Strava’s Confusing Price Hike Draws Criticism


The athlete social network is raising prices, but it’s complicated.

Variable rates. Subscriptions are increasing 15–50%+ based on where members live and whether they pay monthly or annually.

But, the new price isn’t publically available, and the company was slow to announce the shift.

Poor communication. Some users were notified of the increase via email and others discovered the change in their Apple ID settings, while another group reported no update at all.

An uneven rollout, Strava isn’t notifying subscribers of a price hike until 30 days prior to renewal. And, anyone that signed up after November 23 last year isn’t affected.

Missteps. The go-to activity tracking platform for runners and cyclists, Strava rode pandemic tailwinds to new heights, surpassing 100M+ global users and notching a $1B+ valuation.

But, the company has endured its share of missteps:

  • In 2017, the platform attempted to build an influencer ecosystem through “Posts,” later testing poorly received ad-like integrations.
  • In 2018, the app’s heatmaps potentially revealed military base locations in war zones, igniting a PR nightmare over privacy risks.
  • More recently, in December, Strava laid off ~15% of its staff, according to Bicycle Retailer.

Looking ahead: With a loyal following and freemium model, Strava’s biggest challenge is still convincing more users to purchase a premium subscription. As purse strings tighten amid recession fears, the pricing debacle could make would-be members reconsider.

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