Angie’s List Dropping Subscription Requirement For Review Writing & Browsing

If you’ve ever visited Angie’s List to find a plumber, painter, lawn care professional, or other service provider, you probably didn’t get too far, thanks to the company’s paywall which blocks visitors from seeing reviews unless they sign on for a year-long subscription. That’s about to change, as the home services marketplace plans to drop its membership fees in a bid to increase revenue down the road. 

Angie’s List will make basic rating and review offerings available for free to all site visitors at some point this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The new model, dubbed “freemium,” will still come with a pricing structure that charges users for services beyond basic browsing and review writing. However, it’s unclear what those services are and how much they’ll cost.

The company plans to take down the paywall in select markets starting in this spring, with a full rollout of the new system expected by fall.

Angie’s Lists current subscription model, which typically starts at $9.99/year, is a “barrier that has limited our growth,” Scott Durchslag, chief executive for the company tells the WSJ.

“We get over 100 million visitors each month, but 90% of them have been bouncing because of the reviews paywall,” he tells TechCrunch. “We expect to see traffic explode with the change.”

While the purpose of the paywall-free model is to increase revenue, Angie’s List said on Thursday that it will likely take a revenue hit at first. However, the company which expects $345 million to $355 million in revenue this year, anticipates a growth in recent to $750 million by 2020 under the new model.

Angie’s List to Limit Paywall; Forecasts Soft 2016 Revenue [The Wall Street Journal]
Home services marketplace Angie’s List to drop paywall for a freemium model [TechCrunch]