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Zwift: Plan to double subscription fee for new Premium tier?
Earlier this week Zwift sent around a questionnaire asking if we’d like some more features. There was a sting in the tail.
Would we mind paying £20/mo rather than the current £13/m?.
Note that many companies do market research for new products and services and some of these never see the light of day. However, Zwift has in the past undertaken these surveys and then acted upon them, implying they are close to market.
The proposed premium features are shown above and I am positive that these are non-trivial to implement. There is a significant development effort to make these work on any platform and Zwift would be no exception. Even if they acquired, licenced or partnered to get these features, the integration would still be substantial.
So my take on this is that Zwift is close to market (or acquisition/partner!) but just don’t know for sure what the price hike will be.
Let’s look at the points above from Zwift in turn:
- Manage workouts from an adaptive calendar – This covers a multitude of possible sins. An adaptive calendar should know your likely future weekly routine as well as simply adapting to your historic training load to recommend the best ride for today. It should also take into account the next one, two or more days so that those are not adversely impacted.
- Custom adaptive training plans – I think this simply means that it updates your training parameters at the various time duration levels and is in line with what is needed for your race type and duration. Perhaps even better, it would take into account your waking HRV state…but where would that data come from for Zwift?
- Daily AI-powered workout recommendations – This should mean that from the variety of suitable generic workouts for today, AI should be used to statistically determine which one you, or someone like you, will get the most adaptation from. That type of personalisation is very powerful if done correctly.
- Automated FTP updates – Yes, obviously. This is so 2015. Actually, Zwift would likely update your entire power curve based on performances at several inflexion points (reflecting the strength of your various energy systems and other abilities)
- Outdoor workouts – This is probably the easiest of the lot to do and yet some other plans don’t seem to like you taking your workouts outdoors to complete. I would DEFINITELY want to do that and I would need the workout to score and monitor my progress and bear in mind that I will stop at traffic lights, etc. I would also want to do intervals outside as hill intervals but there would need to be some degree of flexibility from Zwift as to when I could start the interval…ideally I would want to start it when I approach the bottom of the hill and not when Zwift decides! Xert already does this by looking at your power ability dynamically and continuously throughout each ride.
What do you think of these proposed features?
This is a great set of useful new features (if they work!). However, they appeal to a certain kind of cyclist (someone like me, actually) and require full buy-in to that one platform to be your training guide. I’m less interested in doing them on Zwift tho!
- Is a socially-minded Zwift user the right one to target for this kind of training? Sure Zwift has a huge number of users and a good proportion of them will also want structured training. But how many? I don’t know the answer but I do know that I would personally prefer just to use Zwift for an occasional bit of fun and do structured training myself or with AI Endurance or Wahoo SYSTM or something else.
- Competition – there’s a lot of it including platforms like Final Surge where you get your analytics for free and where it is also a platform for selling plans from many, excellent coaches. I’m pretty sure that there are new entrants coming in this space soon (aka I know there are!)
- Price – If you are already a Zwift user then an extra £7/$10ish extra for a plan isn’t so bad. If you are training for a serious event then 6 months of the plan is the same price as a decent race tyre #Cheap. On the other hand, a full £20 a month for the full service is a decent amount of money, especially when you forget to cancel the subscription upgrade after your race.
Will it happen?
A: Yes. I think it will (I don’t know, no intel) and I think the £7 extra price tier is what they will go for.
How Will It Happen?
A: I initially suspected a partnership, perhaps with Trainer Road. However, dc rainmaker very plausibly suggests that Zwift could be about to acquire TR and TR has ALL the above features already working.
Would I buy it?
A: No, probably not. I don’t really use Zwift much
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