Late Friday night, SmugMug subscribers (including yours truly) got an email regarding a new pricing structure for Pro users. The former account options have been changed from Basic, Power and Pro to now Basic, Power, Portfolio and Business.
Essentially, the Pro account is split into Portfolio and Business. The key difference between the two new types of accounts is that the Business account allows you to set prices and make profits on prints purchased through your online account.
Previously, the Pro account, which allowed you to set prices and make profits on prints, was priced at $150 per year. Now, the Portfolio account is priced at $150 per year. The Business account is priced at $300 per year. Existing Pro users can renew for $250 for next year.
There has been somewhat of an uproar among SmugMug users regarding the timing (late Friday night on a holiday weekend), amount (100% increase) and manner of the price hike (all at once rather than tiered over months/years). Several SmugMug users on Twitter have sworn to leave SmugMug, accusing SmugMug of pulling a Netflix.
— Koka Sexton (@kokasexton) September 1, 2012
SmugMug has ~7PB stored on Amazon S3 & about 400,000 users. That’s ~$18/yr in storage costs/user. Yet, increased price by $100.
— David Wolf (@WolfSnap) September 1, 2012
Now that SmugMug is raising their prices, it’s further solidifying that I will be switching completely to
@passpremier from here on out.
— Tori Watson (@marvelousphoto) September 3, 2012
— Ronn Murray (@RMurrayPhoto) September 3, 2012
I’ve copied the email below for those who didn’t get one in their inbox.
Hi Eric Reagan,
For the first time in 7 years, we’re raising the price of SmugMug Pro subscriptions, something we tried hard not to do.
We know $100/year is a lot and personally, if I were asked to pay more for a service, I’d want to hear from the person responsible for the decision. That’s me, so I placed my dSLR on a tripod, and looked it right in the lens, imagining it was you. I tried to offer a peek inside SmugMug and our thinking:
Because storage, engineering and support costs are so much higher for pros who sell at a markup, we split pro accounts in two: Portfolio and Business.
1. Portfolio is still $150/year (or $20/month) and still provides access to our pro labs for both you and your visitors, plus pro features like watermarking.
2. Business lets you set prices and earn profit. It will be $300/year (or $35/month) for new customers, but existing subscribers who set prices will be asked to renew at $250/year (or $30/month) beginning October 15, 2012.
It looks like you’ve set prices so we’re guessing you’d choose to renew at theBusiness rate. If we guessed wrong, you can always downgrade in a few seconds by going to your Account Settings.
There are more details and a discussion on our blog, and our Heroes are standing by to answer questions. If you’d like to make sure I see your question or comments, just put “attn: Baldy” in the subject.
We love that many of you have been with us for nearly 10 years, and it’s stunning to see how far we’ve come together. The silver lining in this increase is it lets us invest more engineering into SmugMug, which is exactly what we’re doing so we can make better improvements, faster.
Thanks for being a part of the SmugMug family,
I’ve been using SmugMug for 6 or 7 years now and have always thought the Pro account was a bargain at $150 per year. I have over 30,000 images on SmugMug for a total of more than 161GB. There is no limit to the number of files I can upload, the bandwidth I can use or the storage space that I take up. I still don’t see any reason to switch to another service. Even at $300 per year, I think what the SmugMug Business plan offers is still a bargain.
Are you a SmugMug user who received the late Friday night email? What do you think about the price increase? What alternative would you pick over SmugMug?