Email to the voice Dream Reader Team

Since the

Voice Dream Reader

Team announced their intentions to switch all customers, (regardless of whether they purchased a lifetime subscription to the app or not), to a subscription model, there has been quite the reaction in the community. Many individuals use Voice Dream Reader for a number of tasks, and if an app is purchased for a lifetime, this indicates it is good until the app is no longer in development. That term seems to have changed, and thus, I felt necessitated an email to the team. Here is what I sent to them. Time will tell if it brings about changes in their subscription model, but one can surely hope it does some good:

Hello,

I am a long-time user of Voice Dream Reader, and more recently, Voice Dream Scanner. I purchased Voice Dream Reader in May of 2013, for $4.99 U.S. That

would be a bargain in today’s financial landscape.

I mention this, so you, (forgive the vague term, “you”, but I do not have a name to address this to), know that I am an invested customer in the Voice

Dream ecosystem. I understand that a lifetime purchase, should mean for the duration of the app. Working in the technology field myself, I certainly understand

that updates, rising development costs, and funding a sustainable business, sometimes involves changing said terms. For those who have purchased the app

for a “lifetime”, a message indicating this term has changed duration would help customers in coming to terms with the subscription model you are choosing

to institute. Defining terms shouldn’t be necessary – when you say “lifetime”, it should mean, until the app is no longer in development. As the app is

still very much in development, this term seems to have changed meaning—it was “lifetime” until a subscription model became necessary. As this seems to

be the way of the technological landscape at present, I understand the logical and economic reasons for instituting this model.

As a customer myself, I also think a logical gesture from you to long-term customers would be to offer a solid discount to this new model. It could be

framed in terms of a trade-in, as phone manufacturers tend to do each year to entice users to upgrade to the next model.

If customers can provide proof of purchase, they should receive a notable discount- not simply a 20% one-size-fits-all discount and a two-week free time

span. The customer base needs to grow, and that is perfectly acceptable. As mentioned previously, businesses are increasingly switching to a subscription

model to entice users with an ad-free experience, early access to content, or simply to aid in development and server cost and maintenance.

To keep current customers satisfied, (so they can organically help you grow the business), a financial discount to subscribe would be a wonderful start.

I would also advise you to implement a tiered subscription model. The one-size-fits-all approach here is too broad. For instance, a customer wishing to

remain in the Voice Dream ecosystem may not have a Mac, or if they do, they may not intend to use Voice Dream on that machine. This applies to those with

Apple Watches, as well.

You could have a model that (for a much lower subscription price), gives a user access to the voice library, and Kindle integration, along with other visual

enhancements to the app.

An upgrade to the next tier could include all aspects previously mentioned, as well as access to Voice Dream on Mac and Apple Watch.

I understand a monthly price is also available, but again, that is a one-size-fits-all approach, and other businesses are not following that particular

model. Amazon Prime, for instance, allows you to rent high definition movies at a more substantial price, whereas you can rent Standard Definition movies

for a lower price. Giving customers choice in how much they spend on a subscription allows them to feel empowered, and offer their business to you as a

show of support.

If you support customers by offering them more options, and initial discounts, (if they previously purchased the app), then they will tell others of your

customer-first business model, and thereby assist you in growing your customer base.

What drew me to Voice Dream reader was the reasonably-priced voices from various companies, the speed control and navigation options, and how easy it is

to connect to external services such as Bookshare. AS many books are available on Kindle, this integration holds much appeal for an avid reader such as

myself.

I would love to find out that those who are responsible for the development and sustainability of Voice Dream Reader, take these suggestions into consideration

as they build the app of the future.

Thank you,

Rachel.

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