Notice: Splitting IPVM Access, Adding Research Service

Update: Live Webinar March 16th on the Research Service, explaining more and answering your questions. We've added this to provide more information.

In April, IPVM will add a new tier of access, called "Research", that will be significantly more expensive than our existing subscription offering, which will be called "Info+".

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While most everything we offer today in the IPVM subscription will remain in "Info+" (news, profiles, tutorials, ebooks, the Calculator, online shows, and all archives), reports on market analysis (including competition, stocks, financials) and product tests / shootouts will be restricted to the Research service.

Serving 2 Groups of Users

2 groups of subscribers have joined IPVM over the years - (1) professionals who use IPVM for staying informed about security technology and (2) decision makers who use IPVM to pick products and partners or compete against rivals.

Despite that, we charge everyone $199 per person for everything and so most decision makers only pay $199 per year. This reflects pricing and packaging IPVM set more than a decade ago when IPVM was just beginning and offered very little.

The goal here is to simultaneously allow IPVM to be accessible to the 15,000+ and growing subscribers who want news, information, and design software while ensuring that organizations that use IPVM for important business decisions pay commensurate to the value they receive from IPVM.

Why Necessary

For IPVM to deliver deep research, this financial model is necessary. A flat $199 per person subscription disincentivizes deep research that is expensive and time-consuming. There are only so many people who care about how ONVIF Profile M tests or which multi-imager is best or how Axis compares to Verkada. 99.999% of the world's population has no interest in this, even if we gave these reports away for free. However, the small number of organizations who really care and are making important business decisions on these technologies, products, and companies easily can and should pay a premium for that.

This is good both for the IPVM and the industry as it incentivizes us to do deeper research and publish more frequently.

With the increased revenue that the Research service will generate, we plan to hire more analysts and test engineers to produce more reporting.

What Is Being Restricted To The Research Service

The three main elements currently available to all subscribers that will be restricted to the research service are NEW product tests, competitive analysis, and financial analysis after April.

We are also expanding our coverage with new training and tracking of companies and competitors (to be announced in April).

No Action Needed

No action is needed now and all existing reports will remain available to all current subscribers, even after the Research Service is released.

Once the Research Service is released, current subscribers can continue as is with news, profiles, tutorials, ebooks, the Calculator, online shows, and all archives. The only potential decision is to sign up for Research Service if you want reporting restricted to that tier.

Refund Offered

We are confident that almost all subscribers will still find significant value greater than the $199 annual price for the Info+ plan or will see the value in adding the Research Service.

That noted, if anyone wants a refund, we will certainly honor that. Please email info@ipvm.com and Ryan or Ben will process.

Pricing

The Research Service will be priced in the thousands of dollars per year, primarily based on the number of employees an organization has.

Monthly Billing For SMBs

For SMBs, this will cost a few hundred dollars per month and, upon request, we can set up monthly billing for smaller companies.

Scholarships

For those that cannot afford the much higher-priced Research offering, we are planning scholarship options with an emphasis on supporting those who are top Contributors to IPVM discussions, top IPVM Certified Professionals, and those in academia.

Info+ Expansion

At the same time, for our "Info+" tier, we plan to go broader and expand IPVM into adjacent areas to video surveillance (e.g., security management, alarm monitoring) to provide more value to those paying just $199 per year.

Talk to IPVM 1 On 1

Set up a 1 on 1 call with IPVM's Head of Marketing and he can directly answer any questions, hear feedback or explain how the Research Service can benefit decision-makers in your organization.

Feedback In Comments

I am posting this publicly and in advance because I value the community and voices of our subscribers (even when they are critical of myself and IPVM). The floor is open for feedback.

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Can you give some examples of articles currently on the front page that would be part of the research service category? From the sounds of it, I think the majority of what I am after would still be in the $199 tier but until I see how things are actually split it is hard to tell.

However, it breaks down I hope you are successful!

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Can you give some examples of articles currently on the front page

Sure, e.g., Leica BLK247 LiDAR Human Classification Tested, it's a product test and people who are really considering using or competing against this are likely to be decision makers.

But most of the posts on the homepage would still be part of the $199 plan, e.g.

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Must admit sounds confusing, can you give more examples of what you would consider in the "Research" category?

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Product tests and shootouts, e.g., Camera Analytics Shootout 2021 - Ava, Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Lilin, Meraki, Mobotix, Rhombus, Uniview, Verkada and Vivotek.

We are going to do more competitive analysis, e.g., an upcoming 2022 version (but improved) of VSaaS State Of The Market 2021 - Avigilon, Arcules, Eagle Eye, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Openeye, Qumulex, Verkada. There will be more of those type of analysis for different market segments.

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For the next few months, can you add the "Info" and "Research" tags to every future article and previous article?

This will help with people, like myself that personally pay for the service and not provided by our workplaces, to choose to renew, immediately cancel, or just wait until our current membership runs out.

Everything that is produced by your team is information that I value and enjoy reading, and until now happily paid the price. Now I have to think hard about if it is worth the money.

The NEW product tests, competitive analysis, and financial analysis are the reasons I've kept my membership this long.

My initial thoughts are as someone purchasing from a different currency, that it wont be worth it anymore.

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For the next few months, can you add the "Info" and "Research" tags to every future article and previous article?

We'll put this in the queue, thanks. In terms of numbers, I'd estimate roughly 80-90% of what we publish will still be in the Info tier and not research.

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For the next few months, can you add the "Info" and "Research" tags to every future article and previous article?

Ashley, this is now added.

The articles directory, which catalogs all 7,500+ reports, now tags every article as either "Info+" or "Research", examples below:

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We have also created a new Research Report directory, which lists all the posts so far that will be in the upcoming Service:

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Once we start the Research Service, in ~3 weeks, we will be adding various new Research reports that we have not regularly released, in addition to more tests.

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I could care less about banter, marketing, general news, etc. Some of the info is interesting but not worth my money. Maybe for company investors to pay but I'd be willing to bet that many of us tech guys are really here for the research data and it was already a hard pill to swallow for our individual enlightenment to pay 199. Heck I login and check up on a few articles maybe once every 3-4 months (maybe I should have canceled anyway). This is crazy!

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Crazy like a fox. IPVM appears to be a very successful business - and you don't get that way by charging $199 for nothing. You can argue the new research category will hurt them - but it also may help them. It's not the number of subscribers - but the profit that matters.

"us tech guys are really here for the research data" Really? Why would a tech guy need research? He can benefit from tests that help him make installation decisions, like best way to terminate cat5 (info+). But if he need to know who has the best analytics built into a camera, then he is a decision maker.

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The names "Info+" and "Research" are a little confusing. There's nothing in the name to imply that "Research" is above and beyond "Info+". In fact, the name "Info+" has this plus sign, implying that it is in addition to... something. I would actually guess that "Info+" is the more inclusive option because it has a plus sign. Kinda feel like you're entering the "tall" "grande" "venti" realm of meaningless names with the levels.

[Disclosure: the poster does not work in marketing and marketing directors have been known to actively ignore observations from this poster]

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Yes, Mark did not like the "Info+" name either and I am happy to change it. I am not sure how to, in a single word, summarize that this will include news, profiles, tutorials, ebooks, the Calculator and online shows. I don't want to say something like "Basic" because I think it's far more than that.

Alternate suggestions for naming welcome!

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IPVM Magazine and IPVM Research?

IPVM Newswire and IPVM Reports?

IPVM and IPVM Executive?

IPVM News and IPVM Insights?

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IPVM Executive

We talked about calling it "executive" but the concern was that some people may not have an executive title but are still decision makers while other people (think banks, everyone has an executive title but few are actual decision makers) are the opposite.

As for "News", since it includes tutorials, ebooks, the Calculator, etc., it's definitely far more than "news".

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IPVM and IPVM Strategy?

IMHO I like having the main tier simply being "IPVM" and the premium tier having a name, be in "Research" or something.

If you're keeping a level of free content, IPVM, IPVM+, and IPVM+Research or IPVM+Premium or something could work?

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Why not call them IPVM and IPVM Premium?

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IPVM Inform and IPVM Insights ?

Okay I'll stop. I like naming things.

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FWIW, i think the names are OK, and make more sense maybe once you'd been on IPVM longer. I'd still drop the "+" from Info+.

If you notice, IPVM tends to post things that fall into two main categories:

1) IPVMs take, opinion, or perspective on some other thing that happened (Axis requiring vaccines, an FDA report on fever cameras etc.). These posts most likely take less than a days effort to produce, on average, and are mostly the result of some other things that happened.

2) A product test, a multi-product comparison/evaluation, an investigative piece, etc. These clearly take much more time to produce, most likely dozens or hundreds of employee hours and the core content is unique to IPVM.

Info is the first example, and research is the second. Info+ is then the first thing, plus comments and discussions that are subscriber-generated content or comments.

IMO, the Research category is well defined, I think a different word could be used in place of "Info", but I also think that IPVM is such an insider thing that they could call the two categories "Tailpipe" and "Chicken Salad" and people would still be able to figure out which subscription level they wanted after reading a few things.

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IPVM and IPVM Mitch and Murray Edition?

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Is there an option for people who only want to access the testing?

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That's not the plan. We are trying to keep it simple especially to start - one price, one tier. If, as we expand, we see that it makes sense to give options for a test offering vs a market research offering, we might do that.

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I think it might help. I have already seen this thread posted on some tech forums with some complaints. Most techs don't care about the business side they just want to see the testing. Just something to think about.

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Mike thanks for the feedback. The question when it comes to "techs" is are they technicians or are they techs who either own, operate, or are decision makers for integrators?

Our findings are that product testing and shootouts are primarily used by people, whether "techs" or "business", that are decision makers. For example, you are a "tech" but you are also an executive, so there's far more value for you accessing our tests than someone is a field technician whose job is to install Product X or Y day after day.

Does that distinction help? I'd appreciate your feedback.

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I would say it is mixed. A lot of them are small shops or owners/operators. They are the ones I here complain the most about business reporting and want more testing of gear.

Personally, I think they are short sited but you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

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A lot of them are small shops or owners/operators

Good feedback. We are structuring the Research Service so that smaller organizations pay significantly less than larger ones.

To walk through our logic:

  • $199 per person per year is way too low to cover the cost of testing
  • Even integrators with only a few employees still are generally doing $300,000, $500,000 in annual revenue, or more
  • Those smaller shops get far more than $199 in value from using our tests in picking products and partners
  • If we charge, we can deliver more testing, making it even more valuable to smaller operators. The main thing constraining our testing right now is that at $199 per person per year, it does not make economic sense to expand testing.

I am happy to elaborate and appreciate any more feedback from you or others.

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Could you keep the 199 but only access testing and if you want business that would be an additional 99. Just throwing numbers/ideas at this.

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The problem is that are only so many people who want test results of super niche products.

Consider Axis Camera Station 5 VMS Tested or Alarm.com Access Control Tested or Turing Vision VSaaS Tested. How many people really care about knowing the results of that? Multiply that by $199 or $99 a year and it is not a good business.

I like this stuff and over the years I've effectively subsidized tests with the profits we make on other reports (I mention this to Ethan and Brian periodically too).

We do great testing. It's not that testing can't be economically viable, it's that subscribers need to pay an appropriate price for both the high cost of doing them and the high value that this delivers to a small segment of decision makers.

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If someone wants access to both its 299. Tests online 199, reports only 99.

Again numbers need to fit your business model.

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What about a price model similar to when you go on line to download a template and they charge you a one time only fee for that one download or give you the option to do levels with say: 10 downloads a month and next level offering more downloads for more $$ etc. The final level of course would be unlimited and that would be the "Research" one. You'd only need 3 to 4 levels and it would allow the one off needs to be fullfilled and the little companies can maybe afford the 2 or 3 column and don't really need as many reports anyway etc.

Just a thought...

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Have you considered a "menu" pricing? Some people may be extremely interested in Access Control and not have a need to look at all the testing in Cameras. What if you posted the title of the test and allow members to purchase it without having to buy more than they need.

Kind of like cable and satellite were supposed to do by letting you choose which channels you want...

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Have you considered a "menu" pricing? Some people may be extremely interested in Access Control and not have a need to look at all the testing in Cameras.

Alex, thanks. We have considered it and I think most offerings, as they get bigger and more complex, need to have some style of menu or multiple option pricing. We are trying to balance it with not going full a la carte, where every article would be price individually, etc., which I think most people would dislike.

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What about a la carte, or something along those lines, for product tests and shootouts? Personally, I'm not too interested in the deep market analysis articles but I would hate to lose access to tests and shootouts.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: What About A La Carte Pricing For Product Tests And Shootouts?

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I guess it would depend on the final price. I sometimes find the business analysis interesting, the testing is what I find the most useful and if I had to pick and choose out of the three, I believe testing would be the only thing I’d be concerned with. That generally sways my opinion when researching different products.

More examples of analysis would help me confirm this thought process.

I’m not a large or medium company and while cameras is one of the main technologies, I still do residential and commercial A/V with a stronger focus on commercial.

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Kyle, thanks, good feedback!

The most common reason people cancel IPVM is lack of breadth (i.e., I mostly do X - A/V, phones, wireless, alarms - and I only do a little video or they switch industries into one we don't cover).

The Research Service (for now) is to go deeper into video surveillance and access control but we also realize that we can and should do broader (e.g., A/V, though security management is likely the first step horizontal).

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I did think of one issue. I clicked on the test page. How are the tests chosen currently? Looking back, I actually found tests from years ago much more useful. I mainly care about low light performance without always relying on IR. My thoughts on recent tests are below starting with the most recent.

1. Leica - interesting, but not my market2. Turing Facial - potentially useful3. Integrated IR Face Rec problem - Interesting, but not something my clients have been particularly interested in.4. Alarm.com - interesting, but I still focus mainly on cameras5. Parked Cars Trigger - Useful6. Velcro vs Zip Ties - Useful to a point, but not something I would have requested. It's more of a test to put the trolls to rest.7. ONVIF Profile M - Useful8. Axis Camera Station 5 - It's nice to know the status, but it would take a lot for me to consider ACS over Spectrum.9. EZ-RJ45 vs Traditional RJ45 - It's nice to read and comment on, but I find it similar to the Velcro vs Zip Tie article. I'm not going to switch anytime soon, but I gathered that the EZ variant has improved from when I first tried it and decided against it.

This takes us back to the end of 2021. None of the tests, while they are good and most likely useful to certain subscribers, have determined a purchasing decision for me.

The last tests I found really useful were from July and August. Again, this is just my opinion of how it relates to the decisions I make. I have read some of the other tests only for some information, but before clicking I knew it wasn't going to change my mind. It's nice to know about Ubiquiti cameras for instance, but I find them very limiting and it's not something I've seriously considered due to them being a closed system.

So if pricing increases to access tests, is there going to be a method to find out what tests should be done? If that is being done now, I may be missing the poll, but at $199/yr I don't care as much. When the tests are released, I look at them when I have time.

I find the calculator useful for something quick, but it's not as detailed as JVSG and because I'm not paying $199/yr just for a calculator, I don't care as much. The camera finder was useful, but I found it to have bugs recently or didn't have all cameras included. Now that there are compliance issues, I have wanted to see that as an exclusion option or the exclusion of any Hikvision or Dahua OEMs.

I do find value in the discussions and the site brings valuable responses from subscribers. I find the Facebook groups can be useful, but not something I would pay to access. The paywall does provide a filter of sorts.

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Personally I like test and research base on technologie and everything that could make me more knowledgeable over time.

But I'm not interested in scandal and all other political side of story. And all other financial research that you are doing. I though IPVM was doing it to get a better picture of the industry. I din't know It was use for business strategy.

I may be an exception since you have access to the stats from your client. I'm scared that the price to get access to the test, event if I agree that I value them, will pass over my breaking point.

There was some research that was made with bread, everybody eat bread and need it and buy it but there is a perception of value that when it cross a certain threshold people don't buy and find substitutes.

I'm part of other member ship you know and I have a certain budget regarding that. I don't necessary want to cancel the others to have only one source.

SO I understand what you do. I'm sad and respect IPVM new direction but we may be saying goodbye 👋 if I can't afford what I like to read.

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I've said for a long time that IPVM is worth far more than you charge so I'm okay with the change. However, I'm a small company so I may not be able to play in the Research arena even though I use those tests and financial information articles all the time.

I'm the CEO with a sales background, definitely NOT a tech, but I make decisions about what to buy all the time and because I'm not a tech, I often rely on IPVM to help me make those decisions.

I'm not sure how it will impact me yet and will likely start at the lower level $199.00 and if I run into needing access to the research side, I'll get the quote and decide then whether I can afford to upgrade.

I got a little scared off of the research option when you said: The Research Service will be priced in the thousands of dollars per year, primarily based on the number of employees an organization has.

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Fully agree with this comment. Don’t care one bit about the other articles. All I want is access to the product tests. To be honest, I feel the product tests have been pretty meager the last few years. I will be cancelling my membership.

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How much to just argue about vaccines?

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That should be free, I think that content could be used to train some kind of AI to be used for political manipulation posts. Huge value there.

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No... keep those nasty debates away from our poor innocent AI...

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The recent news article relating to the industry and COVID have gotten out of control, e.g., Axis Vaccine Policy Causes Culture Crisis, Complaints Against ISC West Vaccination / Test Requirement. It's one thing to have a productive debate, it's another thing when it devolves into people yelling at each other for 200+ comments.

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Just build a bot to type out the same 18 or 19 points over and over and over in response to itself. Install the bot onto an airgapped computer not connected to the internet. Next time somebody brings up Covid or Fauci or vaccines or the CDC or sneezes too loud, just tweet BOT ACTIVATED and everybody will know what you mean.

We'll let the bot argue with itself while we focus on, you know, the security industry and whatnot.

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Wow, that kind of sucks. IPVM is my best option for recon on competitors, new tech, and financial performance of the MFGS. not having that is a huge disappointment, especially since we are a smaller company, that cant afford "THOUSANDS" of dollars. That has significant value, but not thousands of dollars. I have found more and more value in membership, and wouldn't bat an eye at 199-599 per year. Really always believed strongly that this was kind of like "the industry insider blog" with not that many EU's. What is your ratio of EU/consultants that will pay thousands, and integrators and manufacturers? Your BLK 247 is exactly the type of info I appreciate would now be excluded from. Very disappointing. I guess I'll keep it for the camera calculator. Two thumbs down

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Thanks for the feedback!

Your BLK 247 is exactly the type of info I appreciate would now be excluded from.

Let me try to explain how expensive that testing is. We've now tested it twice, it's easily taken 6 weeks to do this, about ~700 subscribers have read the 2 reports (the second is new today but it's definitely not going to get many more reads).

It's expensive to do, there are not a lot of people interested in reading it. We could not do it at all or for those few people who really want info on how a $16,000 device works, they could pay more for that. Those are the options I see, I am certainly open to other approaches.

What is your ratio of EU/consultants that will pay thousands, and integrators and manufacturers?

Since this is new, we cannot be sure who will pay but we have a large and growing number of executives (end users, integrators, investors) who use IPVM for research on large business decisions.

To give a sense from my own perspective, we are a 25+ person company and we pay thousands of dollars a year for lots of online services, research services, databases, etc.

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For me this sucks, I like the product tests, it's the only unbiased source of info on new product, and saves me months talking to sales reps or integrators trying to figure out if a product is really something I should pursue. No offense to sales reps and integrators out there, I just like to have my own education if I can because everyone has an angle. And if I try to stay current and poke the reps once a year without buying, they'll stop taking my calls, which would be understandable. I am fascinated with the product but I'm an end user, it's not really my day job, I'm not an integrator, and we don't buy enough equipment to justify paying IPVM's new premium rate. I know some stuff but I'm not deeply experienced in this industry so I won't qualify for your scholarship.

I totally get why IPVM is doing this, I understand how expensive it is to do the product testing. I can't afford it either. There's no way I can shell out >$1000 per year just because I'm interested in it, so when my subscription is up I'll not be renewing. Glad I got to ride this bus while it was cheap.

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I'm in the exact same boat. I use IPVM so I know what I'm talking about with the integrators. It helps me to recommend the products I want to test or purchase. We're a small government organization though, and I could never justify more than the $200 we already pay. I won't ask for a refund, but I also will not renew.

No hard feelings, I understand it's just business.

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One option might be a “pay for report” like pay per view. Once people have paid for enough reports, they will see the value in a full membership.

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Has there been any consideration for a select amount of reviewable tests a month or quarter for the base accounts? Might help people see the value if there are new articles that they would like to review, but are locked out of due to hitting the cap. As it seems now, the remainder of a subscription has less value than what we signed up for come April. It is difficult for a SMB to jump to a tier that will be "in the thousands" to subsidize these promised future even better tests and analysis that we won't see for X amount of time once you gear up new staff and add additional testing.

The money coming in for the new tier i'm sure will outweight any subsriber loss or refunds for the $199 folks. But maybe there could be a midrange tier for individuals not a part of large organizations. Somewhere between where we're at now and thousands of dollars.

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difficult for a SMB to jump to a tier that will be "in the thousands" to subsidize these promised future even better tests and analysis that we won't see for X amount of time once you gear up new staff and add additional testing.

Jesse, thanks for the feedback!

A couple of things:

  • For SMB, we can offer monthly payments, such that it will be a few hundred per month (depending on company size). As an SMB ourselves, I understand the hesitancy, but once I think about all the services that I pay a few hundred a month, I realize there are many online services I pay thousands of dollars per year.
  • We are going to be releasing many tests and new analysis right away. We also plan a promotion when it starts in April that provides free extra months as an incentive to join in the beginning.
  • For sure, I expect most organizations that eventually join will not join right away, just like it took many years to build up IPVM's $199 subscription base. I respect that and we will be motivated to keep on adding more reports to deliver value that justifies the higher price of the Research Tier.
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The main reason I am on IPVM is for the product reports / comparisons. Especially on the generic every day products. Whilst the 'weird & wonderfuls' are interesting they really aren't in my normal sphere of operations, however the knowledge is good to have.

I feel that he everyday type products should be in the entry level tier, perhaps the higher end & unusual items in the upper or even better as a pay per view.

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This is a wait and see thing for me. Roll it out, take a test drive. See what works what don't based on the new system. What did I use based on what isn't available in the 199 Tier...and so on.

I am a one-man, newer company breaking into the Cam and Access side of things, a IPVM student and subscriber, but I can tell you I am definitely not in the $300k-500k range. I DO use IPVM for business decisions based on a lot of the product, technology and design content.

Will you be locking down your content with this new approach? No freebies or Freemiums to those not subscribed?

What, if anything, will be happening with IPVM courses? Staying as is?

Thanks for what you do!

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Rob, thanks for the feedback!

Will you be locking down your content with this new approach? No freebies or Freemiums to those not subscribed?

In terms of what is free, it will remain the same. Roughly ~90% of IPVM requires a subscription, the main difference will be that a small portion of that 90% will be placed in a separate subscription tier.

What, if anything, will be happening with IPVM courses? Staying as is?

Pricing stays the same, we will be offering more courses and recently hired an Education / Courses manager to help expand this. I really like how Courses can help people become educated.

Related, Rob, we will offer scholarships, especially for those who are Certified like yourself, so if you are interested once it's launched, email us (info@ipvm.com / john@ipvm.com) and we can discuss.

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Fantastic. Yeah the courses are great!

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This is disappointing to see. I started as an end user building and managing a large scale IP video system using a lot of what I learned on this site, to the point that I now work for the manufacturer of what we implemented as a sales engineer and am expanding my knowledge now into access control. I am posting undisclosed as I do not speak for the company on this site as I am not an executive or in a decision making position, also they do not pay for my subscription.

I pay for it myself because I want to stay informed of new product releases from other manufacturers and competitors, so that I can help find the best solution for my customers as we often have customers with cameras or software from other vendors. The testing of different cameras, how they work on different VMS platforms, and the feature comparisons are extremely helpful and I reference them frequently.

I completely understand the need to raise rates to cover the testing, pricing on everything keeps going up and if the number of tests increase, this will be even more beneficial, however I cannot justify "thousands" for a personal subscription. I agree with the above comments of having an "add on" for testing for those with personal accounts such as mine. I don't need access to financial reporting for "decision makers", but for the boots on the ground solution designer the testing is the main reason I am here.

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#9, thanks for the feedback! I am glad IPVM helped you learn IP video and advance in your career. I see you have an IPVM certification and as I mentioned to Rob, we can talk directly about what to do to help you have access to the Research tier.

Let me help explain 2 things I am trying to resolve:

  • There are executives at multi-hundred million or billion-dollar companies who subscribes to IPVM for $199 and use it to make million-dollar purchasing, strategy, partnership, acquisition, etc. decisions. I know most people who comment on IPVM work for relatively smaller companies or regular roles but over the last few years, this is increasingly commonplace. Those people get far more value out of IPVM and should pay their fair share. You and that person should not be paying the same. As it is right now, you effectively subsidize them.
  • There are the random salespeople who join IPVM for $199 and use it for promotion (against our terms), misrepresenting our research trying to sell widgets. I'd rather those people cancel.

What I don't want to hurt is those in the middle of this; people like you - good, hard-working people who are using IPVM to help their careers. One of the ways we can handle this is factoring in people who are Certified, and I am open to other ways to find the right balance.

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John, I agree completely regarding both of those subscriber groups, and I realize it is also difficult to either identify them or entice them to do the right thing by paying for higher tiers if if a lower is offered with nearly the same content. Thank you for the reply and I look forward to speaking with you or your team as this time gets closer.

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"There are executives at multi-hundred million or billion-dollar companies who subscribes to IPVM for $199 and use it to make million-dollar purchasing, strategy, partnership, acquisition, etc. decisions. I know most people who comment on IPVM work for relatively smaller companies or regular roles but over the last few years, this is increasingly commonplace. Those people get far more value out of IPVM and should pay their fair share. You and that person should not be paying the same. As it is right now, you effectively subsidize them "

Great!

Find them and charge them properly , then add the extra content they need to make business decisions!

Let us "ordinary 14,500 users" to expect content as before.

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I work for a fairly large corporation but the security side of the company is fairly small. I only view the tests when they catch my eye as I'm browsing IPVM once a week or when I'm trying to find a solution for a client. I fight tooth and nail for the company to pay for my subscription currently, so if the fee is $500+, I will probably sign off also. IPVM has been a great resource over the years and I understand your dilemma. If I'm lucky I'll still be able to obtain the basic subscription level for the calculator.

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"If I'm lucky I'll still be able to obtain the basic subscription level for the calculator."

Try

AVIGILON System Design Tool

Just pick 3rd party camera

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Just pick 3rd party camera

I believe that the Calculator remains at the lower level subscription. That's what it says at the top of this page.

I checked out the Avigilon calculator. It's similar to IPVM except for the fact that 3rd party camera isn't useful. If you aren't using all Avigilon cameras, it doesn't make sense to use the Avigilon calculator.

This is why 3rd party software is so important. It's not tied directly to a manufacturer. Avigilon has no incentive to make the 3rd party camera option more useful as they have nothing to gain.

I currently go between the IPVM calculator and JVSG depending on the requirements. I just wish the JVSG would export a dwg so I could easily import into AutoCAD.

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Not a big fan of the Avigilon tool, mainly because I don't specify their cameras unless required by the owner. I rather use IPVM, System Surveyor, or Axis Revit Tool.

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How long have you used System Surveyor? Do you find it useful? Which subscription level do you use? I have looked at it a few times but I haven't started a trial of it. It seems like an interesting and useful product.

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I use System Surveyor every day. I handle security-related projects and design for a large end-user.

I'm in my second year as a System Surveyor subscriber. It becomes more useful and accurate as time goes on by entering more element details.

I've entered almost all models numbers, descriptions, data, pricing, and labor for my recommendations and technical standards, so it has truly become drag and drop. I try to update it regularly, especially with new cameras introduced every quarter.

What used to take hours, days, and sometimes weeks emailing various document file types back and forth now takes minutes, especially when I add the end-user and integrator as guests to my designs.

The designs are clear and easy to understand for the end-users, internal I.T. engineers, project managers, general contractors, electricals, and security integrators.

The exported reports are very professional and my internal estimates have become more accurate over time to about +/- 10%. The reports and estimates are very helpful when we seek funding internally.

I subscribe to "Scale" level, about $780 per year. "Essential" is a perfect place to start if you are the only user. It is $540 per year.

System Surveyor has demos almost weekly if you wish to register.

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Hi Dwayne,

I'm a daily user of SS too and rate it highly.

There are still some minor issues with it and functionality / UX that could be improved but I've not come across anything else.

Out of interest, is there a "user forum" out there for us to coordinate on feature / update priorities?

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I'm an avid reader of IPVM and have learned a lot through the years. Thank you for creating this service.

I am trying to understand the reason for combining the "testing" reports and the "competitive analysis" reports together into this higher tier? At first glance, it would seem that the audience for each would be quite different, and similarly, the value they provide. Even in the comments to this post, many are just focusing on the "tests" and not so much on the "competitive analysis" (though that may just be selection bias :) ).

Would you consider including some manner of competitive analysis in the "info+" tier? Would you consider allowing users the choice to pay for just product testing or just competitive analysis reports (or both) in addition to the "info+" tier?

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I am trying to understand the reason for combining the "testing" reports and the "competitive analysis" reports together into this higher tier?

Thanks, good feedback, and thoughts!

The unifying factor is: What is needed to make business decisions, like what products to buy, who to partner with, or how do we compete against this company? Both tests and competitive analysis are primarily for those decisions.

Take the Leica BLK247 LiDAR Human Classification Tested. I am sure some people read it for general interest but most of the people reading it are either (1) considering spending $16,000 per unit or are (2) competing against those who are proposing those units. Either way, that's the realm of business decision makers who generally are doing millions of dollars in revenue.

In terms of segmentation, I am much in favor of segmenting based on (1) how people contribute to the IPVM community (e.g., top commenters) and (2) how many IPVM certifications they are. Those are good signs to me that these are people who are serious about video surveillance and should receive some form of discount / scholarship if their business / position does not afford it.

But, so many IPVM subscribers are business people that use IPVM to make money, so for them, it should not be hard to justify paying IPVM hundreds of dollars a month, so long as we are providing enough relevant reporting and information that helps those businesspeople make more money.

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I believe your tests of inexpensive or commodity type items could still fit in the regular membership. Those, along with the ability to run questions by the masses and the camera calculator should return what the original members signed up for.

Business intelligence on finances, investor news, high dollar items or enterprise products could move to a higher cost section without too much fight. IMHO.

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tests of inexpensive or commodity type items could still fit in the regular membership

In the regular $199 plan, we will make accessible posts like Velcro vs Zip Ties for Network Cable Tested or EZ-RJ45 vs Traditional RJ45 Tested because they are basic inexpensive components and relatively short tests. However test / shootouts, like Cat 6 Network Cable Shootout - Belden, Berk-Tek, Commscope, Panduit, Superior Essex, Windy City Wire, More we plan to make Research Service only because they are expensive to do and the people who really care about that are generally people in the business of buying or reselling lots of cable.

As another example, we are Planning A 4/5MP Camera Shootout. We plan to make that Research Service only, it's going to take 2 months and cost easily $30,000. While lots of people use 4/5MP cameras, those that really care what cameras are best in low light, WDR, bandwidth consumption, setup, etc. (against a dozen or so competitors) should pay a premium for that.

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As another example, we are Planning A 4/5MP Camera Shootout. We plan to make that Research Service only, it's going to take 2 months and cost easily $30,000. While lots of people use 4/5MP cameras, those that really care what cameras are best in low light, WDR, bandwidth consumption, setup, etc. (against a dozen or so competitors) should pay a premium for that.

I strongly disagree with this viewpoint. 4/5MP cameras are the generally mainstay of the industry, especially for smaller companies, even for 1 man companies who often do excellent work. By putting this sort of report into the higher category you are cutting it off from those who probably need it the most. How many 1 - 3 person companies can afford to purchase dozens of cameras, or have the facilities or skillset to fully test & evaluate these items.

In days gone by this would have been the distributors role, however with todays race to the bottom they do not have the time, margins or resources to do this anymore. Also many more distributors are now single brand, or main brand plus a couple of dregs on the side.

Personally I would rather see an across the board moderate increase, say to $240 rather than tiered pricing.

I understand that some multi million $ companies are getting benefit of the site for $199, perhaps it would be smarter to charge more based on company size eg large company $1000, huge company $5000

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By putting this sort of report into the higher category you are cutting it off from those who probably need it the most. How many 1 - 3 person companies can afford to purchase dozens of cameras, or have the facilities or skillset to fully test & evaluate these items.

I agree that most people can't afford to do this themselves. Because of that, what IPVM offers, even at a few hundred dollars a month for SMBs, is a far more cost-effective way to accomplish that.

If a company is in the video surveillance business (even one doing $500,000 a year), they can rationally pay a few hundred dollars a month for information that saves them that much time and helps them make better decisions for their business.

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I honestly feel that most 1 - 2 man companies would struggle to justify a few hundred dollars a month, if not financially then emotionally.

I honestly feel that if you do what you are proposing you will lose your 'bread & butter' smaller people / companies. This will slightly impact your bottom line, but largely impact the industry knowledge. Please remember that many of us have signed up to improve our product & industry knowledge.

I agree it is unfair to IPVM that a company with 50 staff pays the same as I do as a private individual. However many of those companies would not join or pay for an employees subscription for assorted reasons, then the subscriber does it at their own personal expense.

Personally I like the idea of pay by size, and in a perfect world that would be the ideal.

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I honestly feel that if you do what you are proposing you will lose your 'bread & butter' smaller people / companies.

For $199, we are offering design software that 1/3rd of integrator subscribers regularly use + ongoing tutorials on technology + news on what's going on in the industry + we are going to expand to cover more adjacent areas. I get that smaller companies would like us to give them everything for $199 but from what we see in usage, most small integrators get a lot of value from IPVM, even without the product tests.

Please remember that many of us have signed up to improve our product & industry knowledge.

I do, that's why I, as the CEO and Founder of the company, am answering comments, one by one, on a Saturday afternoon. It's really important to me and I am encouraging all of you to make suggestions on what ways we can segment such that big companies pay their fair share with minimal impact on "smaller people / companies".

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big companies pay their fair share with minimal impact on "smaller people / companies".

I personally appreciate you taking the time to engage in this discussion, even on a Saturday afternoon. It is one of the things I like about IPVM, the fact that it is very hands on.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea of delayed access for the lower tier. Perhaps 3 months as a suggested delay time. Would also love an option, as a private individual now, not currently employed, to keep full access at the lower cost. Yes, that is me being selfish. I admit it.

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not currently employed, to keep full access at the lower cost

Fyi, Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed. We continue to provide this. Related, I just gave you 6 months free.

Perhaps 3 months as a suggested delay time

We are going to seriously consider the delay time. One element I need to consider is, if we do it, how long and should everything get this applied. Should financial or competitive analysis only be subject to a few month delay? If the delay is 6 months or 1 year, how much does that hurt or help small businesses vs big corporations paying a premium?

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Thankyou for the 6 months, I appreciate it.

Personally I would think that 3 month delay would be good. It is enough that those who have the resources to pay extra get the benefit, but short enough that the information isn't too out of date when it becomes accessible.

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The perspective of a lowly sales guy working for a large company...

I use the camera reviews and shootouts to determine what are the best options to offer to my customers. I'm not here on behalf of my company, I'm here because I want as much info as I can get on the products I'm offering, and the info I learn doesn't go higher than me in the organization.

I understand the reasoning, but I'll sure hate to lose the in-depth info to a higher tier that I would never get approval to purchase. I will remain a $199 member, as there's still a lot of value there, and I will lament that which I am missing.

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that I would never get approval to purchase

I understand you are a "lowly sales guy working for a large company" but I am a small business owner working in a niche. I think we provide significant value to those mega-companies so they should consider paying for a portion of the value we create for them.

I do think this will help these large companies truly assess how much value IPVM provides them.

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I don't disagree, but what we think is right and what actually happens are sometimes at odds. Of course this is just me speculating, we'll see how it shakes out.

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Team Aventyr is on board!

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Completely agree with you there are some users who are getting tens of thousands of dollars worth of value from this site, paying $199 a year.

There is a time value of data for this category of user however, perhaps access to these types of posts could be on an early basis for the high paying tier. These articles could then make their way to the Info+ tier after 3 months or some other timeframe.

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There is a time value of data for this category of user however, perhaps access to these types of posts could be on an early basis for the high paying tier

I agree with that. I do think there is some form of delayed access that we could offer to provide lower-cost access. How many months and how that would be structured, we would need to think more about.

I am convinced we need to have a price tier in the hundreds of dollars per month for us to offer deep testing and research. The value we generate for lots of organizations is clearly there and the cost of doing this is a legitimate factor, so those 2 things combine to require this higher price tier.

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I agree with that. I do think there is some form of delayed access that we could offer to provide lower-cost access. How many months and how that would be structured, we would need to think more about.

I would suggest 3 months for the delayed access. That way the information is still usable, but not hot off the presses as it were.

Another question, will standard users be able to see the discussion threads re new reports that are in the higher level?

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will standard users be able to see the discussion threads re new reports that are in the higher level?

No. I don't see why that would be productive because if they can't see the report, what are they going to discuss?

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One thing that makes IPVM powerful in my opinion is exposing corporate BS and truly rating products/companies on their merits.

If the hard hitting reports aren't visible to the masses, it means IPVM isn't exposing questionable products, so the big companies get to escape a bit of shaming.

Perhaps posting summaries of the reports or something else to maintain that engagement of the majority could help, along with selling access to individual reports/comments so people can join in when it's financially justified. If it's $2400 a year for membership and you plan on posting 12 reports ($200 per report) then sell the page and comment access for $500 or something like that.

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If the hard hitting reports aren't visible to the masses, it means IPVM isn't exposing questionable products, so the big companies get to escape a bit of shaming.

All of those things are going to be either in the $199 plan or public. Nothing changes there. It's the most important thing IPVM can do for the public as a whole.

Things that I think justify paying hundreds a month include (1) what functional weaknesses does Alarm.com access control or Axis Camera Station or Eagle Eye or whoever has or (2) how do you compete against Avigilon or Axis or Verkada, etc. These are not things that matter to the public at large but they are quite valuable to those in the business of video surveillance (whether buying products, selling, reselling, etc.).

To the contrary, posts that have public interest or impact won't be in the Research / premium tier, examples from the last month include:

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Honestly, it sounds kind of extreme, but I think this will negatively impact the industry as a whole. I strongly depend on IPVM for the product reviews. If you got rid of ALL the other stuff, I’d pay $400 a year just for the tests. Knowing how my product objectively tests compared to my competitor allows me to be truthful with my customers when I tell them the pros and cons of my product versus another. Without that, I’ll rely on anecdotes, partner feedback, and what little experience I can get by doing it myself. Even manufacturers Competitve Intelligence departments don’t test as well as you guys. This will cause a rise in uneducated opinions being used by sales people instead of genuine, informed observations.

Think about it: before IPVM, it was literally “reviews” that were PAID for by the company being reviewed. This will really reduce the amount of true information out there on the internet for the average industry person.

My company doesn’t pay for my subscription, I pay myself. Also, I encourage my employees to sign up as well. I’m actually kind of shocked this was the result of your analysis on raising rates. Please add an individual tier at $300-$400 for reviews.

Again, love your company and work you do. To think that we just want your news and not your objective reviews is wild. I guess you have the data…but damn, the honest salespeople out there that want to add value to their customers are getting smoked on this.

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#12, great feedback, thank you for that!

Please add an individual tier at $300-$400 for reviews.

Let me explain the challenge we have right now. Every week, executives at billion-dollar companies subscribe to IPVM and they all virtually pay $199 a year (that's not a criticism of them, that's what we charge; they are under no expectation to volunteer to pay us more). We need to have a structure where decision makers at large companies pay appropriately. If we publish a $300 - $400 tier, then, just like now, virtually all of those executives will just pay $300 - $400.

So I definitely want to have a way for individuals like you who are trying to do their job (and not making company decisions) can have access to as much of IPVM as possible, so long as it is balanced against the other concern.

The way I am proposing right now is that we, on an exception basis, provide low-cost or no additional cost access to people like you. And with the money that big organizations will pay, it makes it easier for us to do that.

We could also consider other ways to segment offerings, e.g., what goes in or out of the Research / premium tier or, as one person suggested, time delays. I am happy to brainstorm other techniques to use, within the context of organizational decision makers being properly incentivized to pay appropriately.

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How is the exception process going to work? Do we have to contact you directly or will there be a form to fill out?

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Totally understand the challenge and I see what you mean. It’s a rough spot, as things like the 5MP shootout are exactly what I love. The time delay is a good idea.

I guess if you go with the Research tier it’ll just put more pressure on big companies to have a group plan to allow their employees access. If that’s the case, you guys better get reallllly good at sales and ensure you get decision makers on board. People like me can push for this kind of stuff but it’s a challenge, and just another thing to try and get done.

One risk I see here is the larger companies may just choose to invest that money into their own CI teams. The obvious counter is that your service may be cheaper than an internal one, but the math starts to get fuzzy once you go down that route.

Definitely keep exploring options. Time delay, making the depth of the reviews different by tier, or having the Info+ tier include the top 3-5 manufacturers and the Research tier include all of them may be things to look at. Hell, even an ad-hoc “store” for me to buy certain reviews as an individual would be better than nothing.

In the end, I get it and don’t blame you, but also don’t want you guys to lose sight of what really drove your growth (in my opinion). Unbiased reviews are rare. Deciding on whether the masses or the organizations should have that info is…rough. Good luck!

edit: Also, just realized I may be in the minority here, so if your data shows your revenue and subscriber growth is tied to reporting and not reviews, then my argument doesn’t really stand. Still bummed though.

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A manufacturer can’t have their own team comparing products for $199/yr. Anything would be less than having a single internal staff member focused on studies.

The issue is determining which companies should pay more and by how much.

On the other hand, it’s clear many manufacturers don’t focus on comparisons enough. Based on some responses I’ve heard over the years, half the time they think their product is the best and they have no flaws. That’s probably why some of the software looks so dated…someone still thinks it’s good.

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One risk I see here is the larger companies may just choose to invest that money into their own CI teams

For the prices that we are charging for the Research Service, they literally would not be able to pay a single person for a month. It's not in the same universe.

To be clear, I think large companies should have their own CI teams but the cost of those things (a few hundred thousands for 1 or 2 people, a million plus for a small 'team') is so much higher than IPVM that they are not in competition with each other.

If that’s the case, you guys better get reallllly good at sales and ensure you get decision makers on board.

A lot of companies, like yours, do not want their employees having access to IPVM because they do not want employees finding out about which of their products work poorly or which of their management decisions are being contested or criticized. I see the logic from their managerial perspective (easier to try to hide IPVM from their employees than address those issues directly).

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I totally see your point on this. It’s just an unfortunate reality that I’ll have to deal with.

I think many of these decisions aren’t as purposeful as you’d assume. CI teams try to be unbiased, but usually end up slightly warping analysis due to unconscious bias.

As for not wanting employees to have access - I’ve seen that change for the better over the years. The decision to not reimburse for membership isn’t really “we don’t want you to know about this” as much as “we don’t want to have to pay for everyone’s subscription.” But that opinion varies throughout organizations.

Anyway, I definitely concede the point and appreciate your feedback. Will just have to see what can be done to push bigger companies to pay for the Research tier. Keep up the work!

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Seems to me that they are just going to be limiting their audience to these bigger companies. Giving them even more of an advantage than they already have. Sounds like a " Rich get richer, poor get poorer" scenario to me. I do realize that everything is getting more expensive... But thousands of dollars a year !! Sheesh !!

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Sounds like a " Rich get richer, poor get poorer" scenario to me

No, that's why we are structuring pricing so that smaller organizations pay less money. If we just wanted to make the most from the biggest organizations, we set the prices really high and only let "rich" companies get.

But thousands of dollars a year !! Sheesh !!

It's a few hundred dollars a month and our goal is to provide significant more value to CTOs of (presumably smaller) integrators like yourself.

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We havent met. Im the Controller/CFO of XYZ, Inc.

No you cant have a new printer and no you cant have a new monitor, and no you cant have a new chair. All are critical to the organization and I would argue based on usage, they are critical in a more meaningful way.

Employee Count Meaningless. Size of Company Meaningless.

Hundreds of Dollars per month? For an IPVM subscription?

Denied.

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Im the Controller/CFO of XYZ, Inc. No you cant have a new printer and no you cant have a new monitor, and no you cant have a new chair

I am sure there are companies like that. I am also sure there are companies that look at the business value of what something delivers.

How much time does IPVM save a company's employees in research and making decisions? How much have those decisions improved the company's business? It's totally possible that the answer to both of those questions is zero or very little but there's certainly many people where IPVM has an ongoing significant positive impact.

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Thought about this a little more. I think my original point about “you better get really good at sales” is what it boils down to. What you’re saying is, “bigger companies should pay for this for their employees.” If they don’t, the employees lose the content you create. I guess what I’m saying is that now the decision-making is between you and some very large companies, and the industry will be hurt as a result. It actually could be your sales pitch to these big companies! “Pay for this so the thousands of reps you employ don’t get dumber and negatively impact the entire industry.”

Again, I 100% see where you’re coming from but think you should realize that if you’re not able to convince these hundreds of large companies to pay for this, the end result will be far less knowledge and real information out in the world. My company, my competitors, the mega-integrators…yes, they should pay for it. But if they don’t, we’re looking at a LOT of people that will no longer know the relative performance of products on the market.

It feels like a scenario where you are 100% right, but have little chance of actually getting the customer (giant companies, in this case) to pay up. I admire it and hope it succeeds, but there are gonna be a ton of casualties here. In the end, I get that you have to follow through on the point, but I’m doubtful that these big corporations will be able to move quickly enough to get their thousands of employees this info.

Please don’t take my arguments as negative - absolutely love you guys and appreciate what you do, and think it’s a great discussion to have. Thanks for everything!

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you should realize that if you’re not able to convince these hundreds of large companies to pay for this, the end result will be far less knowledge and real information out in the world. My company, my competitors, the mega-integrators…yes, they should pay for it. But if they don’t, we’re looking at a LOT of people that will no longer know the relative performance of products on the market.

I can't personally subsidize the market forever. That's what we are doing with tests by including them at just $199 per person per year.

I know you mean well and I appreciate it but these tests create value for the market and unless we ask the market to pay fairly for them, it will just be me subsidizing them.

I am confident that having a multi-tier system will provide a far more sustainable foundation to grow testing in the long term. And I am also fully aware that it will take time for people to consider the value, get budget, etc. The process has to start at some point, it would have been better to do it a few years ago but it only delays the inevitable to have such a price structure.

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So how DOES the math work out in this?

an order of magnitude in price.

case 1 increase $10 0n 15,000 users = +$150K/year

case 2 charge x companies 10 times more and maybe loose 50% of exisitng user base. For every 10 people leaving the 15K base you need one major company to replace it to break even.

So if you were to loose 30% of the 15K

case 1: 15K * 200 => 15K * 210 3M ==> 3.15M

case 2: 10K * $200 is 2M + 500 * 2000 = 1M = 3M

If you get 500 companies to cover the loss of 5000 then you loose money.

ok maybe those numbers are to aggressive.

Lets say you only loose 10% of the $200 and 200 of them are big enough to expense the higher cost

13500 * 200 + 200 * 2000 = 2.7M + 400K = 3.1M

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So how DOES the math work out in this?

As you note, it depends on the assumptions.

Lets say you only loose 10% of the $200

To give you a point of reference, we have had 15 total cancellations since we announced this last week, after emailing every subscriber we ever had, everyone on our prospect list, and pinning this to the top of our discussion forum. And we continue to have many new sign ups, etc. I don't doubt that dozens more will cancel over this, but it's a pretty clear sign of the trend line.

IPVM offers tremendous value to almost everyone, even without tests.

I respect everyone's opinion who has spoken out against this but I think the assumptions you are making are not in line with the data and evidence that we have about our business.

But ultimately, what's most important is our goal of expanding tests and market research, which will bring more revenue to IPVM and more value to those that subscribe to IPVM.

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I strongly depend on IPVM for the product reviews

Doesn't this justify the value of the content? John is only aligning the content with the fair market value to the industry.

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How much is the Research tier for a single user that isn't being reimbursed by an organization? I chose to pay for this subscription personally and do not want my employer to pay for it.

I do not disagree a premium tier for the additional information is warranted, but I do have an issue with the lack of transparency on the pricing of the Research tier. Could two similar sized organizations be paying wildly different annual rates?

As an individual I can justify an additional one or two hundred more per year, but no way can I justify thousand(s).

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I chose to pay for this subscription personally and do not want my employer to pay for it....

As an individual I can justify an additional one or two hundred more per year, but no way can I justify thousand(s).

But you are an individual that works for a mega-corporation. If we say any individual at a mega-corporation can just pay $199, then we are back to square one.

I genuinely do see your point and I don't have a solution to this situation (mega-corp, individual pays).

I would, though, challenge the assumption. Why doesn't your company pay? You don't use IPVM for a hobby, what you gain from IPVM helps your company.

I am very interested in finding ways to make IPVM accessible to those that can't afford it, but I am not sure if the priority should be for mega-corporations that don't pay.

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I am a Software Engineer. Before that I was a Mold Maker/Plastic Processing Engineer.

There are a lot of tools we just own ourselfs. Makes us more valuable independent of where we currently work :-).

Maybe there is a good percentage of people like me.

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Question: So all current content such as VSaaS State Of The Market 2021 - Avigilon, Arcules, Eagle Eye, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Openeye, Qumulex, Verkada will be locked once April hits? Or will those be "archived" and will be accessible on the old rates?

I'm just an end user looking to research about what's out there in the market and trying to determine if integrators that are selling us their specific manufacturer is actually a good product compared to another. That article above actually helped me a lot with comparing between the different VSAAS

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Question: So all current content such as VSaaS State Of The Market 2021 - Avigilon, Arcules, Eagle Eye, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Openeye, Qumulex, Verkada will be locked

No, as we stated in the notice, all current subscribers will keep access to all archives. But the 2022 version will be Research Service only.

I'm just an end user looking to research about what's out there in the market and trying to determine if integrators that are selling us their specific manufacturer

Our point to end-users is that you are going to pay integrators and manufacturers. Most end-users on IPVM spend a hundred thousand dollars (or far more) on equipment, service, install. annually To your point about helping you make those decisions, we create value and so it's fair for us to charge a premium for that.

I am very much in support of keeping IPVM accessible to small businesses but we need to have a price structure that corporations pay a fair price for IPVM. A lot of you are proposing that we just increase price by $50 or $200 across the board but that primarily benefits big corporations. What I am trying to do here is establish a price structure where corporations pay more by default and then we can help small businesses on a case by case basis to pay less.

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Hi Thanks for your reply and clarification.

I think for a end user most of your previous articles/tests is extremely useful and relevant so if they will still be accessible on the current tier then it should be good with most people.

I understand why IPVM wants to have a higher cost for the research due to the amount of time and investment hours it takes to create those articles. Maybe a very long time delay for regular folks?

maybe you can bundle discount to courses for the research tier? since the target is for corps and small businesses so they can give training for their staff

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maybe you can bundle discount to courses for the research tier?

Can you clarify this? Our 7 existing courses remain the same and are not being put in the research tier. Also, all 6 of our books (updated annually) remain in the $199 plan.

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I find it difficult to believe that at $3 million annual revenue that you need to start charging "thousands" of dollars to do what you've been doing for years. Very disappointed and I will not be renewing.

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at $3 million annual revenue that you need to start charging "thousands" of dollars to do what you've been doing for years.

We've tripled our staff size in the last 5 years and are producing far more and deeper reporting than in 2017.

We could certainly not expand and I could live very comfortably. But I want IPVM to do great things and while it's pretty amazing what we have been able to do with just a few million dollars in annual revenue, we can do far more covering an industry worth tens of billions of dollars with a greater revenue base.

What I am trying to do here is structure a business model that allows small users to still benefit while ensuring big business pays fairly.

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I understand that and it makes sense to grow your business, so I don't fault you for that. However I rarely come here for commentary on industry or to gab with professionals, the bread and butter of IPVM to me has always been the tests and shootouts and that's why I initially joined. I can't afford thousands of dollars a year to read that sort of stuff. At that point I'm better off buying the cameras I'm curious about and just testing them myself.

It's a shame because the quality and substance of the tests is excellent, and it's unfortunate the smaller fish will now be excluded from that.

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I'm better off buying the cameras I'm curious about and just testing them myself.

It's a shame because the quality and substance of the tests is excellent, and it's unfortunate the smaller fish will now be excluded from that.

I don't know the size of your company, so I can't speak to that.

But the logic for "smaller fish", say 5 person companies or 15 person companies is that they even to do a single shootout, it would cost a few thousand dollars to do (buying cameras + paying a senior tech to do the shootout). And we test analytics and facial recognition and VMS and VSaaS, etc too. Plus, my experience is that small shop's key people are busy in the field delivering projects for paying customers, rather than staying at the shop doing shootouts, and not billing.

In any event, if there are small shops that feel they are excluded once this launches and you see the final price list and what's being offered, we are happy to talk and see what we can do (info@ipvm.com / john@ipvm.com).

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You can save lots of money by not doing anti-China and anti-HIK posts/research.

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I'm a Hik integrator, and while I do think a lot of the articles about them here are partly politically-motivated, I acknowledge that IPVM equally distributes their efforts against any company that gives them cause to. Look at all the criticism of Verkada, especially.

I don't mind the rhetoric so much as the character attacks they spawn from the peanut gallery against people that still do choose to do business with them. That's another reason I'm not renewing.

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The value proposition is being substantially changed for the customer which may actually reduce your revenue base. I’d be satisfied with the level of reporting IPVM output when they had less staff proportional to subscription fee to date. Coming out of COVID many businesses are cost sensitive.

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I’ve been a paid subscriber for quite a long time and really like IPVM. But this feels like the beginning of the end to me. As a self-employed consultant I have several big clients but pay for the subscription myself and certainly wouldn’t/couldn’t stretch to several thousand per year for the same service I get today.

For me the most value in the IPVM subscription is 1) Product Tests, 2) Calculator and then 3) everything else. I think it would be reasonable to split these into 3 subscription components at say $99 each so people can pay for what they want (and this may actually increase subscriber numbers), but just to push product tests to a $$$$ tier would not work for me as you would be removing a core reason that I am paying the current $199 subscription.

I do understand where you are coming from in terms of generating fair revenue for the extensive testing work that you do, but I believe this is the wrong model for IPVM. I would find an alternative such as offering bespoke testing to individual companies at a cost that represents the value they will gain. Case-by-case exceptions or discounts for non-corporate subscribers is unlikely to work either - too difficult to administer or adjudicate.

Good luck and genuinely hope that I’m still a subscriber in 6 months time.

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#18, I appreciate the thoughtful feedback!

I would find an alternative such as offering bespoke testing to individual companies at a cost that represents the value they will gain.

While I can understand why this sounds worth considering, this is definitely NOT something we would do nor would it be good for the public. The organizations that would most want this are the companies we cover. This would create a direct consulting relationship between the companies we cover, which risks bias. Moreover, when such companies want bespoke testing they typically want it to not be published, which makes it even worse for the public, i.e., if we find problems in the product, we would not be allowed to publish this.

I want a structure that rewards us for publishing more public critical information, not that incents us to be a service provider working privately for a handful of big companies.

Case-by-case exceptions or discounts for non-corporate subscribers is unlikely to work either - too difficult to administer or adjudicate.

Though it will have administration costs, these costs will be far more offset than the increased revenue from larger organizations paying their fair share.

Consider this alternative, we raise the general price from $199 to $299. That will disproportionately hurt those that have the least money and still leave corporate decision-makers paying only a fraction of the value they receive. As I said to others, we are happy to talk and see what we can do to help smaller businesses as this gets rolled out.

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This would create a direct consulting relationship between the companies we cover, which risks bias.

Perhaps manageable with clear terms, but yes I see the concern.

Moreover, when such companies want bespoke testing they typically want it to not be published

Exactly - keep this separate to the public tests, for the client’s eyes only and place restrictions on use for marketing. In the same way as companies may contract a pen testing service. Could also apply to bespoke industry research.

Consider this alternative, we raise the general price from $199 to $299. That will disproportionately hurt those that have the least money

How, if the alternative (for individuals that want product tests) is to pay several thousand? Or are you saying that the discount scheme would ensure that individuals always pay less than $299?

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Hi John , totally on board that you have got to have a model that pays / makes some money - no businesses can survive for too long on any other basis.

I am in an interesting position in that I work for one of the largest global integrator's but my sphere on influence only extends to my bit of the organisation in my country (UK) 99.9% of the time - so whilst as a global company we have 600K plus employees (best guess at the moment), the decisions I make based on what I read are for a bit of the company employing 300 to 500 people.

There is a variance as some large contracts rq additional people (usually service) & these can fluctuate. approx 30 to 40% of the headcount is connected with servicing (technically) our clients.

I dont know if any colleagues in other countries subscribe ? to better serve their smaller bit of the organisation too? You will know more than me on that one!!

Regardless of the actual cost, do you think I would be seen as an organisation employing 600,000 or 500 employees?

Couple of thoughts - what is the plan around the corporate memberships? & I dont suppose it would make much of a difference, but what about ceasing the extension of subscription for commenting & have a hard stop 12 month subscription - I probably only resubscribe every 18 month instead of 12 as I regularly comment on surveys / discussions.

Thanks again for the work of IPVM.

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what about ceasing the extension of subscription for commenting & have a hard stop 12 month subscription - I probably only resubscribe every 18 month instead of 12 as I regularly comment on surveys / discussions.

For sure, we are going to continue to pay / credit integrators who take surveys. This is valuable for both sides, integrators get complimentary access (or paid via PayPal, their choice) and we get information that we can use in their reporting.

so whilst as a global company we have 600K plus employees (best guess at the moment), the decisions I make based on what I read are for a bit of the company employing 300 to 500 people.

Our plan is to have a number of tiers, starting from companies with less than 10 employees to companies with over 200 people. With over 200 people, the thinking is that these larger companies can self-select how many additional logins they need (or do not) and pay for them a la carte as needed.

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Maybe you should offer the "info+" subscribers, at the end of each month, access to a few research articles of their choice, for free, or for a fee commensurate to the size of their organization.

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I'd rather find ways for smaller businesses to be able to access IPVM for a lower price. I don't see the rationale that an investment banker or executive at a mega-firm should get extra thrown in.

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The product tests were my favorite part of IPVM but I am certainly not paying "in the thousands." Such a shame. I'll have to see how things go and if the rest of the articles are useful to me or not. You should have just raised everyone's price by 50 or 100 bucks.

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I do not fit squarely in either group and this means I will just no longer be able to subscribe.

As a software engineer writing code to interface cameras to a VMS, product tests and shootouts were the main reason for my subscription. Keeping up with trends and news was a good 2ndary benefit.

I do not make market level decisions and If I am going to spend thousands, i would spend it on cameras :-)

Too bad, good run.

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Your company should pay for it, it is a work expense.

I definitely want to help small businesses but large companies and their employees should analyze the business value of IPVM and pay accordingly. I don't see why IPVM should be subsidizing large corporations.

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I understand the need to increase pricing from $199/year as this site has matured significantly over the years that I have been a subscriber. I have used IPVM to identify new products and companies that I was not aware of. The product tests have been helpful to determine what products I should test at my site before making a decision to purchase and deploy. I can appreciate the labor hours required for these tests. I am an end user from a Fortune 500 company but my department's budget would not allow for a significant increase in cost for IPVM that I can justify. I am hoping that some type of hybrid approach that allows IPVM to be profitable and allows end users to continue to have access to product testing can be identified.

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I am an end user from a Fortune 500 company but my department's budget would not allow for a significant increase in cost for IPVM that I can justify.

We want to encourage Fortune 500 companies to evaluate and consider how much value IPVM provides. Maybe it only provides $199 a year but I am pretty sure many Fortune 500 companies will see that it provides far more value than that.

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I like it, John, I think it's a good move for you guys to have more money to grow and provide even better reporting and do more extensive testing.

We're probably in the category of not necessarily needing/being able to afford the top-tier subscription.

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Who this is going to hurt is the integrator level sales person. The person that uses these test results and articles you post to help guide their customers to the best solutions. Many are already nickel and dimed for tons of sales costs not covered by employers. Not all integrators cover costs like magazines, trade tools, trade show attendance, etc. I'm guessing this group constitutes a pretty sizeable portion of your readers, and a group that is always looking to cut another expense.

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group that is always looking to cut another expense.

When we first started over a decade ago, most integrators thought paying $199 was ridiculous (Sean, on our team, was such an integrator and mentioned that was his reaction when we first charged back in ~2010).

Are product tests, shootouts, and competitive analysis just "another expense"? I think for many integrators they will realize it saves them far more in time and mistakes than what they pay, even if it is a few hundred dollars per month. But I respect anyone who views it as an expense and am motivated to deliver more so that they see the value.

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I'm very disappointed with the newly proposed membership structure. I can certainly understand the need to increase the pricing structure but I think you're leaving a lot on the table with two tiers, one being very "basic" with articles that are mainly opinion based around commonly known events that are also reported other places. And then a corporate/Ferrari membership that costs thousands of dollars. The two primary reasons I use IPVM are for the project calculator and product testing. I could care less about the financial reporting and news, but I do value the unbiased product testing and would certainly pay more for access to that reporting. However, thousands of dollars a year is a deal breaker for me and I'll probably cancel my membership unless another tier/level is created for people (installers) who want, and greatly value access to the technical data/testing reports above all other content so they can make the informed decisions that are in the best interests for their business and customers.

I think the current IPVM membership cost is fantastic value based on all of the content that is available and that prices should increase, but I think you will be disappointing and losing more members than you think with the current proposed structure. Mainly smaller installation companies, such as ours, who can and have provided real world/boots on the ground feedback that your not going to get from a corporate executive or engineer that sits behind a desk all day.

Maybe IPVM should send out a survey to their current subscribers to see which member types (Installer, Manufacturer, Consultant etc...) value which content the most. I would gladly respond to such a survey and I wouldn't even check the Paypal box.

Have a great all!

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very "basic" with articles that are mainly opinion based around commonly known events that are also reported other places

We have reports based on exclusive interviews with executives regularly, just in the past month, to name a few:

And, as you note, we include the Calculator plus the tutorials and ebooks and online shows, etc. all for $199.

I think for most integrators that is still a very good deal and I am open to discussing ways to make IPVM as accessible as possible to smaller integrators while having a financial structure that pays a premium for the high cost and value of testing.

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I would think a revamping of the general pricing would be more efficient personally. That way the cost (and access) is distributed in a more democratic sense. To remove all the product testing from the basic membership would leave a pretty impotent service behind. To insist that integrators pay substantially more to access previously usable information on a premium tier would be cost prohibitive for many. From the sounds of it IPVM is talking about costs approaching AutoCad expenditures which most owners won't justify. While IPVM is a profitable news asset, it isn't a critical tool like for example, AutoCad. Especially in the world of massive shipping delays the whole video market has been greatly depreciated since profits are so delayed. Ergo delaying perceived value to everything in the product stream. I would rather pay an elevated yearly cost across the board. However a ten fold cost increase simply puts us out of the market all together. I could sustain up to double the current price, but thousands of dollars per year?

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"The Research Service will be priced in the thousands of dollars per year, primarily based on the number of employees an organization has"

......That was a pretty large statement for one whose most important point didnt even get to the point.

For an outfit with under 10 employees, the above statement both looks and sounds scary. At the end of the day, the cost ramifications remain to be seen and therefore the value proposition remains to be analyzed.........

Either way, I respect the IPVM organization and the owrk they do, so with or without our subscription, Im sure you guys will be fine. Best of luck!

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Will be interesting to see how this plays out for sure. And how many people/companies actually spring for the thousands of dollars a year that you say this will cost. I wonder if it will be enough to cover the losses that you take from those that leave. Being the CTO for our organization I am heavily involved in researching new products and up and coming trends. While IPVM is always a great resource for comparing new products, I cannot justify paying thousands of dollars for it.

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John, thanks for the feedback!

I wonder if it will be enough to cover the losses that you take from those that leave

We will see if $199 for news, profiles, tutorials, ebooks, the Calculator, online shows, etc. is still valuable for most subscribers. I am pretty sure it is, based on usage statistics.

Being the CTO for our organization I am heavily involved in researching new products and up and coming trends. While IPVM is always a great resource for comparing new products, I cannot justify paying thousands of dollars for it.

That's what we are trying to do / see here. Can we help decision makers like yourself with more tests and in-depth coverage and justify a premium? I think we can but I also recognize that this will take years to build up, as we did when we first started charging.

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Some feedback: I really don't like this. I'm OK with you guys raising your prices for a certain tier of work, but there are A LOT of us who care about Profile M tests even if we aren't the decision makers today. I don't want to be locked out of some of the most valuable information in the industry because there's a multi-thousand dollar wall in front of me.

I would be willing to pay separately for a book or for a whitepaper . If your Axis vs Verkada report cost $200 itself, I might buy it! I value your research but locking out your dedicated fans who actually appreciate it (and who up until now had it for free) feels too harsh. The multi-thousand dollar wall should be a consulting service, more than an "Access" fee.

Sorry but I feel like it's too much money just for access. If it payed for consulting I wouldn't mind, and if I could still buy your better research for a reasonable rate I would.Sincerely,

A big fan

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Moshe, thanks for the feedback!

I value your research but locking out your dedicated fans who actually appreciate it

The goal is not to lock people out but find a way to reflect the value we create especially to bigger companies. I saw you emailed us too and I am asking Mark to jump on a call with you to get feedback and see what we can structure for people who are either at smaller companies / not decision makers.

The multi-thousand dollar wall should be a consulting service, more than an "Access" fee.

Multi-thousand is really like $199 or $299 a month, even $99 a month is over one thousand. I think that's the future of niche reporting /research across the board. It's one thing to have a one or 2 person substack newsletter for $99 or $199 a year but I don't think that model is feasible for deeper work and I think the value is there for the niche.

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I support the comments about the real value that most of us get from IPVM...the product tests and evaluations. I cannot afford the proposed price to continue to receive them. I don't really care about, or read, the articles about what is happening in South America, etc., just the product reviews.

Since you are removing the best part of the $199.00 subscription, this effectively is a major price increase to the basic plan. if you are removing substantial content, shouldn't the basic price drop significantly for those who might still be interested in the (in my opinion) less interesting and relevant content?

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the real value that most of us get from IPVM...the product tests and evaluations

removing the best part of the $199.00 subscription

Tests get very few subscriber reads while our news, investigative reports, etc. get far more subscriber reads. I totally believe the tests are the "best part" and "real value" for you but the interest is generally higher for our other offerings (e.g., the Calculator gets a lot of use).

if you are removing substantial content, shouldn't the basic price drop significantly for those who might still be interested in the (in my opinion) less interesting and relevant content?

It's hard to price something for everyone, as various people value different things, especially when it's a bundle.

As for substantial content, as I mentioned above, lots of people view our news and investigative reporting to be quite substantial (and certainly our Calculator as well which is included). I am not saying you should but trying to give a sense of what we see with various people. Thanks!

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I read a LOT of posts before authoring my own. Most are from people like myself who have absolutely no intention of spending a few hundred bucks a month (or more) for this kind of service. I work for a contractor who does $6-7M annually, and there was an actual meeting with the owners and all of us project managers to determine if $199 annually was even going to happen! Going back to the owners to ask for that much monthly would be pointless.

Think about this from THEIR perspective. The perspective of these "executives" you speak of...

On the one hand, they can bring in reps of the manufacturers with whom they are considering doing business. In this scenario, the whole office gets a free meal and some free education about each manufacturer's products, and more often than not, we get a few free products to test on our own and see how we like them. More importantly, we get to see how OUR TECHNICIANS like the products. As an integrator, I can assure you that their opinions are really the only ones that matter. Doesn't really matter what the "executives" think. If the techs and installers hate it, we're not going to offer it.

On the other hand, they can pay hundreds every month, in HOPES of eventually gaining access to product testing that is relevant to THIS company's mission. Then, when they finally DO see something interesting, they probably won't just take your word for it anyway. They will go right back to "Plan A" above, and call in the reps to convince the techs.

So, the only "value" being offered by the Research service is a search engine the "might" lead us to what we're looking for. We have that now, and quite honestly won't care if we lose it for reasons stated here. That's not what my rant is about. It's about your mindset and approach that, in my humble opinion, are somewhat flawed, at least in regard to the integrators and contractors in the group. You might get a little traction from the end users, and maybe distributors, but I just can't wrap my brain around it for integrators.

You know what they say about opinions, however, and I definitely wish you guys nothing but success! You'll keep getting my $199 (or more within reason) with or without the research stuff.

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there was an actual meeting with the owners and all of us project managers to determine if $199 annually was even going to happen!

You spent a thousand dollars (the time value of the "owners and all of us project managers" having a meeting) to decide on spending $199 a year?

We're going to focus on having the best research service possible and making the integrators, users, etc. paying for it to have the biggest competitive advantage over people making decisions based on which manufacturers take them to lunch.

I see where you are coming from and the feedback is very appreciated!

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I think you missed the primary point of my post. We don't make decisions based on lunches. We make decisions based on information gathered during these lunches, and then vetted by our techs/installers. The only reason I threw the free lunches in there is to demonstrate the fact that we are being "courted" by all of the manufacturers IPVM is testing. They give us, for free, what you intend to ask hundreds per month to obtain, and they only give us what we ask for and are interested in.

Is it biased? Certainly! And we know this going in. I think we would gladly pay for unbiased research that is relevant to OUR MISSION at the time. Recurring costs that only add value once in a great while, though? That's a hard sell.

Also, yes, we do thoroughly weigh every expense - even the $200 ones. When one of us asks to spend a few hundred bucks on something new, yes, the owners might take 5 minutes to discuss it with the team.

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the fact that we are being "courted" by all of the manufacturers IPVM is testing

This is a very good point. While I do find all the testing informative. I also have the Genetec rep, Avigilon , Exacq, ADI .... I wont keep name drooping, coming by every couple of months to take folks to lunch , talk about new products , offer what is most of the time free product training and provide free or very minimal cost equipment for us to test out ourselves. I'm still stuck on the "thousands of dollars a year" price point that was thrown out. And while I'm also seeing reply's saying that smaller companies will pay different rates. Who decides what's smaller ? Number of employees ? How much we did in sales in the previous year ? How would you go about proving that ? It gets so convoluted in my mind when you start having all these different price structures based on company size.

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Who decides what's smaller ? Number of employees ? How much we did in sales in the previous year ? How would you go about proving that ?

Number of employees. LinkedIn does a very good job of listing employees. If anything for integrators, the count is low, so it would benefit integrators at our expense. But it's a fairer way to provide to integrators who can range from 3 people to 30 people to 130 people, etc.

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Number of employees? By that logic I pay top dollar. But as you can see from my personal payment and login under personal credentials, it is me personally taking a subscription (although I am listed as a manufacturer doing this post). How do you decide if I pay a smaller amount being an individual customer, or will I by my LinkedIn job info be held to the price of a big corp?

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I agree 100%.

When my "end-user" employer first subscribed, there were several in our department included in the subscription. The subscription included several security managers and me, the only physical security systems professional in the group.

Over time, we learned I was the only one that logged in to IPVM on a regular basis. Others logged in only a few times or less. They just weren't interested. Honestly, much of it is over their head.

Recently, I moved my account to personal payment because expenses have been restricted by my employer. I couldn't get an IPVM subscription approved through my employer right now if I tried.

I also have a home security-related LLC. That's just me.

So would I be charged based on the revenue of a $40B company, based on the size of my employer's physical security Department (only me), or my one-man LLC?

There are a lot of subscriber scenarios. It seems there is no "one-size-fits-all" subscription unless it were a flat-rate increase across the board.

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I threw the free lunches in there is to demonstrate the fact that we are being "courted" by all of the manufacturers IPVM is testing. They give us, for free, what you intend to ask hundreds per month to obtain, and they only give us what we ask for and are interested in.

If all IPVM tests are to you is the same as a manufacturer showing you their camera, then definitely it's not worth spending on IPVM testing.

What IPVM is valuable for is:

(1) Showing you how that manufacturer matches up against others. It's one thing for a manufacturer to buy you lunch and turn on his camera, it's another thing to actually see where it is better or worse in low light, WDR, bandwidth, etc vs Axis, Avigilon, Hanwha, Bosch, Verkada, etc., etc.

(2) Showing you problems that a manufacturer is going to omit or hide.

(3) It takes a lot of time to figure out where things break and we can do that, instead of each integrator and user finding it out as a surprise after spending lots of time on it.

I am not saying this is of value to you but I am quite confident that many integrators see the value in this.

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I have read most of the commends and your responses John. I think IPVM provides a ton of value and i really love the amount of content we get.

I don't disagree that most of us (Including me) even do more then graze over the shootouts and only read if they directly affect a brand we sell. But i think that not having access to any of them does deplete the value of the membership. The simplicity of the site now is great that there is so much to explore if i had more time.

Was a simple fee increase on the table? I think IPVM is great and i would gladly pay $299 over $199 to continue to get what i have always been. If people want to stay with a lower price plan i think a news only subscription only would be something to consider as that sounds like something that alot of people care about.

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Was a simple fee increase on the table? I think IPVM is great and i would gladly pay $299 over $199 to continue to get what i have always been.

Testing is so disproportionately expensive that it does not make sense to raise rates $100 and yet risk most of the subscribers who don't care much about tests that have to absorb the price increase (or cancel).

Thinking it through -

(1) raise prices to $299, people will cancel (how many is hard to tell but that would be a 50% increase on everyone so strikes me as being substantial)

(2) segment tiers such that $199 stays as is (for everything else) and create a new much higher price tier with the material that is much more expensive to produce, people will cancel (we've had 8 so far today and certainly there will be many more).

My confidence is that for most people, even without tests and competitive analysis, the rest of IPVM will be a great value at $199. And we will make the Research tier so strong that over the next few years organizations will increasingly see the value (and as we have discussed here, we will find ways to make it less expensive or free for those that truly cannot afford it).

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I think people would be unrealistic to think it can stay $199 with how the industry is going right now. Expenses are up and costs of equipment is up - which means we should expect someone like ipvm to raise prices in order to keep current.

On the IT side of things we pay $50/month for a very great site that is a type of IPVM the whole enchilada model. I don't know the economics of what you are going for but i think its an unreasonable price for a top tier.

We mostly deal in sub $500 cameras (As i suspect most do) and the really high end stuff is just not in the market we deal with. I'd surely miss the ones with the brands we deal with all the time.

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Some questions:

1.) Where would articles about what companies are acquiring, merging or being acquired by other companies fall, or articles like Interlogix ending US operations and Sony getting out of the branded video surveillance business? How about integrator / end-user surveys (i.e. favorite or least favorite VMS, etc.)?

2.) One of the main things that keeps me here are the tests / shootouts. However, I'm not interested in all of them. For example, I'm not particularly interested in the Leica BLK247 LiDAR but am very interested in a 4MP/5MP camera shootout. I doubt my company (a relatively small consulting firm) would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars per month for me to keep access to all of the tests and shootouts. Is there a possibility that those of us in the $199 tier could buy individual tests/shootouts in which we have a particular interest on a one-off basis?

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(1) News (like you described above) and surveys will stay in the "Info+" / $199. If that was not made clear, I apologize. There's a lot of unique reporting and those reports are extremely well read. I know this discussion is focused on the value of testing but subscribers' read counts on our news and survey reports are roughly 10x that of tests. I totally believe the subscribers here but it also is clear this is a minority of the overall base.

(2) Because there is such interest in individual tests, we might. The challenge for individual reports is what do you charge? There's the integrator in this thread you compared IPVM to a chair. Well, I can buy a chair at Walmart for $20, if IPVM sells a video analytics shootout report for $200 or $400, are people going to yell at us? The market for chairs is very large but there are only very few people who care about these niche shootouts, so it's not feasible to charge a few dollars, etc. and cover costs. I am definitely interested in feedback here.

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I read many comments of concern similar to my own. This seems like a "no go" for us. We are an IT integrator that also supports and installs some camera systems - maybe 100k/yr of revenue with 25% of that being margin at best. We value the factual unbiased reviews. I would rather not see 99% of drama and "news" and discussions. It sucks my time and is of very little meaningful value. So if anything, I'd want tech and training only.

The main thing we care about is "how to" articles mainly to make sure we aren't missing anything, and reviews of mainstream camera products. While I value the information when I need it, There is no way in the world that I could justify thousands of dollars per year for research.

The stuff you plan to include going forward in the info plus is of very little value to us. I don't need detailed reviews of limited use $16k cameras either. If you were to include mainstream reviews and comparisons on the bread and butter equipment that are used 90% of the time in info plus, and create a new high end service for the more esoteric stuff, that would be ok. Otherwise, once the current database ceases to be relevant, we will be out.

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1. My approach will be similar to others here...wait and see. I found IPVM when doing research on camera options I was using vs. other brands in order to find the highest quality lower-cost options to my Axis options. It opened up a whole world and community of information. It sounds like, had I started this search after Q1 of 2022, that I wouldn't have found answers because it would have cost me thousand/s of dollars and I wouldn't have felt that was a good enough gamble to take with that amount of money for my specific needs and financial capability/willingness.

Therefore I will pony up to renew another year (since I'm close to being due) and will see if it still provides me a good ROI even though my main purpose for IPVM is camera model and specific technology research/testing information.

2. Might I offer another option for pricing that I just thought of. One company I purchase digital information from on a personal level offers a Pre-Pub "crowdfunding" option for new products they release. You can show a list of research articles you're planning on doing in the next quarter or two and let customers offer a price they'd be willing to pay for this information. They are committing to that price once it gets released, but can cancel that at any time prior to release. Once you get enough interest to meet your risk/cost/profit goal (based on your own metrics), you can then schedule the work knowing it will be paid for in your desired time frame. This also is a bit more equitable in that everyone pays what they are willing to for the information:For example maybe:For me I might value one at $100Apple might value that same one at $1000Exxon might really be interested at $10000NASA might offer to buy at $5000Bezos might be interested and offer $201000 of your customers might offer $50Etc.

You now how have $66120 (if my math is correct) offers for one specific research article - minus the % that back out before release.

People pay their desired prices. Everybody wins. The pre-pub price is locked in, and you determine the post-release price that people will have to pay once it's released.

Let me know if you'd like to discuss further with that particular vendor and I'll put you in touch.

3. We have a local Internet Service Provider with a similar model. They put new infrastructure into a community for 1Gb fiber service. ...but they won't invest into the infrastructure until a percent of that community goes to their website and pays a $20 deposit to commit to switch to their service. Once they get enough commitments they will then schedule the infrastructure work. My community is many older people so I've been waiting over 18 months and will probably wait another 18. Many communities around me went very fast and now have their service.

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One company I purchase digital information from on a personal level offers a Pre-Pub "crowdfunding" option for new products they release.

Corbin, thanks, that's an interesting model and I'd consider it! I don't think it makes sense for general things we cover but we've seen "odder" products, like some uncommonly used thermal cameras or analytics and it's not sure how many people care and how much they care.

Btw, one other interesting thing in testing is that it's hard to know the price coming in and ironically the worse a product performs, the more it costs to test it. Two issues involved - (a) if it works really poorly, we are paranoid whether we did something wrong and have to carefully recheck everything, retest etc., then (b) when we share feedback with the manufacturer typically they will ask us to test it in various different ways (mount it higher, mount it lower, angle it this way, configure it that way) and then they will give us new firmware, and we will test it again, etc.

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Corbin, thanks, that's an interesting model and I'd consider it! I don't think it makes sense for general things we cover but we've seen "odder" products, like some uncommonly used thermal cameras or analytics and it's not sure how many people care and how much they care.

What about an option where integrators could purchase the gear they want to be tested and send it IPVM? Once the gear is tested it gets sent back to the dealer.

I realize labor is most of the cost but it could help.

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integrators could purchase the gear they want to be tested and send it IPVM?

No, because if there are problems the manufacturer can argue an integrator sent us used or defective equipment.

As you mentioned, most of the time, though labor is far more of the cost since we do these things thoroughly.

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Some of the gear you already buy through integrators, no? Avigilon would be one.

I only bring this up as this is how some of the high-end audio reviewers I check out do this. Seams to work well but they are not as scrutinized as IPVM though.

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We are buying a new product when we do that. My concern is that an integrator has been testing or using a product or it was returned from a job and then it goes to us.

Getting it from an integrator is not a problem as long as we can be certain it's new out of the box.

I emphasized this because over the years integrators have emailed us asking if we wanted to take or buy overstock or used equipment.

Again, though, even if all equipment was free, it's a lot of time to do a thorough test that we can be confident is fair to the manufacturer and accurately represents the issues in a product.

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To be clear I am referring to new-in-box gear. As you know dealers get demo/NFR pricing so it would not be that expensive for the dealer and people would get the gear reviewed they wanted. I have new gear in boxes I haven't even been able to test yet but I am not normal. I love to test and learn about all new gear.

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As you know dealers get demo/NFR pricing so it would not be that expensive for the dealer and people would get the gear reviewed they wanted

In that specific use case, that would be fine. We also could theoretically do it as a trade for companies who want to pay that way.

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John, IMHO I think it might make perfect sense even for general things (I guess depending on what you call general).

For example let's say you do a shootout this year of the latest and greatest camera analytics. I would definitely click on it to review 1. the models I'm interested in--Axis cameras with latest Artpec chip, 2. other models to see how they compare and then do a basic cost/benefit analysis in my head about make/model.

I would think that is a very realistic example but correct me if I'm wrong.

Your corporate customers might be willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Your small business customers might be willing to pay $50.

Once you get enough to cover what you estimate your costs plus whatever profit potential you want then you schedule the tests.

I think you'll find many of us smaller guys are willing to pay a few hundred a year do get info and very specific information that applies to each of us, rather than losing that revenue because the monthly commitment is too high.

...just responding...not pretending to know anything at all about your business or business model.

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How does this compare to the Consumer Reports subscription model?

They are independent, but funded by subscriptions and grants.

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compare to the Consumer Reports subscription model?

Good comparison! The advantage on the Consumer side is that millions of people are buying products in any of these categories:

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How many people buy a vacuum, like a Hoover or a Kirby? Millions, so they can cover their costs with small payments from a vast number of consumers.

Also, their reviews, at least of security products I've looked at are very superficial:

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Most don't even have any writeup, and the ones that do are just a few paragraphs.

Also, Consumer Reports uses affiliate links. Besides biasing organizations to selling products, affiliate links are really not applicable since they are not generally used in commercial / dealer sales.

I respect Consumer Reports and certainly, we have similar general philosophies but execution and approach need to be different since we are in a niche B2B space.

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I firmly understand the need for a separate subscription to offset the testing costs. I feel as though IPVM has made our team more informed and thus more valuable to our clients. Do I think that we have won deals because of the knowledge we have gained from IPVM testing? For sure. Moreover, this testing has streamlined our decision making when considering what manufacturers we would like to partner. Consider this, if you win one $10k deal due to your increased knowledge, the profit should more than pay for the increased annual membership.

One suggestion I have (that may have been mentioned, I did not read all 100+ comments) is that you may want to post a revolving poll on what subscribers want tested. This would allow you to focus on what the majority desires and save you from spending $16K on gear for a test that 5 people care about.

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