(Note: Part-1 is here)
Before jumping to the big news, let me tell you something about the background and current situation of rtMedia.
Recently, rtMedia’s free version crossed 82,000 downloads.
We want to thank everyone who is using rtMedia and promoting it as well.
But if you’ve been following rtMedia closely for the last few months, you may have noticed that work on new features has slowed down. A big reason for this is the 10x jump in free support requests, which takes 80% of our developers’ time.
The challenges with free support
We always provided free support and still love to do it.
As user-base grew, quality of support request started going down. Majority of support questions have their answers in support page, FAQ & docs. Many users ignored all such instructions and jumped straight to support forum and contact forms.
We have a big developer team here that provides all needed technical support. The idea of putting sweet-talking zombies who don’t know anything about WordPress or our codebase never felt interesting.
Now the problem is, this free support is costing us development time. It affected paying rtMedia premium-add-on users. Also, many users who are willing to pay for some features couldn’t be served because we are left with only 20% development time. This is too small to deliver big features in predictable timelines.
Those who know rtCamp and its size may wonder why we don’t simply put more developers on the project. We have more than 25 highly skilled WordPress developers here. We already have our best team to work on it but rtMedia isn’t profitable enough to expand the team. Also, we have to consider the opportunity cost associated with such decisions.
Choosing both premium and open-source
People think the terms free and open-source can be used interchangeably, but that’s incorrect.
Google’s search engine is free, but it isn’t open source.
activeCollab is open-source, but isn’t free of cost.
For rtMedia-Pro, we are taking a slightly different way – “Premium & Open-Source”.
What about rtMedia Core?
The good news is that rtMedia Pro is being developed as an rtMedia Core addon!
rtMedia Core on WordPress.org will continue growing bigger and better as a robust framework on top of which developers can build add-ons. Making rtMedia-Pro as addon, we will get first-hand experience about difficulties 3rd party developers may face while working on rtMedia core.
You can expect rtMedia Core to get new features when:
- A sponsor comes forward to request a new feature.
- Somebody sends a pull request on Github’s rtMedia repo.
- Something trivial needs to be included, like webcam-recording integration.
We expect support requests for rtMedia Core to drop over time. Fewer features in free editions means fewer things that can break.
We understand that our user base might shrink as we take the premium route but we had to make a choice and we chose to take the path to quality.
When is rtMedia-Pro coming?
Most likely before the weekend! Yes. We are working on it already.
We plan to have major weekly releases for the first two months after its launch.
The first version of rtMedia Pro will be available for $49. The price will increase by $10 with every new major release, till it reaches $99 or $199. Upper bound is not set.
Those who buy rtMedia Pro at $49 will get same price at the time of renewals! So stay tuned.
Special thanks to sponsors
We have thought of a special way to thank our sponsors who contributed towards building rtMedia as we see it today.
A free lifetime license of rtMedia Pro will be given to them. Some sponsors requested anonymity so the list is not published here. We will get in touch with them via email soon.
Share your thoughts…
We love constructive criticism. If you have any thoughts and concerns about the impending release of rtMedia Pro, please let us know!
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