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Level 7

Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Hi folks!

I have a Roku channel that's free right now, a live, continuous TV broadcast.
The channel has over 14,000 users install as of writing this.

I prepared a new version of the channel that I want to make subscription-based. I changed the .m3u8 stream name, so the old version of the application no longer works.

Question 1)
My question is: can I simply replace the free version of the channel by the new, paid one? Or I need to create a new channel and lose the 14,000 who already installed it on their devices. I am aware that becoming paid, I will lose most of these customers, but many of them might go for the paid one.

Question 2)
With Roku's subscription system, is there a way to have coupon codes, so I can grant access to some users without going thru the normal subscription process?

Thanks!
-sv bell
_____________________________________________
Sv Bell | Black Flag TV
Midnight Movies. 24h a Day™
Broadcasting live since 2010!

http://roku.blackflag.tv

http://twitter.com/svbell
http://facebook.com/blackflagpictures
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9 Replies
Highlighted
Level 10

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Re (1), i remember someone (RokuJoel?) suggested an approach where you create the paid channel as completely new and after releasing it, cripple/update the free one to only a banner to install the new one. This takes advantage of channel being automatically updated to the newest version, which means there will be no users remaining that have the old one working. There was also some hint that while possible, it is hassle for RokuCo to convert a private to public channel, try looking up the thread.
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

That sounds like a great idea... That would be easier for me as well I guess. The former channel is public, free, and cannot really be removed or taken down but like you say I can update it to a link to the new, paid one... I'll look into that!

sv
_____________________________________________
Sv Bell | Black Flag TV
Midnight Movies. 24h a Day™
Broadcasting live since 2010!

http://roku.blackflag.tv

http://twitter.com/svbell
http://facebook.com/blackflagpictures
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 9

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Another option would be to leave the channel free to install, but lock down the content with an in-channel subscription purchase. That would also allow you to offer some free content without requiring user's to subscribe, so they can get a taste of what's available, and would keep your existing install base without any extra hassle for the end user.

As for coupon codes, Roku doesn't have a system in place for discounted pricing, but you can add users to the "Test Users" section under your developer account, which would give them free access to the subscription/purchase.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

The test users is a great workaround... is there a limit to how many we can add? I'll toy around this idea, thanks!
As for the free and paid content, I don't have much to offer, I only have one continuous live broadcast.

s
_____________________________________________
Sv Bell | Black Flag TV
Midnight Movies. 24h a Day™
Broadcasting live since 2010!

http://roku.blackflag.tv

http://twitter.com/svbell
http://facebook.com/blackflagpictures
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 9

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

"svbell" wrote:
The test users is a great workaround... is there a limit to how many we can add? I'll toy around this idea, thanks!
As for the free and paid content, I don't have much to offer, I only have one continuous live broadcast.

s

Then you could potentially allow 5-10 minutes of free viewing before prompting the user to subscribe. I just think forcing users to install a new channel seems a bit extreme, when you have the ability to add in-channel purchases that could accomplish what you're after without inconveniencing your existing users (and confusing new users who install the existing channel). I'm also not sure if Roku would allow you to install a duplicate channel in the public channel store, so you'd probably have to delete the existing channel before publishing the new one, in which case, the only way you could update it to prompt to install the new channel would be to have Roku convert it to a private channel first.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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Highlighted
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Another option would be to leave the channel free to install, but lock down the content with an in-channel subscription purchase. That would also allow you to offer some free content without requiring user's to subscribe, so they can get a taste of what's available, and would keep your existing install base without any extra hassle for the end user.


This is the way we recommend you do it.

-Joel
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Joel, I submitted last night my channel for review, and have set the subscription price in the submission package.
Should I cancel it, re-submit as a free channel, and add an in-app subscription package from my 'Manage in-app products' option, in the website admin area?
I checked that option already, but I don't know how I can set the play button as being a paid product.

Thank you!

sv bell
_____________________________________________
Sv Bell | Black Flag TV
Midnight Movies. 24h a Day™
Broadcasting live since 2010!

http://roku.blackflag.tv

http://twitter.com/svbell
http://facebook.com/blackflagpictures
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

Should I cancel it, re-submit as a free channel, and add an in-app subscription package from my 'Manage in-app products' option, in the website admin area?


Yes. There's a bit more to it than that though, please email me.

- Joel
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Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Moving from free to subscription-based channel

I sent you a mail last night, letting you know that I uploaded a new version of my channel Black Flag TV!
Just found this blog entry
http://blog.roku.com/developer/2013/06/ ... -channels/

Pretty helpful but I'm still confused as how to implement it. I'm not a programmer so I tend to keep my channel simple and easy, working with sample codes and tweaking them to match my content. Smiley LOL
If you have additional information and resources, please send them over!!

sv
_____________________________________________
Sv Bell | Black Flag TV
Midnight Movies. 24h a Day™
Broadcasting live since 2010!

http://roku.blackflag.tv

http://twitter.com/svbell
http://facebook.com/blackflagpictures
0 Kudos