Views from Phanfare CEO and Co-founder Andrew Erlichson

Link Phanfare Now Available for $29/year

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of a new tier of Phanfare service priced at $29/year. This level of service, which we just call Phanfare, offers the same great photo and video hosting with musical slideshows, your own URL at phanfare.com and awesome mobile support.

The difference is that the $29/year version does not retain fullsize originals. We have spoken to many customers since we raised our prices last June who tell us that they love Phanfare hosting, but they don’t need us to be a backup of originals.

Good design is about keeping a product as simple as possible while still fulfilling the vision. When we set out to design this new level of service, we thought about what was essentially needed to allow our customers to beautifully tell their story through photos and videos.

To that end, we have removed cnames, album sections, dropbox and multiple subsites. While all these features are cool (and remain in Phanfare Premium and Pro), they complicate the product. We want the $29/year version to be drop dead simple for our customers to use and enjoy. We want to lower the cognitive load of being being a Phanfare customer.

To the eye, the new $29 Phanfare level of service looks nearly the same on the web as the $99 Premium and $199 pro version. The difference is that we don’t store your originals. Also, video is standard def versus HD, but the reality is that many viewers don’t have sufficient bandwidth to stream HD video over the web anyway.

However, we do store your images and videos at Amazon S3, ultra reliable online storage. And although we don’t retain originals, we keep high resolution images that should display well on the web.

We hope you like this new more affordable version of Phanfare. It should make the Phanfare experience accessible to a wider audience.

A note to our existing customers: we did not build a path to downgrade from Phanfare premium to this new $29/year level of service. It’s not a trivial to build. The downgrade would involve removing your originals and removing some features from your account. Let us know if you want to downgrade to the new $29 version. If enough people want it, we will build the conduit.

  • Mahimattphoto

    Great idea! You all do a great job adjusting the products and services to suit the customers. I will be recomending this package to some users who it makes sens for.

  • taguntumi

    Yes I would like to downgrade my account.

  • http://www.thelightcavalry.com markadams99

    This is a very smart move. But. I need to be able to downgrade. I'm not going to reload all my albums, it's not worth it.

    My particular path has been this:

    1. I was attracted by the original free service, the full-screen slideshow and the soundtrack option.
    2. For a while it's been worth my while to pay $99.
    3. But now that I've switched to WordPress as a content management system as well as Lightroom for all my photo work, I find that SlideShow Pro Director (an image/video hosting service for $49) is attractive. They do have glitches and rough edges and SSP is somewhat technical compared to Phanfare, but I do like the ability to embed slideshows like this: http://thelightcavalry.com/ as well as the deep integration with Lightroomand the WordPress plugins. I mention it is info for you guys, not to suggest you'd profit by changing your model. I've had very good service from Phanfare, but these factors are probably going to move me away.

    Best wishes for your company. The $29 move is very,very smart.

    Mark

  • Mciardullo

    Well I quit the service last year in response to the price change. It wasn't really a hard decision because other services offered similiar things for much less money. However I do believe this new price and service will be well recieved. There are a few things I had here that have been hard to recreate. Most specifically I loved the easy embedding of video into facebook. Nothing else has worked as seemlessly for me as of yet. I was using the product before as a photo vault type of thing but I have since moved to a cloud backup solution which is just easier because it's drop it in a directory and forget it. I lost the nice layouts of my photo history I had when I dropped phanfare but the fact that the price could double without warning just showed me I can't depend on one site to always be there so spending days of my time building a viewable site with my photo history will probably never happen again. Instead I will build small groups of pictures and display them on facebook or a site like phanfare. Really not many people go back to the old photos anyway. My site got lots of traffic at first and then it slowed to a trickle. Everything is facebook now and having a strong integration with facebook is just a fact of life for me at the moment. I pray that someday something else takes over but for now it's facebook or nothing and any photo site I use has to integrate with it.

  • Mschelet

    Price hike out of the clear blue for things I didnt need at all was why I left … I do have to say I missed being able to add my music to my slideshows but there are many sites that were doing everything but the music so I moved on … I however did SAVE all of my slideshows from phanphare and cant wait to PUT THEM BACK …. I'm just showing current pictures to friends … that's it … this is a good move on phanphare's part I must say

  • Dragonhead1113

    I'll glad to have the new choice. I took some pictures to record my life, to share people. And the main reason is – i didn't use the all service you offer, about the high quility hd, or the slideshow.My old carema nikon d70's largest size is only 2-3 M, how did I need the better price sersive well.

    If your upgrade plan still have to work, I would thinking about another choice. So, think about more choice and smart way for your customers. I've been used phanfare for 5 years.

  • Vicjodani

    Good to have another option. Would viewers (and member) still be able to download print-resolution photo files? To me, that is one of the only reason to pay for a photo-sharing service.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    You can download high resolution files but the $29 version does not retain fullsize originals. The versions we keep at this level would be suitable for 4×6 prints.

  • Pherholz

    I would like to have the option to downgrade to the new service when my current subscription expires. I simply do not need all of the features of the current plan. Paul Herholz

  • Noel

    I was contemplating leaving when my renewal comes up next month but not anymore. Yey! I love phanfare but the $99 price tag was too much for me. I'm a casual home user that just want to share/organize my photos/videos in an elegant way, cheaply. This new basic service is right up my alley.

    BTW, How do I downgrade?

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    Right now we don't have a downgrade path unfortunately. You would need to create a new account and populate it. How hard that is depends on how big your account is. If you cancel your current account you will get a prorated refund for unused time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnOdalen John Odalen

    I would like a downgrade option. If not available when my subscription is up in Oct, I may not renew.

  • Bergpeople

    I ABSOLUTELY want to downgrade to the cheaper version. I was planning on going elsewhere after you raised your prices, but now I will stay if you offer the $29 a year.

  • Phil Wasmuth

    I store my photos on an external hard drive. So, I will keep the present service and change over when my current subscription ends. I love phanfare.

    I have gotten incredible positive feeback on my African Safari photos & video clips. I uploaded African music which was a big hit.

  • Brian M

    If we cancel our account and create a new one, would we be able to keep the existing name we have? I'm glad you are offering this plan. Most of us don't need all the extra bells and whistles and storage that the other plans offer. Can't you make a path to download from our account so we don't have to cancel and create a new account? There has to be a way… would at least like the option to be in place prior to my next renewal period.

  • Ckhimmler

    I wish I would have known about this before I JUST spent $99 for the next year of service. The only think I use is the picture/video slideshow with music. I love this new price. There is no way I could bear to lose all of my slideshows or figure out how to download them and re-insert them into a new account. Next year…I hope you offer a downgrade download option for this. There is so much here that most people don't need. Thank you.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    If you change your site name to something else and then quit, you can sign up again and ask for the site name you use now. When you cancel, we hold your site name for three months in case you want to return.

    Allowing an easy downgrade is something we hope to do in the future. It will be destructive of course since it needs to remove full-size originals.

  • Mquick16

    I was contemplating leaving also because of the price raise out of the blue. I put a lot of work into this and do not want to start from scratch. How do I downgrade?

  • Simon

    I want a downgrade from premium too!

  • cmakowsky

    I would LOVE to downgrade! We are overseas with the military and we use Phanfare to share photos and videos of the kids with their grandparents. I almost didn't renew after the price went up, but the thought of moving all my stuff and starting over gave me hives! The lower price would be perfect–I backup on an external hard drive anyway.

  • Frank Cushman

    I am not interested in the downgrade. I like all the features of the professional version. Please do not remove any features or eliminate your professional version in the quest for more customer requiing less.

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    Nothing was removed from Premium or Pro. This new version stands apart. We know that most existing customers don't want to forgo having us retain fullsize originals to get to a lower price and that is why we did not change Premium or Pro. This new tier is really for new customers who want Phanfare sharing but don't need us to archive their fullsize photos and videos in some of the most reliable online storage on earth. Amazon S3 offers 11 9s of reliability. Personally, I don't even keep copies of my photos locally anymore.

  • tspack

    I'm another person who would definitely be interested in downgrading once (if?) you get that option in place. It's way too much hassle to populate a new account, so I hope a downgrade option becomes available

  • http://JoselinMane.com JoselinMane

    Yes build a downgrade options, I just finished my trail version and have already uploaded photos but didn't get a chance to fully test during the trail period.

    Thanks

  • Jreye

    I'd be interested in the downgrade. We've been with you from the beginning (or close to it!) I refered several friends when it was $50/yr but at the $99 it's more difficult. I am asked a lot, but when I tell them it's $99/year they say they're “out”. I am renewing now at $99 in hopes of a path to downgrade within the year. Thanks for an awesome product!

  • John Raffetto

    Yes please offer a downgrade option! I just grudgingly renewed at the $99 rate because I don't have time to re-load everything. But in doing so I swore to myself I would have an action plan before another $99 renewal came up.

  • John Raffetto

    I agree – a sudden doubling of the price raises major issues of trust where the value proposition is allegedly to remove the worry about losing your photos. Phanfare effectively removes that worry, but then hands you a whole new worry about next year's price increase!

  • http://blog.phanfare.com erlichson

    We have absolutely no intention to raise prices again. We have a good handle on our costs and the current subscription covers it. At the end of the day, Phanfare is a fairly small business for a niche market and we deliver an amazing amount of value for our subscription. We keep your photos and videos in some of the most reliable online storage on earth. The average customer has 15 GB of data. You can do the math on the Amazon S3 pricing page and you will quickly realize that we run pretty lean.

    The new $29 version does not retain fullsize originals so we don't think that most of our customers will be interested in it. But there is clearly some interest and we can and will build a downgrade option.

  • Jason

    I'd be interested in the downgrade too. I love the service but don't want to pay $99/year and can't imagine that I would go back to reload all of my albums if I had to cancel. A seamless transition is the key to this service to keep your existing customers . . .

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