usually a steam and jacuzzi 😉 ). The cost will be compared by users to the cost of other trainer apps as well as entertainment apps such as Netflix and Spotify, whether people think the comparison is “fair” or not. I believe there is a reason most of these apps are around $10 a month or $15 for multiple users. Hardcore users won’t balk at the costs, others will. Peleton gets away with a much higher cost, but they recreate the gym experience entirely with new live content daily. Their regular app (with the same content, but not the interactivity) is around $10.
Looking at their figures they have a very high churn – so I think they will loose a lot of clients with a 50% increase.
I would say 30-50% probably do not use it every month – they are the ones that will leave when prices go up. So maybe a 20-30% drop in sub’s overall.
That means a 50% price increase is enough increase in earnings despite loss off clients. Ergo – good business sense from Zwift. But for future valuation it might be a bad decision.
Churn is one in seven.
But as he rightly me, there will be inactive accounts or low usage subscribers who stand the $10 cost per month. However the move to $15 may push them to cancel. How many of these accounts are there. How many account holders ride more than say 3 hours per week? It is this population that is vulnerable to leaving. The Zwift guys are smart, they will have done the maths but it would be interesting to see how it plays out.
Have a look at onelap.cn (link to onelap.cn) , not very known over in Europe and US and I didn’t run it yet, but also videos can be found on Youtube. It’s a Zwift-like experience for FREE. yes again, FREE! If they can provide an English application over the next year I’m off Zwift! Also keep in mind Road Gran Tours…
There’s an English setting in the app for the menus and settings. The bulk of the app will be usable with some Chinese not translated.
Are you kidding me? I don’t agree w Zwift’s price increase and will stop.in summer months; however, this chinese onelap app has NO English (or other) language options. Meh..
Use google translate. I held my phone up to the screen. It works amazingly well. Once installed you’re set to go.
I’ll take the grandfathered price this year and next year I’m gone — not worth $15 per month to me.
Like DCR, I don’t care for the London or Richmond courses at all. I hit Level 25 last year and Zwift’s promises of higher levels have gone unfulfilled for nearly two years.
Zwift was pretty cool for a while. But the “gee whiz” is gone for me; pay 50% more? Don’t think so.
Totally agree. There are a host of feature suggestions that have not been addressed. I’ll shut off the sub for the summer too, whereas last year I let it go year round. Ultimately, I could see this being a net revenue loser, by chasing away those who would leave the sub running even in months it wasn’t being used.
You can’t compare Netflix or Spotify to Zwift as I keep reading across to the web.These have many millions of users no matter how much Zwift grows in comparison it will always be relatively niche. This means it won’t have the same economies of scale. I’m not too concerned about the increase just as long as it allows for extra courses and features in the app. I love Zwift but there does need to be more competition. It would be nice to have an annual payement option.
You can’t compare Zwift to Netflix because the latter spends very large amounts of money on licensing and original content production while operating a massive distribution network, whereas the former is hardly more than a glorified Unity demo that uses powermeters as a game controller. That is all perfectly fine for what is does, e.g. the “Zwift effect” would not be 5% better if they invested 200% more effort in their GFX and 3D modelling, but the price has to match.
As they said in their announcement mail, they built it with a very small team then exanded to >100. That’s maybe a 10x increase in manpower, what is the point of that, if the core could be built by a fraction of that?
I had been wondering about that earlier in the day (see comment below) and meanwhile read a bit more, now I think that it is probably related to being a little bit too successful at finding venture capital ( link to cyclingindustry.news ): VC investors don’t like to see their money sit idle, so once they are aboard there is pressure to grow the organisation to a size “appropriate” to the money invested, no matter the actual utility for the product. Of course earnings have to eventually rise appropriately, and that weird combination of a very hostile 50% price hike and the very friendly 12 months warning period (you keep your 10$ rate even if you suspend payments over summer!) almost reek of a desperate compromise trying to satisfy both users and investors at the same time.
Twelve months to a preannounced market reshuffle opportunity will be a very interesting year for any team that is currently flirting with the idea of building a budget zwift competitor.
The way I understand it they built the first public version with a rather small team and then went on a hiring spree as the platform gained traction. I really don’t see why zwift would *need* >100 employees (as per the price increase announcement), they are clearly not creating 10x as much content as in the early days. Feels like hiring for status, and now the users are expected to pay up for the founders’ lack of restraint.
I prefer watching netflix or listening to music and watching some YT videos. I hate to wait for people during regular group rides, now on zwift is the same, you wait for people in your basement to join the ride, totally stupid waste of time. If somebody has a feeling of social interactions by riding virtual group ride, they need to check their head. It is great idea for people not having much clue what to do on the trainer.
If that is what gets you on the bike, great use it but it has very little value in real training. Riding rollers is much more realistic from bio mechanical point of view than smart trainer.
By the way you explained yourself.. you are either an elitist or a grumpy loner.
Zwift is a tool to experience indoor training on a “fun” level. Therefore you cannot tell other people to check their heads bec it doesn’t apply to you. Or maybe you need to check your head because waiting for people to show on a group ride is part of a group ride. Otherwise,, dont join a group !
TrainerRoad is at $12/mo. I thought it was strange that Zwift hadn’t matched them on a monthly fee. $10 seems low. But I also expect the increase revenue to drive new features.
I think the waiting a year is a good gesture on their part. Even if it seems awkward, they’re trying to maintain good will in the community.
TR also has the $100/year option, so more like $8/mth.
I prefer TR’s workouts, and just use Zwift for the races. So unless Zwift massively step up the workout library over the next 12 months, I’ll be out. $180 a year for Zwift + $100 for TR is too much for me.
Trainerroad has a very different target audience. Even if it was free it would not be appealing to riders at the more casual end of the spectrum of Zwift users. Zwift on the other hand would be interesting even to people who just bought the cheapest walmart trainer as a symbolic act against holiday fat. That difference translates into a wildly different price sensitivity curves. The optimum rate x subscribers point should therefore be higher for trainerroad.
I think they postpone the fee raise for existing customers to see market response and alter the future fee raise if needed, without loosing existing customers straight away. They now have one year to see if growth in the number of customers keeps up with former years and they can make a judgement for customer loses by analysing the social media responses.
Chris here link to whatsonzwift.com you have 690 Zwift workouts and the library is going on a regular basis.
Count me in for the camp that thinks the increase is too steep. I like Zwift but for whatever reason once a service crosses $10 a month it makes me think harder about it. I think $12-$13 would have been more appropriate. I just use during winter so will probably substitute with Rouvy/Trainroad/Sufferfest once increase kicks in.
In Denmark i pay 13.44 Usd a month, whit 50% more it’s close to 20 usd a MONTH!! That’s 240 usd a year!! I ride about 2500 km a year that’s almost 1 usd each 10 km. Maybe Zwift is only fore elite/pro bikers. Sad Way to go.
Yup, pretty much the same in Canada–it’s about a 65% price increase and one you would get dinged exchange fees on every month since there’s no yearly subscription option. I wonder how all the people freaked out about paying $15 would feel paying $20? It definitely seems counter-intuitive to growth of the user base to start charging new users more right as the indoor training season ramps into high gear in the Northern Hemisphere.
Take heart fellow Canuck, for us the increase is merely 46% as they will now be charging us directly in CAD (18.99) vs. USD10. Lucky us!
Two things: 1. You can make it ALWAYS Zwift Island by modifying the preferences .xml file. It’s really easy to do. There’s a hack online that shows how. 2. They need to make an area (new island connected by bridge?) where riders can ride everywhere over all the terrain, steering by tilting their phones, just like riding bikes in GTA. “Freeride” mode would put them on par with other big games to justify the price. It’s already been done, check out the video of “Over the Bars” game on youtube. link to youtube.com
I have no doubt you can do what you say to always ride on the island. That said, you don’t build a successful and growing business by making people edit xml files. You do it by making it drop dead simple, just an easy selection on the screen. Editing an xml is easy FOR YOU, it’s not for everyone.
There’s a number of usability things Zwift needs to do to make it easy.
1) The mentioned choose your route
2) Make it drop dead easy to participate in races. I shouldn’t have to search external sites for calendars, I shouldn’t have to have a strava to see results, I shouldn’t have to change my username so the organizers know I’m in the race.
3) More courses from real life, like a recreation of race routes or what have you
Agree completely. I shouldn’t have to update my weight in the website either, when there’s an iOS app that could pull it from apple health kit.
If you have the Zwift Link app on your phone all the events etc. are listed on there, so you don’t have to search external sites.
But why have info available in one place and not the other? That’s a bad user experience.
Yeah, totally aware of the XML hack (and would use it when I needed that world for a video or something). But ultimately, if I wanted to ride solo, I’d choose other platforms.
All races are listed, and can be entered, on the app itself or on the mobile link. Additionally all races are on the Events section of Zwift.com
Results appear at the end of most races and in detail on ZwiftPower.com after you register there once (it’s not part of Zwift)
Many races auto change your name, especially if it’s a closed event. That decision lies with the race organiser.
I am waiting the Android application to try it. Only Android or Ubuntu Linux on ny house, so… No Zwift for me yet
VirtualBox with a Windows VM and you should be all set!
Sadly not. Tried that and got nowhere.
I do have a dual-boot set up so did use Zwift last winter. I knew that once the bike was off the trainer, it wouldn’t be back until this winter and I was impressed by Zwift that you could suspend your membership. I do plan to return this winter but as the UK had a different pricing system I’m not sure what that will be now.
Ultimately if you pay for a system you’re not using, then that $60 is going to feel like a big extra cost. If you only use Zwift for 3 months (say) and can suspend your membership, that cost increase per annum is much lower.
I think if they continue to allow you to suspend your membership, they’ll be OK. If you’re tied in i.e. delete your account if you don’t want to remain throughout the year, that could result in a bigger hit overall.
Open GL 3.1 on WM Ware would be very tricky to get reasonable framerates. Tried it myself and found it unrideable!
I have been prevaricating over whether to join Zwift for a while and now, just as I am ready to invest in a smart trainer, the scales have been tipped slightly against with this increase. If nothing else I will be absolutely sure to squeeze every last bit of value out of the free trial as and when I dip a toe in the water.
It strikes me that there must be room for a tiered pricing structure, a la Netflix, where you pay based on the level of the experience you wish to choose. Keep a lower entry price so the the influx of newbies continues then allow for progression to higher, more expensive, tiers that add in more features, extra user accounts, different training, customisation, 4K graphics, etc, etc.
As an aside, I would be really interested to know more about how the relationship between Zwift and the brands featured in the game works and how it might develop in future depending on changes in subscriber numbers. For example, commenting on the first picture in this article, does Zwift pay a license fee to Pinarello, do Pinarello pay a marketing fee to Zwift, or is there a net £0.00 contract based on reciprocal benefit? If subscriber numbers grow significantly would Zwift then have more power to demand marketing fees from the brands that wish to be included, thus paying for a chunk of the development work without squeezing subscribers?
Perhaps Zwift’s subscription increase will give some breathing room to potential competitors to up their game(s) or even get into the race. Other than, maybe, Road Grand Tours Zwift doesn’t yet have any direct competition. A neo-platform might have a chance by undercutting Zwift’s new price level.
I don’t really agree with the statement that 5$ increase is nothing compared to the price of a ironman fee, etc … You estimate a price regarding the service provided. If during the following year, the service will level up (new worlds, new features, …), then the increase will be worth it. If not, I doubt I will stay
With the current reaction from existing customers they better do some unbelievable development work over the next year to retain the core. Interesting move in a year they are looking to grow their user base significantly, this won’t help.
I keep/kept my subscription active for the year but with this move I’ll likely only activate for 3 or 4 core winter months and they get less money. Guessing a significant portion of existing users will go this route. Perception is a funny thing, as cyclists we spend ridiculous amounts on bikes and trips but will refuse to spend $60 on a tool that can make us faster …
There was an agreement between STRAVA and Zwift last season, that STRAVA members got 2 months free on Zwift per year. Is this still valid this season? Which months?
Thanks in advantage!
Yeah, I had started trying out Zwift, just to see what it does, as I am already subscribing to Kinomap, but €120/year is way too much for a second indoor cycling app, especially when you consider how poorly designed the iPad version is (the graphics are not even worth a student project on Unity… and the UI is really hard to fathom), and don’t get me started on the impossibility to select which “area” you want to ride in. At €60/year, maybe I’d keep it, but at the new price, no way.
Does anyone have the user numbers for the other services like TR, Sufferfest et al? With no proven difference in training effect between these services, I’d prefer to support who are doing a good job for the money they get, instead of further enriching super rich investors in an age of unprecedented economic inequality.
Ideally, I’d like to make a decision based on proven training effect … sure it’s not that simple to calculate but isn’t the absence of any such ranking despite big data almost incredible?
I’d say Zwift is not about training effect and accuracy etc. but rather all about the social aspects (see their group workout feature where speed is adapted according to FTP etc.).
For pure training, other solutions are probably more deep and hardcore.
I’d argue that virtually all of the platforms offer training benefits, depending on how you use them. Most of them offer at least some sort of plans or structured workouts, which most users don’t bother to use. If someone followed through on these workouts, they’d likely see significant gains merely from having a structure – regardless of the platform.
For those that don’t want to follow structure (which is perfectly fine), that’s where I think Zwift has the edge. If you compared 100 random cyclists that used Zwift all winter, to 100 cyclists that used all the other training apps (again, random group), my bet is that the Zwift folks would be ‘more fit’ on average as a whole than the other groups. For one single reason: They’re more likely to become engaged and actually get on their bike on a miserable winter day, rather than say they’re bored on some other platform. And thus, since they get on their bike, they in turn likely become more fit.
I’ve used the training plans, stuck to them, and I certainly saw gains — maybe it was just from riding more on a trainer (in addition to outside) and maybe it was from the structure. Maybe it was both. In any case, I wouldn’t say the training plans are worthless, and you can always make your own, or easily modify the existing plans.
I’ve tried them all and Zwift keeps me engaged.
$15 is fine considering I’ll just be using it until March when we get our afternoon day light back here in sunny California.
I have been leaving Zwift subscribed at $10/mo during the summer in California, but sometimes using it only a few times or not at all those months.
When the $15 kicks in next year, I’ll probably unsubscribe except November-March. They were getting $120/year and now they’ll get $75/year from me (or less, if this change also causes me to investigate more of the other 10+ indoor training options listed in the comments and I find something cheaper that is equally engaging).
My wife has a smart trainer too and at $15/mo for a family plan I could have justified an increase but $30 or even $20/mo for two people doesn’t make sense given her limited use.
For the other months, if I need to do a late night workout, I’ll go back to PerfPro since I already paid a one-time fee and it has plenty of high quality workouts. (And even can control two smart trainers with my license.)
When I try to imagine how this will affect other cyclists like me, I would suspect that as others have suggested, the “low hanging fruit” have already subscribed. If they can’t justify it at $10, then they’ll be less likely to pull the trigger now at $15.
Another comparison: my $10/month at Netflix gets me hours of trainer entertainment and many more hours off the trainer.
In summary, I’m disappointed with their decision on his increase. I would have been happy/complacent to keep paying $10/mo for the same features/world that currently exists. In general, I’d rather pay once for software based on the features of the current version and continue using it without subscription fees until the company has released a new version with enough new features that I can’t live without, in which case I’ll pay to upgrade. But sadly, everyone seems to be going to software as a service with monthly recurring fees.
I was always planning to kill of one during the summer so all came down to training benefit between Zwift and TrainerRoad.
Trainer Road won
Training efforts on Zwift are down right annoying – you always seem to be doing a hard interval on a down hill and an easy on a uphill, this just drove me insane.
The racing and group ride is just a pointless W/kg and endurance pissing contest that did not provide any benefit.
As for social benefit, really if you are training properly who has the ability to type on a key board.
Plus zwift cause me no end of hardware problems. It is so hungry it kills my Surface Pro 4 battery in less than an hour or crashes it due to heat problems on any day over 15c. Where as I can run TR for 4 hours without a problem and still have power to spare.
You’ve just hit the main reason I have continued with Zwift since the early free beta days. My indoor winter riding time increased exponentially after starting with Zwift. Going from Racermate’s terrible software on my old Computrainer to Zwift increased the frequency and length of time of my indoor trainer rides. It also lengthened the life of the old CT. I replaced it with a Kickr two months ago. Wahoo thewon the battle over Tacx as it has fewer plastic parts than the Neo. It is the product that Racermate could have made if only they’d listened.
I don’t think it will turn away many current users as much as users who haven’t tried it yet, although that’s hard to measure and they do let you use the free trial without putting in payment infi, which definitely helps a lot of people try it I think. Definitely helped me.
What about if I buy in right now, do I still get the 12 months delay? I just finished my free trial while borrowing a friend’s Cycleops magnus this week, and ordered my KICKR 3 off clevertraining (thanks for the VIP sale notification btw). Unfortunately by the time my KIKCR (which is on backorder) will get here, it’ll be December. So I wasn’t planning on buying the membership till then, but I would buy it now if it’d save me 60 bucks this year.
Thanks again for the tip!
Looks like I was able to get in! I was worried when it said you needed to have an account before November 16th and thought I’d missed it, but apparently having made the free trial account counted for that.
Thanks again Ray!
A 50% increase is steep. It’s too bad they didn’t learn from Netflix’s mistake. A increase is definitely warranted, and perhaps a 20% would have been very ho-hum, but 50% is steep.
Even the effect a 50% increase could have been mitigated with additional options such as quarterly, semi-annual, or annual subscription rate. I think that a majority of people would support something such as:
The increase *might* be the buildup for introducing massively discounted full year subscriptions later. Zwift is basically out of business whenever the northern hemisphere isn’t going through winter, so a discount for full year subscriptions would be very valuable for them. But somehow I doubt it, I can’t think of many reasons why they would not announce that together with the increase. Maybe testing the water, first look at the impact on subscriptions of a full range increase, then later roll back for yearly if necessary.
Hi Ray, thank you for addressing this issue. It might have made more sense for them to announce an increase on January 1, giving people on the fence, time to join at the reduced rate. It could have engendered some good will. Another option would have been to make a graduated pay system (pay more for ERG, pay more for races, pay more for everything). I’m a single Zwift user in my household, and Zwift has given me another fitness outlet in the Canadian winter (and I use it year-round for ERG workouts), but I could see that if someone has multiple accounts in one house (2 adults + 2 teens), this might break the camel’s back. Netflix lost 1 million users when they increased the price in 2011 because people didn’t perceive the value-proposition. Hopefully like you said, they will retain 95% of their users… I don’t want to be racing beside blue ghosts.
Given this audience isn’t only cyclists then those who run might be interested to know that the first “proper” group runs are starting tomorrow. You can see them in the Zwift events page link to zwift.com (search for run).
It has not been stated how pricing will work for running when fully released (tomorrow isn’t a formal release BTW) but seems will continue to be free for existing users for now.
So I sort of look at this as providing enhanced value for whatever I end having to pay and fortunately, for cycling at least, this won’t change until this time next year. I expect plenty of other things I pay for will go up however before then.
Another thing many overlook is that Zwift is a “Winter” training platform in the mind of many users. And lets be honest, it doesn’t have to be, but there are many that won’t ride the trainer outside of a few months in fall/winter.
I would argue that Zwift is well worth the monthly price if you are only using it 3-4 months out of the year.
Pricing discussion aside…how do we get Ray’s cactus jersey on Zwift?!? It’s the best.
I could live with the price increase IF there is a commensurate increase in the speed of program and course improvements. It’s been disturbingly slow. IMO, it has felt like paying for a product that is still in beta. Further, their timing with this announcement was exceedingly poor, following the well publicized platform failure they just had with the ALS ride. It’s also antithetical to Min’s statement regarding “reduce friction in the customer journey”.
Personally I was also less than impressed with Zwift staff cutting and pasting the same response throughout the FB comment threads on this increase. That staff time is a poor use of funds already. Use it more wisely before raising prices.
It’s not the price increase that people are getting worked up about (hell most of us were expecting it) it’s the precedent that Zwift believe a 60% increase (UK) is totally acceptable! Remember this in 18 months when the next 60% increase hits and so on.
Also with the current poor reliability of the servers their timing for lack of a better expression sucked…
I do not mind the price increase. I find the value of the races compelling. It is so much easier mentally and more enjoyable for me to push myself to the limit in a Zwift race than any other method (e.g. trainer road or sufferfest). That being said, I do think that they will see more users suspend their accounts during the outdoor season.
Ray maybe it’s the first time since i read your posts i don’t agree with you… but we can still be friends 😛
I try to explain but english is not my language so..be patient.
i can only see this in the B way …so 50% increase and since i’m in italy…something like a 70% increase. For me it’s really too much. I know that i have 6 or 7 € to spend without sacrifice my health but…
the fact they they are the only app that could do something is not a good reason to impose the price they want..
Every other software justify a price raise with some new feature not with the promise of some new feature.
If one day i find that Windows10 will cost 50 or 60% more with the same feature but with a message on the box that says ‘ it’s the same Windows10 of 2016 but we promise in 2018 we’ll add a lot of cool things” i’ll be really disappointed…even if windows is the only o.s. i can use for my purposes.
I can’t believe that 500.000 $ per month will only be used to rent some more server or to create a new map or 2..unless they want to rent a google data center or increase dramatically their staff
Zwift has been investing a lot of time/money/effort in a number of things lately that I have zero interest in: “academies”, virtual races, group rides, meet-up ebike races, running…
And don’t get me started about that annoying background music.
If I could find a different service that was just the virtual rides, I would much prefer that to where Zwift is headed. Currently looking at the beta at roadgrandtours.com as a potential alternative. Anyone have a recommendation for others?
That sounds a bit like joining Facebook but wanting no friends. The “social” aspects of Zwift is what makes it “interesting” for me. Maybe look at Tacx’s new Tacx Desktop App where you can supposedly ride real world courses as well as workouts.
I’ll need to try out the Tacx Desktop App beta. If it’s good enough then I’ll drop Zwift.
Check out onelap.cn , it’s free virtual world
TBH, I don’t even “Facebook” on Facebook, and many of my Strava follows are just the people ahead of me on my local segment leaderboards (because that’s how Strava is structured).
I get that Zwift has a business plan to try to build a sticky-er online “community” — based on where they are spending their time/money/effort — but that’s doesn’t add any value to me, and certainly not at a 50% rate increase. There’s a lot of competition these days for those same recurring $10/12/15/20 per month subscription fees.
““Zwift is on track to reach 300-350K users this coming winter and I believe we can reach 1M users within the next 2 years but we cannot achieve these heights without working closely with our partners to reduce friction in the customer journey”
See this bothers me. It’s like being told irl, that as a driver in my city I will need to pay for an additional highway for people who live out of town who now want to use your city and cause more problems for you, except there’s no social justice/everyone should have affordable housing issues in this model. I feel like they’re asking me to pay for someone else, unless it’s just a profit grab. I’m fine with how things are.
And if new users will all bring in $120/ year would that not be sufficient revenue source for increased profit and other fixed cost increase?
Not knowing how their user base works, I would imagine quite a few would drop them during the summer months more than before, bringing total fees paid back to $120 USD. I am assuming they don’t already do that, maybe they do.
I wouldn’t overread into that quote. It was a quote given to an audience 100% of industry people (trainer companies, power meter companies, a few randoms). The point of Eric’s statement (correctly), is that trainer companies need to do more to make the entire ‘experience’ cleaner. This includes aspects like adapters if required, and even tablet/whatever stands. That’s what Zwift is specifically speaking to (and discussed in the paragraphs that follow that quote).
Of course, Zwift is hardly without blame here. When we talk accuracy, it wasn’t till (very) recently that Zwift even offered the ability to calibrate, and even now it’s not very well known or visible.
I’ve posted this on the subreddit, but for those who are not interested anymore, here is a quick text for alternatives;
They Dun Goofed… Most people don’t even use the software daily… Than how can you justify paying more for the same features… On their Twitter they keep explaining it’s for a better user experience, but to be frank, letting the userbase pay up more dough isn’t going to make it a pleasant experience. For a “game” that receives an update once every 3 months, it isn’t really fair to ask for more money.
—- MOST LIKE ZWIFT: —-
Road Grand Tours: link to roadgrandtours.com (virtual world/ rides, based on real location) BETA!!!
OneLap: link to onelap.cn (virtual world like zwift; actually a decent knockoff) FREE!!!
For those who are just as bumbed as I am, here are some alternatives:
Rouvy: link to rouvy.com (training plans, workouts, videos)
Bkool: link to bkool.com ( training plans, workouts, videos, online riding with others)
Sufferfest: link to thesufferfest.com (Great workouts, inspirational videos, 4dp)
Trainerroads: link to trainerroad.com (great trainingplans, good workouts)
Tacx training software: link to tacx.com (expensive, online cycling, quality videos)
Kinomap trainer: link to kinomap.com (real world locations, good videos)
veloreality: link to veloreality.com (never tried it, but about the same as kinomap)
Kinetic Fit: link to kinetic.fit (like sufferfest, video and workout at same time.)
FulGaz app: link to fulgaz.com (Videos based of real life)
link to goldencheetah.org
link to racermateinc.com
link to hurtsdevelopment.com
link to imobileintervals.com
link to maximumtrainer.com
link to perfprostudio.com
link to peripedal.com
link to racemyghost.com
link to bigringvr.com
Haven’t check all of the pricings, but ATLEAST 95% of them are now cheaper than zwift. If you use zwift for their workouts, here is a link to all their workouts, so you can easily copy them over to all these other applications:
link to whatsonzwift.com
And this is also the reason for the price increase, at the moment they are the “big dog”; They can do whatever they want if you see the recent userbase. It’s nowhere near the userbase of these other applications!
It might be a bolt statement but Zwift is the EA of the cycling scene!
Also, be sure to check out my massive app guide from last winter, which covers virtually all of these: link to dcrainmaker.com
It’ll be updated again in the coming weeks.
I’d argue that nobody is like Zwift (both good and bad). Anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves. However, there are great apps that are not trying to be like Zwift and are awesome options. TrainerRoad or Rouvy or Kinomap are awesome at what they do. And if you want those features, then they are easily far better than Zwift (because Zwift doesn’t offer those features).
I’m on Royvy (again) this winter – because they supports my Kettler ergometer bike (No it does not have much road feel, but the workout is real enough and i don’t have to deal with taking my bike indoor (mess from chain etc)). It is however also pretty expensive and i’ll probably cancel my subscription again this spring – but i’ll have to see how addictive their new career system is.
Veloreality offers professional quality videos that you buy once and own it. So far it is the only supplier in the industry that offers not only HD but also 4K content. So it is not really exactly like Kinomap.
Tacx Trainer software is free, though PC only at this point. But it does have free multiplayer virtual courses and video rides to purchase. Runs fine on a virtual Mac and Tacx runs workouts and video on iPads. There are choices and the higher Zwift goes the more opportunities for others grow their base.
The logic in your argumentation is that $5 is just as much as one trip to Starbucks or 3-5 gel packs, and that one has to give up only little for staying on Zwift. However, I can’t give up the gel packs if I stay on Zwift, because I still need to feed my ride. That aside, small price changes can still be too high. To assess how much more $5 really is, Zwift needs to know their consumers’ price elasticity. And I hope they have been smart enough to do some simple marketing research in advance to estimate this. For what concerns me, I’m not turned off entirely, but I am more likely to stop the subscription a bit earlier, i.e. not to pay for the final half month of trainer season.
Bit unfortunate. Was going to re-activate my subscription on Wednesday, but then decided to pack the bike and go for another outdoor ride in the mountains this Saturday, and to re-activate on Sunday. That beautiful sunny day tomorrow will be more expensive than I thought.
And that bothers me a bit. I don’t think I’m the only one caught off-guard. They announced it just before the weekend that marks half November. I’d speculate that’s just before a larger number of users would have re-activated. If I’m right, this was kind of a dick move, because: “As a way of saying thank you, however, to the awesome Zwifters who helped us get here, your pricing will not change for one year.” – I and others helped them get there as well. Something like “if you are an active user or re-activate your account within the next seven days” would have been a more appropriate step.
But do you really need “specialist” food like a gel designed for convenience on the move when sat on a trainer and probably a few yards from your kitchen?
If you already have an account try logging in and see if there’s an offer to sign – up at the old price until Dec. 15th. That’s what I noticed as I just happened to login yesterday to see if my account was still there (from using the Beta in Sept. ’15) while talking with a friend looking at starting to use Zwift soon–what a kick to the balls that was for him when we noticed the price just went up that day.
Yeah, I found the same. Inactive users also have access to the old price. I mentioned it in a reply to my comment, but it accidentally ended up as a reply to another comment (two or three down the list from here).
Isn’t Zwift Island the original beta track? Or has Watopia been renamed and I haven’t noticed?
Jarvis Island link to zwiftblog.com
If I listened correctly to the recent ZwiftCast interview with Eric Min then Zwift have never yet made an operating profit. Obviously this situation cannot continue forever. I guess then you either look for huge growth at the same prices and/or increase prices whilst trying to achieve steady growth. However no growth is likely with a platform that is not seen to be evolving and that needs continuing investment and in turn investors need to see they are going to make something eventually.
To a large extent Zwift “works” because of the increasing numbers. Typically a group ride is far more effective with say several hundred riders than under 50 as if a few drop off the back or change off the front you still have a critical mass.
Also percentage rises can be deceptive. I remember when started work that they gave everybody at a certain performance level the same percentage rise. Of this meant I got far less in my pocket to spend than more senior colleagues and they effectively got further away from me! So if the price has not gone up say 50% per month but actually one day’s cappuccino and croissant I feel somewhat better already.
In truth Zwift is a platform I use a lot and was increasingly doing even this summer if was working late and just could not be bothered to kit up for an hour’s spin at dusk battling red lights and fading light for a largely purposeless session. Now then if only I can say that my gym or indeed golf memberships provide as much “value” to me.
Let me correct myself: I’ve just logged in to Zwift and have been able to renew at the old price. I concluded the price increase is suspended for a year for anyone who already has a Zwift account, i.e. also those who haven’t re-activated it yet. With apologies, I take back the “dick move” comment.
Tim, I personally don’t use gels for Zwifting, with one exception (the first Zwift Gran Fondo, because that was too long to go without feeding). Personally, I usually don’t eat anything during a ride, but occasionally I’ll have a small bowl of cereals extra to not get hungry. And cereals, though not specialist food, also cost money. The principle is the same, and it doesn’t change my main point: it’s all about price elasticity.
Yeah I think I had a gel on Zwift once when doing one of the Academy workouts as it went on for something 1:40 and was “toast” at the end. As for prices looks like pre-existing customers have a year at the “old” prices to decide if presents good value for money. Maybe by then they will have other pricing models to tempt us like a yearly up front charge or even “day” passes.
Tim, my reply to your comment was actually intended as a reply to your feedback on my other comment. I’m glad by mistake it still reached you.
You’re obviously very right also about the necessity for Zwift to bring in operating profit. However, they’ll run into limitations of growth sooner or later if they focus only on the guy training at home on his trainer. Most people still go for spinning in their winter training, and big fitness studio chains have an interest to keep people subscribed. With Cyclerobics, some European studios already offer spinning with landscape videos. So, if I were a competitor, I’d develop a product for studios. And if I were Zwift, I’d use the resources from this price hike to develop a product that they can sell to gym studios. It’s also the next logical step of evolution for Wahoo’s Kicker 3/Climb.
It was only a matter of time… It was underpriced for what it is. I now how much hard work goes into that programming, the cost of cloud storage and data processing/analytics, ect…
$15 is nothing if you use it more than a couple times a week. i know guys that spend over 5k on a bike and really only ride it a few times a year. (yet they’d complain about this price increase, probably…)
Agree. Zwift is a gaming platform for bikes. Look at subscription gaming (gamefly, etc.) – start at $15/mo and goes up from there. This seem like the straw the broke the camels back for some on here…seemingly people that were iffy on it to begin with won’t pay a few buck extra for what it offers. That’s fine, time to move on. There WILL be competition in this space (gaming/cloud enabled) in the future…I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t happened already by one of the bigger gaming companies.
Whatever the price elasticity of a platform like this is for cyclists, only time will tell. It’s much better for me than a gym membership $7-800 /yr. around here and I don’t have to leave the house on a cold rainy day.
I would still like to hear about a license based zwift account system, for studio setups.
Say, I buy 20 seats of a license. Users create free profiles and access the app when logged into one of the studio workstations. That way they can have a pay per use system and not need to invest all the hardware or pay for an account during the summer or off months or if injured…
So $180 a year for unlimited rides or ~$200 for 20 rides at an indoor exercise studio. zwift still comes out ahead.
The Kickr with 20% off is still over 5 times that. Why are cyclists so cheap?
so maybe next year 20$ and 25 in 2019…it’s always better than 10$ for a ride in an indoor exercise studio
It’s a bit rich now. Clever that they originally sucked me in with 2 months free per year on Strava premium, then withdrew that. Also clever to delay the increase for existing customers, given that I and a lot of other cancel their membership in the spring, that will hold people in.
I think they need to keep the price low, and draw in advertising. I note there are blimps floating around. Why not get brands on them? Advertising boards. I’m fine with that if it keeps the price low. It would be realistic anyway. Advertising is everywhere in the real world!
Got a new smart/direct drive trainer in September. Used TR for a month. Using Zwift right now…and before I found out about this increase, I had this thought: riding outside is 1000% better, for me, than riding indoors. Both apps and the trainer have made indoor riding more palatable, but it is nothing like riding outside! So…I now look for every opportunity to ride outside, like delaying a day when the weather will be better (in this ‘shoulder’ season in Toronto), or adding another layer if it’s really cold, but otherwise pleasant. I just love riding…which has always, and to me, only, means, riding outside. Anything else is maintaining fitness so that I can ride outside as good, or perhaps better.
So, whatever software gets me on the bike indoors when I can’t ride outdoors is sufficient, whether it’s got great graphics, ‘game’play, or whatever…
Dang it. I literally got my trainer last night and was going to sign up for Zwift today.
Mr Onelap.cn is starting to sound like an advert
I am trying it promises 🙂 and at the same time you learn the Chinese language totally free
Im fine with the price increase. Hopefully new features will roll out faster. One thing i hope for is multiple users on one account. I currently have an account for me and 1 for my wife. Now we will be paying 30 a month. Would be nice if i could just have an extra user profile on my account for a discounted price. Otherwise we may just share my account.
I think the deferred price increase makes a lot of sense. It gives Zwift the opportunity to test the market at the new price without shedding existing users. If they find that the market won’t pay at that price then they can bring the price back down again without much embarrassment. Seems like a sensible plan!
I agree it is a good way to test the market without losing existing users; but I’m in the camp of those who think a 50% price increase is much too much given the slow expansion of the sceneries and other features of the platform. I’ll see when the year is over whether they’ve added enough useful features to make it worthwhile staying on.
Interesting the different arguments about whether the price increase is worth it. Realistically the only baseline we have for a price for zwift is (a) their historic pricing and (b) the competitions pricing. The new price is a big delta from both of those reference points, personally I think it’s a nuts move.
Trainerroad has always been my core app. I sometime activate and then deactivate Sufferfest to mix it up. Zwift I had permanently on, now I will probably move it to a Sufferfest model and just turn it on and off to add variety.
I suspect a more sensible increase would have made them more cash.
It costs $15 for a 2 hour Computrainer session at the local bike shop around here. I have seen Spin Studios charge $20 to $25 per class. It costs $39 a month for the classes of the Peloton cycle (and $2000 for the indoor cycle). All things considered, $15 a month for all indoor riding you can do doesn’t seem so bad to me. I’ve also used Trainerroad and I agree that the workouts are better on Trainerroad, but if I want to do a simulated century, I would rather do it on Zwift riding around Watopia than following a graph on Trainerroad for 5 hours.
A million subscribers? Hmm. Don’t see that happening. Sounds like a good dream to sell the investors.
Still, $15 is a fair value for what it is.
For me, all I care about is the racing, and it’s pretty clear they don’t see racing as a growth market, so it’s probably going to languish on this platform.
To put what I think of this price increase in context, when I read that they were delaying it for me by 12 months I genuinely thought that I’m going to contact them and tell them that they can just the money now if they want!
There are alternative platforms for riding on a trainer but Zwift is dead simple and it’s something interesting to look at; certainly better than a blue graph. For me, $15/month for four to six months a year isn’t a big deal. How many of us have bikes that cost more than US$2000? And $15/month not to get too fat in the winter is too much? I guess everybody’s sensitive spot is different.
As for the alternatives:
onelap.cn: If an online service is ‘free’, you are the product, not the customer. No thanks.
TrainerRoad: The workouts are great but staring at a blue graph sucks. And watching a movie or TV show is a nuisance for me – too hard to hear and if I’m at the limit, it’s too much for my feeble mind to follow. I have used TrainerRoad and Zwift simultaneously in the past but found that I can push myself in Erg mode on Zwift with workouts that I create myself and get as much abuse.
Sufferfest: Can music and background noise suck any more? Sorry, to bro-tastic for me.
bkool: Actually pretty good but the resistance changes are a bit drastic and harsh and the video can be quite choppy with huge lags where the image freezes for 10s of seconds at a time. On a 75Mbps connection.
Rouvy: lacks a non-Windows, non-mobile application. Windows 10 will never be installed inside any network I control. And Windows 7 is becoming too much of a legacy platform.
Kinomap: looks neat but no non-mobile, non-Windows applications.
I guess that all I’m saying is Zwift offers quite a bit as is and $15/month isn’t a hardship, it runs on several platforms (I’m not a Mac-only fanboy, but Windows 10 is malware), allows you to operate in workout mode without any difficult setup, and gives you something to view while tearing your legs off. However, I will be interested to see how Road Grand Tours pans out – then Zwift might have some work cut out for it.
For now, I’ll stick with Zwift in the winter and hopefully not get too much slower.
Kinomap provides only mobile apps but most of our users run the app on their smartphone, using AppleTV or Chromecast to display on a TV. the App is free to download, giving you access to a set of free videos with no limitation of time. A subscription is required later on to get access to the entire content, and virtually travel the world from $5/mo. Enjoy the ride.
That’s why I was bummed that there was no non-Windows PC version. It looks like a great program and I would happily pay the monthly fee. But I don’t want to have to get an AppleTV to make it work with my mobile device.
Ok, no-one is ever going to say “Please can I pay more”. Or at least it’s so rare that it’s fair to say that the generally negative reaction isn’t surprising, and I’d guess for all the bluster then most people won’t leave, or at least the proportion that leave and don’t come back doesn’t rise much.
Timing wise it makes sense as the northern hemisphere winter new adopters this year pay the increase, and next winter when current users get the hike it’s when they are ‘trainer dependant’ if not zwift dependant.
However, as someone that’s been on for the last 2.5 months, I’ve had a good 6-7 weeks, then the last 2.3 have been a total mare of server failures on Zwift’s side, and with no comms on the failures then I’ve found the timing really poor. Really really poor as when the email came mentioning subs prices I honestly had an expectation that they were going to discount the rate as an apology. For me then the price isn’t the issue, it’s the comms and timing.
I guess the only saving grace is that we kinda know that there’s no more rises coming in the next 2 years.
I first thought the main reason for this was that most people only use it for the winter months and they had probably based their initial pricing on yearly estimates. If I remember correctly they compared their pricing and model directly to WoW I think even a couple dev’s were on the WoW dev team?
That seems reasonable but…. I have had issue with the lack of map devolvement and support for Android. I also agree the user experience as far as drop downs instead of editing /xml files is kind of obvious for what is sold as a premium product. I also thought it was a bit of a wrong turn not to give a week for people to start their subscriptions at the “grandfathered rate”. Just as a gesture of goodwill which in a community based product is key.
I hope it all turns out that the product is worth the price to enough that they continue to survive and doubt that will really be an issue. As cyclists we spend crazy money on our passion so this isn’t a huge leap but the responses
Lack of a week (or so) of old rate opportunity for non-subscribers is really weird, considering the abundance of “time limited offer! Last chance!” marketing everywhere else. It could have brought a whole wave of almost-subscribers over the threshold. The way it stands it looks like a rushed measure after having an unpleasant talk with investors about not meeting internal growth projections.
As for setting up Zwift as a more exclusive offering: I don’t see that as a good fit for the product, as it relies so much on network effects. Even outside of Zwift:
Scenario A: my inside session appears on Strava and it is a Watopia ride that almost everybody on my feed who has a trainer knows.
Scenario B: my inside session happened in an exclusive virtual world only accessible to people on titanium superrecord (I’m exaggerating), nobody on my Strava feed will mentally connect with it, it’s just n minutes of indoor to them.
Zwift has a rare opportunity of becoming the effective community standard for indoor trainer entertainment (no competitor is even close!), but squeezing subscribers for maximum rates will definitely undermine that.
I see a huge disconnect between raising prices and aiming for a threefold increase in subscribers in the short term, let alone 1M subscribers in two years.
As you expand from the core of cycling geeks (let’s be honest, that is what most of us are), potential subscribers will be increasingly less sensitive to the benefits offered by the platform (as it is today) and more averse to the hassle/cost of buying the necessary hardware and subscribing to the service.
Even for the average cycling enthusiast Zwift will have to deal with competition from Netflix, Spotify and other on demand entertainment (consumers don’t really care about the cost structure of each provider). A gym membership could be competition as well. It is more expensive, but people seem more likely to post about a gym session than a trainer workout (even some pros).
With that in mind, I think the price hike could either mean that Zwift has some sweet cards up their sleeve or that they don’t expect to fulfill their stated growth potential within the home user market.
There is really something i don’t get in comments of people who agree with this price raise for the ‘incoming’ new feature.
IN every other software out u pay for a new version with some new features (useful or not) in this case we are going to play for a promise of new features.
i’d like that it could be something like ‘hey guys have u seen all the new maps, bikes , jersey and all the cool things we have added to zwift ?? but all this things are not free…so we increase the price’ (and not an 70% increase !!!)
are they going to have 500.000$ per month for some addition like ‘road to ruins’ ?? a ‘map’ that a 10 people strong team could develop in 1 month.
I don’t mind the increase – I have muscular dystrophy and Zwift literally changed my life! As a young man, I use to cycle and love it until I could no longer risk riding on roads with cars and being polite, cycling haters.
Why, well it certainly gives me confidence that they will be around for a while as their relationships with DiData shows and the new routes they add. But also as someone who does programming, I know that the costs of someone like me crunching out code is expensive and to get the best you have to pay the best.
James – that’s awesome!!!
After reading your post, I had to comment that you’re a true inspiration to us all. Sometimes it takes reading a post on a blog such as DC Rainmaker from a totally unknown person to put things into perspective and for me, your post does that in spades.
Most of us here are complaining about a price increase of a few $$$ per month when we have the ability to actually ride outside during half the year, yet you’re on Zwift pushing through your disability and racking up those XP points year round. You put the ability in the term “did-ability” and congrats on taking the bad hand that was dealt to you in life and doing the best that you can with it.
RIDE ON, bro !!! 🙂
James – Super that you are out there – if I knew your handle I would give you 100ride ons the next time I see you ,
Keep it up sir !
Why not put the pizza slices we all earn in Zwift to good use and quantify a month of Zwift time as a number of pizza slices? Once one earns a number of pizza slices, you can treat yourself to one free month of Zwift!
They foresee the subscriber/user base tripling in the next two years and are doubling the price? Something doesn’t pass the smell test. I get that continuing to improve on a great thing has its cost but the rule of economies of scale surely don’t justify a 100% increase.
Rolling out timely updates and new features surely could not cost as much as introducing something brand spanking new did only a few years ago.
I’m anticipating a new player or serious rival to emerge within a year to a year and a half’s time.
A year ago I bought a smart trainer and got a new computer specifically to run Zwift. I rode around their virtual worlds, joined a few group rides with friends, and started one of their training plans. It just didn’t do it for me and I switched to Trainer Road (which, as everybody knows, is just plans, charts and graphs with canned running commentary) and liked it much better. I plan to try the new The Sufferfest this year. I think Zwift is pretty cool and a lot of people like it, but it’s just not my thing for some reason, irrespective of price.
Same view as ‘not too zwift’, I can see why people would like it, but it’s not for me. I don’t need all that interaction to train in the winter months.
My problem with this is that there is no option for those of us who only use Zwift a handful of times a month. For people that use it weekly or daily, cool, i get it. But for those of us who want something for those 2-3 days a month when the weather is too miserable, you get 25k/mo, or you pay $15.
I’ve been suggesting a lower price option and limit it to 60-100k/mo for a while now. I think the most I’ve done in a single month on Zwift was about 60-70k over 3 rides and I only use Zwift 3-4 months out of the year. I can see paying $60/year up front for that kind of limited use, but $10/mo was enough to limit me to keeping it for only 3-4mo a year, the price hike is going to send me back to Rollers and Netflix.
I thought you could deactivate your account for most of the year and just re-activate when you are ready to jump back into Zwift? I am probably wrong, but I vaguely recall seeing some posts about this.
But I agree with you – more importantly for me where we have two of us (me and my wife), it frustrates me that this could mean up to $30 per month for the two of us to be using Zwift, which seems ridiculous. If you think of a Zwift subscription like subscriptions to other services, they should have an option like Netflix or other services where you have a single plan for the family and can have more than one account so we can track our separate stats.
just wanted to add my 2 cents – I totally agree that the rise of over 50% seems unfair and more to the point counterproductive in trying to increase their subscriber base; not sure they have the right people in financial management & marketing; For my wife and I in Canada that’s now going to cost us over $30 a month; For what we use it for i will be definitely looking at alternatives.
That being said, as a suggestion to readers, one way we have been saving money on Zwift is by buying apple gift cards – Costco has sales throughout the year (and especially close to holidays) where you can get $100 of Apple gift cards for $80. We buy a couple hundred, redeem them and then the Zwift monthly fee comes out of that. End result is that it brings the monthly fee down a couple bucks – not much i know but it helps and its easy to do.
50% price increase is too steep. I have been using zwift since it was still in Beta and free! It has been a game changer and helped bring smart trainers to the market at sensible prices. However expansion has been slow and the graphics are rapidly falling behind those of other “games” on the readily available games consoles. A new X-box game will retail for around £40-50 and its yours. $15 dollars a month for suddenly looking expensive, its still only on windows and IOS, but not android or X-box or playstation the later 2 would enable a massive jump in graphics performance at not a big expense for consumers. To justify the price increase Zwift is going to massively up its game, quicker more reliable log on, step up in graphics, massive expansion in “worlds” with option to choose which one (why do we still have to use a 3rd party). Zwift has shown there’s a demand. If someone like playground games who make Forza decided to step into the market and challenge Zwift, they have masses of environments in 4k ready to go on readily accessible platforms, zwift would be out of business. Offer me a far more realistic environment for £50-60 up front cost purchase price of a game for an x-box and its a no brainer.
Although $5 doesn’t seem that much it’s the fact that everything seems to increase in cost at a much higher rate than my wages & that combined cost increase is large.
Initially, I was really unhappy about the price increase. If a price increase is necessary (paying the VCs, accelerating development of new features, etc.), I’m sure I would have done things a bit differently. BUT, this is simply a business decision. Many of you undoubtedly responded to the Zwift survey recently – and that had a number of questions about pricing. They have a model, no doubt, of revenue vs. price per month and the maximum must be at/around $15. I’m confident that Zwift will make *more* money, not less, as a result of the increase (so, revenue lost from unsubscribers – full year or part year – will be more than compensated by the revenue gained from the price hike).
I’m, a little less unhappy after thinking about it – it’s just a business decision! I am one of those, apparently in the minority, that use Zwift, Sufferfest AND Trainerroad. I haven’t used TR for a bit – I’ve been designing my own training program primarily in SF and outside with some Zwift in the mix. It’s easy for me to go all the way to SF + outside ( + Road Grand Tours, which I’ve been fooling around with a bit). I don’t use/enjoy the strength od Zwift (social / racing). But I did appreciate the virtual worlds. I did like some of the erg mode workouts. And the occasional race / fondo was a useful change of pace. But, yes, these last sentences are past tense. *Could* I pay the extra $5? Yup. It’s just a business decision – from my end – not to. Others will value Zwift differently, but part of my lingering unhappiness is simply about the XaaS model / trend. It just seems like the costs are out of sight (yes, I can look at my credit card bill, I know) and can easily get out of control. SO, one certain way to limit my monthly service costs is to make them go to $0. Which is what I plan to do with Zwift.
I honestly dont mind the price at all. But recently after the ALS ride things have become awry. There are so many glitches. Many were not able to login. There are cases of people disappearing in group ridea due poor connectivity to zwift servers. Infact i was not even able to do my 4wk ftp builder workout as app crashed and the other day when i did my intervals just before the finish the app crashed. So i honestly thing this was not the right time to announce a price increase, when people in zwift knew that their platform was unstable and users experienced connectivity issues.
All said and done we are anyhow grandfatgered for 1 year. Let us think about the pruce increase next fall. Lets ride on…
What I’ve come to learn, irrespective of the price increase, is that for me it’s all about riding my bike. Real riding. Outside. And this type of thinking extends beyond cycling…
Back in september I bought a smart trainer, after 10+ years of using a fluid trainer and trying to hold intervals based on HR or PE. The smart trainer is so much better! Since September I’ve used Zwift and TrainerRoad. I like them both, for different reasons.
But the gimmick is over for me. I sacrificed ‘ok’ ride days to ride inside. Days that in previous years I would’ve ate up with an extra layer of clothing. Why? Because I was **lazy and wooed by the technology**.
I’m now back to studying the weather to look for days when it’s not below -5C (my limit based on clothing, cold feeling), not too windy, and dry and safe.
When the snow really flies and I have no choice, I’ll gladly ride inside. Kind of fun when there is a foot of snow and I’m riding indoors. But it’s not cycling, for me…what cycling is really meant to be. It’s an alternative, necessary for some due to medical reasons, where you live, etc and it’s a great option that continues to grow. I’m thankful we have it.
But like tablets, smart phones, and tech in general, it competes with our time for doing other things (riding outside when possible). Like when we tell our kids to get off the device and play outside with their friends. When I was a teen I was outside playing non-stop. I know there are over 20 teens in my neighbourhood (seen them at the bus stop), and in two years I’ve never seen them outside. Ever. My daughter (10) still does, but not like before. I know…enough of my rant that has nothing to do with a price increase! 🙂
Totally understand your thinking. I was solely a runner for 25 years and it had to be down right dangerous before I even considered my treadmill. Being outside was and is far superior to any inside training for me.
That being said I found this not to be the case with the bike. Even with investing in great outdoor gear, I found, for me, cycling became really unpleasant once the temps dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and day light became scarce here in the Northeastern US. I was on my computrainer beginning 2011 which really helped me as a fledging biker. I moved to Zwift in middle of the 2015 – 2016 winter and have been there since. My biking has continued to improve and I like the custom workouts I can build and the social aspect.
I will stay but will cancel from April thru October.
PS – I am just a guy who does Tris and rides a bike. I do not consider myself a hardcore “cyclist”.
It seems that for us European users the price increase is more than 50%. Right now i pay 10 usd, and they will increase it to 15 Euro (roughly 17,7 dollars). The increase is therefore around 77 percent.
This means the price increase per year for European users is not 60 usd, but around 78 euro’s or 92 usd!
While i do understand the price difference between Europe and the USA for products like Garmin,
(because of the different warrenty laws etc), the price difference of around 18% for an online platform doens’t seem logical to me.
Sorry, not sure I understand – is Zwift also now billing in Euros directly? Else, wouldn’t your existing 10USD really be ~12EUR?
The existing $10 are more like 8.52€, which is why $10 to 15€ is such a big jump.
I guess you can be excused for confusing currency conversion directions with p2 around, one more round of congratulations from a reader 🙂
Usr is right. At the moment they are billing in us dollars what would be around 8,5 euro’s.
In their email they said the new price will be euro’s.
That was such a small change that I didnt noticed in the email that they changed the currency.
For me that is the real mess.
If it would be 10 to 15 USD. Maybe ok.
But changing the currency without really pointing it out. I am not sure if they know what they do in terms of annoying their users.
I’m new to cycling I really don’t know what to do. Are there an alternatives that are similar? £160 a year just seems like a lot to me for this software that doesn’t seem to have much content & doesn’t give you control of what you ride.
*Never* seen so much bitchin’ and moaning about the price of a latte from people riding $2000+ bike on $500+ turbos!
Get over it.
So you’re telling me you have no problem paying $180/yr for unlimited lattes when you drink less than 10 a year?
I’m sorry, I have a big problem with $18 lattes. I’ll gladly pay $5-8 for a good latte, but more than $10 is a bit much.
The problem with analogies is they usually fall apart.
In this case you were already paying $12 for your latte in that comparison, and thus, one lost the ability to complain for $18 lattes.
Circling back to…analogies usually falling apart.
actually, I was paying $3 because I was canceled 9mo of the year because even $10/mo was too expensive for the 2-3 months of the year I actually had anything more than the monthly free espresso shot.
After this winter, I’ll be paying $0 because I own a coffee pot and Netflix is more entertaining.
Come and try Onelap (link to onelap.cn), the Chinese version of Zwift (which is totally free!). Not so many features but the basics are there.
Are you kidding me? I don’t agree w Zwift’s price increase and will stop.in summer months; however, this chinese onelap app has NO English (or other) language options. Meh..
So it basically boils down to this split:
You are a casual gamer: is the increase worth it, you might as well use Hulu
You are serious about indoor training: you are probably also using a 2nd service (TR, Todaysplan, etc), might as well stay with the serious service and kill Zwift.
You like the group rides and don’t mind the extra cost: stay.
The whole thing is a good bit of psychology from Zwift. Jungle expansion just released, new expansion off there expected shortly plus a new map next year so they will be able to point to all these extras as justification. It’s also a fact that people will moan and threaten to leave but in a year’s time will they? The fact is that many of them won’t.
But having a flat, catch-all price is simply wrong. It is fine to have access to such things as workouts, group rides, races and so on but there are many, many people who don’t want any of that. I’ve now been using Zwift since March 2016 and have done one workout and one group ride in that time and quite frankly am unlikely to do either again. Is it beyond Zwift’s capabilities to have a structure where there is a base price for the casual user with top-ups depending on the additional content you want?
It just strikes me, when I read everything coming out of Zwift, that actually they’re not too bothered about the casual user, that they see their core as being the more committed rider who wants all these extras. That could, in the long run, be a big mistake.
Interesting because I am getting rather bored with the casual riding. It are the group rides / workouts that are keeping me on Zwift. For casual riding I prefer Netflix.
I’ve tried OneLap this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not so many bells and whistles as Zwift but, hey, it does what I want it to.
My Zwift sub is now cancelled.
Please share with us non-chinese people how to decipher the mainly chinese-only words ob their site
Count me as a “whatever” on the price increase. I only use zwift November-March because I live in the coldest area of the continental U.S. and I’d rather train outdoors whenever there’s not ice, snow and salt on the roads. Regardless of whether the price is 10 or 15 I’ll be doing this for the foreseeable future.
I race frequently on zwift and zwift has also made it do-able for me to do easy rides indoors instead of just xc skiing the day after a hard indoor workout. I might feel differently if I was already at level 25, which I am currently not.
For me Zwift would be interesting mainly from the online / community perspective. For training not so much as there are better alternatives for that. From this perspective the price is too steep for me. After all I’m mostly interested in improving my fitness and Zwift would be just for casual fun.
My initial reaction was the increase was a bit steep. As a runner now turned Triathlete due to some injuries and wear and tear,I have come to understand the sport is for the well resourced. I will probably just turn it off from April to November now. I like the app, particularly the social aspect so I would probably stay even for a higher price. Just will bail now in the spring / summer.
The silver lining is learning about all these other options another vote for Onelap #Rideoff
It is a big increase. But they wont get any extra money from me even if I stay with it. At $10 a month I just let the subscription run each month even in the summer months where I barely use Zwift as I normally ride outside. At $15 a month I will cancel my subscription in the summer months and just sign up again November – March each year.
At that price I will also try out their competition.
Zwift really needs to fix a lot of the core of their software. They basically run the software in a straight line, sensors, ride/workout menu, riding, upload/review EXIT . This needs to be addressed it’s my #1 annoyance with Zwift. I want to exit my riding go back to the ride/workout menu and pick something else sometimes, without having to exit and relaunch the software. #2 They also NEED to add trainer and PM calibration routines. There are zero excuses to not have a button to hit to enter a trainer calibration. #3 why is zwift basically split between an app/software and a website? Just integrate all of it into the app, this could all go along with fixing my #1 problem.
The Zwift world is nice, I appreciate the updates like the volcano and the jungle. London and Richmond need to just go away. I kind of like how my fake outside riding is in a fake place. I’d be ok with some real places if they were like some type of epic ride where you could probably never go.
So I think they need to hold back on adding things and start fixing things/work on how to make Zwift work better and be more usable.
I agree fully
I can foresee a day when Zwift is going to be pushing ads at us during the riding session to help bolster their revenue. Seems like a next logical monetization stage. Perhaps people can pay extra to have a “no ads” version like other game platforms…..
There are already ads. 🙂
Check out the boards along the side of the course on Richmond & London.
haha. Do you know if they get revenue from this? i assume they do.
I guess I always am in suffer mode so I don’t even notice..
I don’t know. I assume they do as well. They obviously pick specific brands. Given there’s thousands of brands in cycling, to pick only a specific set there’s probably a reason for it.
Perhaps it’s tied to other promotional stuff they do (like giveaways/prizes/events). Not sure.
You sound like a PR Rep for Zwift…
If so, then I’d have failed miserably. As anyone who actually read the above would know…
I recommend free link to bigringvr.com
Nice use of displying more metrics than Zwift ever did – such as average power and speed; however, still too boring and monotonous and lonely…
Additionally, not free anymore – beginning in January
A monthly fee already has to include the constant development of new features. You simply cannot justify a huge price increase with that. Compared to other services Zwift just doesn’t provide enough value for $15 a month. It hardly did with $10. Last time I checked it, the user interface was clumsy and ugly and the graphics get blown away by 10 year old games. For a game that has a single input Zwift isn’t providing very much.
Zwift is invaluable for me. It has totally revolutionized my winter workouts and made the off-season tolerable. I think it is fairly priced. I don’t see the $5 a month increase as a big deal. If it helps to make the development of the app better, I am all for it. The group workouts have been very useful for me and a good training tool. I also like the group rides. I agree that everything should be centered on the app and that all navigation, etc. be reorganized and made more user friendly. I also agree that there should be an easy way to set up private group rides, with the ability to set ERG limits, so weaker riders can stay with stronger riders. I have tried Pelaton and it is a joke from an expense standpoint. With Zwift and a smart trainer there is no comparison. Having the ability to use my own bike and then easily stow away the trainer once the season starts is a no brainer. When I think of all the money I spend on tires, pedals, bike upgrades, and kit upgrades, the meager amount I spend for Zwift is a pittance in comparison. Ride on!
Please do not compare the price of the equipment to the price of the service! everyone has different equipment and spend a lot of money on it. that you are rich, I am very happy. it’s like comparing the car’s value to motorway tolls. the second case of unjust dividing groups. those who pay $ 15 and $ 10. it is unfair.
My beef isn’t the $15 price, it’s that there isn’t a yearly membership at half price with the assumption you aren’t likely to be using it half the year anyway. For the first time since they started charging, I just turned my membership off since I’m not going to be using it all February. Now during summer months, each time I want to ride, I’ll have to decide if the $10 (for now, $15 next year) is worth the one or two times I might use it that month. $15/month Nov – Feb is well worth it.
To Zwift’s credit, it turns out they do make it really easy to turn off/on. Cancel and they make it clear on what day your month will be up. Then turning it back on again is trivial as well.
The end of my subscription ended a couple days before I would have liked so I tried out Road Grand Tours riding up Mt Ventoux. It did get a bit lonely and with out the gamification/competition it wasn’t quite as engaging. But it did show me that there are alternatives worth looking at. Probably would have been even more interesting had I actually ridden Mt Ventoux in real life before.
Also of note, each time I’ve been on lately there have been in the range of 6,000 riders. So I don’t think the $15 reduced the sign up rate. But also means their revenue would have been shooting up even without the price increase. More users only adds minimally to their costs. It’s actually feeling a little too crowded now so maybe they should even go higher.
@ekutter – excellent point on the yearly subscription. I think Zwift needs to evaluate that option during the one-year grandfather period, as I agree many people will opt out during the season once the price hike hits. One question I have that you might be able to answer. If you do unsubscribe and then resubscripe, do you get all of your metrics back or do you have to start over? If the latter, that would be a killer for me. Thanks. BTW, I did just reviewed the first look of VirtuGo. That looks like it might be a challenging Zwift competitor if it continues to mature. That should start to push Zwift to up its game.
Yep, all your stats etc. remain. Think of it as putting your subscription into hibernation. I assumed this would be the case but didn’t really know what to expect. After doing this and seeing how easy they make it, I’m more accepting of their current plan. Takes so little effort. I think they are banking on the fact that most people will be lazy/forgetful and not turn their accounts off. I’m OK with that too.
@ecutter – thanks for the feedback.
According to the zwift wiki:
As of January 2018, it is estimated there are over 550,000 accounts
550,000 x $5 = $2,750,000 PER MONTH.
I am certain that any ambitions of improving the Zwift service cannot possibly
require $33,000,000 per year.
To me this price increase is nothing more than a money grab and I will not be subscribing to Zwift!
That’s accounts, not paying accounts. Huge difference.
Paying accounts as of September was just over 100K. I’m sure it’s grown a little bit since then, but I’d guess no more than 30K at most.
I have no idea how much they are making or losing, but this is crazy pricing. Zwift is a game, Games generally cost around $60 once. Zwift is charging $180 per year.
Yes, large online multiplayer games are known for selling add-ons that increase the end cost, but this is also why they’re facing massive lawsuits and frequently top the lists of most hated companies in the world (EA). So it’s not exactly a flattering comparison.
Zwift does maintain a single product so a subscription fee is justified, but the current pricing is outrageous. It’s clearly a money grab taking advantage of their largely wealthy user base. They need to either introduce a cheaper yearly cost or change their pricing structure to more accurately reflect the product. Maybe a $50 offline software price followed by a $5 monthly fee for online play.
As many of you maybe already know ..zwift is going to create a marketplace where user can buy bikes, jersey, helmets and maybe some other things.
So let’s say at the moment there are 120k users, there are 600.000$ per month and other money from the marketplace they’ll gain in the future
they are about 140 people strong (linkedin) so they can add 100 programmers, designers to their staff 😛
Looking at the Zwift subscription figures from a marketing perspective, I wonder why they do not change their business model and get their additional required funding from the smart trainer producers which is also booming as result of the popularity of the Zwift app. It might even pay off then to lower the subscription price then as even more trainers will be sold.
Because the smart trainer producers don’t trust Zwift. They appreciate the added revenue, but none of them truly trust Zwift to not screw them over down the road.
The main reason is that Zwift has already started making moves to produce their own indoor training equipment, which could ultimately compete directly against what the trainer companies are making.
These comments made for very interesting reading going on 9 months or so since the price increase.
Since the price increased, just off the top of my head I think we’ve had Zwift Run, Alpe du Zwift, Innsbruck, New York going to be out soon, expanded gear support (Wattbike, some treadmill support), Companion app updated, training plans…plus all the other graphic tweaks, bug fixes etc.
Following the multi-week GDPR-related blackout of Zwiftpower etc, the racing scene on Zwift has definitely suffered; CVR suspending the summer season hasn’t helped. Will be interesting to see if it heats back up again in the winter when new users join (rejoin).
But even though I’m not racing near as much, I’m still on Zwift quite a bit; the new features and plethora of events do a pretty good job of enticing me to keep riding.
Put simply its all about scaling. So if Zwift are doing a good job then it will entice more people to join which in essence should bring the price down not push the price up. You could argue that they want to add extras like clothing, and trainers but is that really something WE should be paying for. All we want is the game and economies of scale suggest prices should drop not increase by 50%. Sure you made need to add a few extra servers but again the extra user count pays for that anyway. I dont think the people at Zwift are great listeners. Come November they are going to get a 50% EXTRA revenue stream which is outrageous in terms of income. You tell me how many of you have had 50% pay increases. Well it looks like Eric thinks he deserves it. I only hope they get some reasonable competition because once you take prices up you cant take them down and this could cost them dearly. They have set a benchmark and what happens with all benchmarks….they become target to be bettered in features, delivery and costs…
> So if Zwift are doing a good job then it will entice more people to join which in essence should bring the price down not push the price up
Er…..you may want to go back and revisit Econ 101, specifically what impact ‘more people joining’ (stronger demand) would be expected to have on pricing.
Zwift hasn’t implemented an annual plan in part because (based on an interview I read somewhere) they knew some people preferred to be able to stop and start during the year.
So – billed monthly, SufferFest is $10 a month. TrainerRoad $12 a month. Do you think Zwift’s development and other operational costs are higher than either of those two? I sure as heck do.
If Zwift was priced at $12 and raised to $15, somehow I think the same people would still be hyperventilating and going into hysterics at the ‘OMFG 25% increase’.
> Er…..you may want to go back and revisit Econ 101, specifically what impact ‘more people joining’ (stronger demand) would be expected to have on pricing.
Demand does not have the conventional effect on prices if supply is effectively infinite. What separates Zwift from things like trainerroad is (relative) mass appeal and that is exactly why Zwift could operate on much lower per user subscriptions than those relative niche tools, despite higher fixed costs.
I agree with what you say. They should be able to drop prices the bigger the user count gets and in doing that they really put the pressure on competition. But I think greed is starting to come into play here and that seems to be the way it is now….and that is why the door remains open to the competition.
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Looking into 14.99 vs 9.99 made me cancel my subscription immediately.
I had my account permanent and didn’t think much about it at 9.99 (even if I didn’t use it particularly in summer months).
Maybe I will subscribe November and December next year if I feel I’m riding too much on the rollers and need the incentive. I suggested Zwift to arrange a pay-per-ride price for users like me who use the service as a way to keep the rainy days more interesting.