Pricing strategy for app with different user types

What do you think about a pricing model for B2B apps with producer/consumer or editor/reader user types?

For example, you might have one user, or several users, creating and editing a document, project plan, invoice, or report, and then multiple users consuming it. How would you price that? You could:

  • provide bundles of different user type combinations, for example, we’ll give you 1 or 5 writers and up to 10 or 20 or 100 readers
  • focus only on the writers/producers, and allow unlimited readers/consumers, i.e., everybody else in the org gets read-only access to the output
  • consider only the end product, e.g., you get 5 plans/reports/invoices per month at this rate, 10-20 at the next rung, etc.

There may also be users external to the organization, for example when a project management or similar app allows end-client read or limited write access.

In the case of unlimited consumers, I’d hate to leave money on the table if a big corporation has one primary user, and I don’t charge for everybody else in the organization using the system. That would seem to be a waste, when they are probably prepared to sign off for much more.

I suppose a hybrid of these could also be used to account for this situation, as in 5/10 for the little guy, and “Call us!” for Moneybags, Inc.

I imagine there are many ways to slice and dice this one, but am curious about the experience of others here.

It sounds like you’re talking about one organization purchasing different levels of features for different users. I’m not sure that would be appealing to companies, as now they have to keep track of two things to use your product (licenses and roles), not just licenses, like other software. In my experience people are moved around to different roles, have to fill in for people who are out or leave the company, have one role on one project and a different role on another project, etc.

That would be my suggestion, no license to look. Letting everyone see the output could lead to wider adoption of the system in the company instead of it being a walled garden only people with licenses can see.

For segmenting individual purchasers of an app, the Bootstrapped With Kids podcast in the last few months or so has had some good discussion on figuring out what kind of users are coming to your site and how to offer them different (and differently priced) services.