Pricing Fantasy Draft Software

How much should I charge for my fantasy draft software? It's a tricky question.

Prices of Current Options

I've run through the existing options before, but here are some price points for comparison:

Baseball

Football

Subscription-based

Several products are included in a larger subscription:

Sifting Through the Evidence

Okay, that's a lot to sort through. Some observations:

Are other people pricing optimally?

Many products are a side-project for someone who is already gainfully employed. Those kinds of people (and that includes me) tend to undervalue their work and to not market it well.

Mr. Cheatsheet's products are definitely worth much more than free. I admire his generosity, but he's leaving money on the table.

There are a lot of apples and oranges.

There's an incredible amount of diversity in the products offered. It's more than apples and oranges; there are watermelons and kiwis mixed in, too:

What's most surpising is that RotoLab and Fantistics can price their products so close to the "big" subscriptions, despite the lack of extra content. (Maybe the fantasy baseball analysis side isn't adding much value, when people can get free advice from Pitcher List or Razzball?)

What about Excel?

Here's a thought: The biggest competitor isn't any of those tools. It's Excel.

I bet far more people are running bespoke spreadsheets than are paying for all of these programs combined. While Excel isn't free, it is pretty ubiquitous. (Meaning: it's essentially free to use for fantasy if you already bought it for other reasons.) And Google Sheets is free.

There are some big concerns with this group:

I don't know what to do with that. I think there could be a big potential audience for a low-priced ($10-20) product that is heavily customizable (like Excel). But cheap and complex seems like a bad business market.

Pricing DraftKick

DraftKick's closest competition are the desktop apps with standalone pricing, RotoLab and Fantistics.

And yet... I still don't understand how they have priced their products at $50 and beyond.

So here are two possible choices:

Charge $40-60 for DraftKick

The price sends a signal to potential users that this is a high-end product. It is comparable to RotoLab: better in some ways, worse in others, but similar overall.

Howver, this terrifies me. Even though I feel like I'm building something awesome, I am afraid that no one will buy it.

Start free and raise prices later

With this strategy, I'm relying on FREE to help bring DraftKick to a larger audience. I can share it on Reddit without mods deleting it for self-promotion. People will happily link to a FREE tool, so my site shows up better on Google, too.

Once that marketing has worked awhile, I can start charging a fairer price. When is that? I could give it away for early drafters (Nov/Dec 2022) and start charging in Jan 2023. (Potential problem: Nov/Dec are mostly months for slow drafters; and this tool is targeted at fast drafts.)

I could give it away for 2023, and start charging in 2024. But then I'm really playing a long game, waiting 18 months for results.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. How much would you pay for DraftKick?

Hi,

I'm Mays. I've been playing fantasy since I was in high school (over two decades ago).

My speciality has always been player valuation—converting player stats into rankings and salary values. VBD? Z-Scores? We go way back. In 2009, I started Last Player Picked, a site that generated fantasy values customized for your league.

These days, I'm building DraftKick and Projectile, a fantasy baseball site with in-season projection visualizations.

You can find me on Twitter at @MaysCopeland or email me at mayscopeland@gmail.com.