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Fractured Freemium & Optimal PP Pricing

Of late and for some time, data chatter and racing is a hot topic for a lot of folks in the sport. On twitter, and elsewhere, most of the chatter seems to drill down on the want, and wish for some sort of freemium model for basic PP's.
For those who aren't up on the lingo, a freemium web-business model (and past performances are a web-based model now) is offering out a stripped down version of a product free, then converting free users to paid. This has been, and is, the dominant strategy for software because today's software can all be copied and shared; just like a PP file.

It makes some sense to do this in racing, on the surface. Offer a basic free PP, get people to bet, get people interested in racing, then they buy premium products. But, there's a difference in racing, because it's so fractured. Companies in the web world who have offered a freemium product and model, are earning virtually 100% of the revenue when someone signs up for good. In racing, Equibase offering out free PP's is step one, but then as people get more engaged, they may buy PP's from the DRF or Bris instead of Equibase. They aren't betting with Equibase, they're betting with Xpressbet, where 10% or so of every dollar bet is Frank revenue.

Once again, racing's disparate (and at times bizarre) revenue models aren't conducive to simple fixes. This clearly isn't Mailchimp, Dropbox or LinkedIn.

Barring #drainingtheracingswamp and starting all over again from scratch with data - this is not going to happen - I believe the solution, like with takeout, is about optimal pricing.

What price does data have to be so it encourages people to create new, vibrant products and businesses? Too high - which I argue it is - your ecosystem is stuck in a bog. Too low, Equibase goes out of business. There's a right price where both can exist.

What's the right deal between ADW's/racetracks (who want to increase market share by offering out free PP's for their users and races) and Equibase/Trackmaster? If the price is is too high and too penal - which by the low number of these PP's being offered free it probably is - they won't do it. We need more doing it.

There's a right spot, a right model (a bastardized, racing-version of freemium) that can work fairly well, in my view (without blowing up Equibase, and the data industry). No, that does not solve some larger issues in the data argument, which are long term. But, like Craig and many like him, I think free basic PP's in the hands of as many people as possible is a decent short term business goal the industry should work towards.


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