Additional Pricing Options for AWS Marketplace Products
Forward-looking ISVs (Indepdendent Software Vendors) are making great use of AWS Marketplace. Users can find, buy, and start using products in minutes, without having to procure hardware or install any software. This streamlined delivery method can help ISVs to discover new customers while also decreasing the length of the sales cycle. The user pays for the products via their existing AWS account, per the regular AWS billing cycle.
As part of the on-boarding process for AWS Marketplace, each ISV has the freedom to determine the price of the software. The ISV can elect to offer prices for monthly and/or annual usage, generally with a discount. For software that is traditionally licensed on something other than time, ISVs make multiple entries in AWS Marketplace, representing licensing options on their chosen dimension.
This model has worked out well for many types of applications. However, as usual, there’s room to do even better!
More Pricing Options
ISVs have told us that they would like to have some more flexibility when it comes to packaging and pricing their software and we are happy to oblige. Some of them would like to extend the per-seat model without having to create multiple entries. Others would like to charge on other dimensions. A vendor of security products might want to charge by the number of hosts that were scanned. Or, a vendor of analytic products might want to charge based on the amount of data processed.
In order to accommodate all of these options, ISVs can now track and report on usage based on a pricing dimension that makes sense for their product (number of hosts scanned, amount of data processed, and so forth). They can also establish a per-unit price for this usage ($0.50 per host, $0.25 per GB of data, and so forth). Charges for this usage will appear on the user’s AWS bill.
I believe that this change will open the door to an even wider variety of products in the AWS Marketplace.
Implementing New Pricing Options
If you are an ISV and would like to use this new model price to your AWS Marketplace products, you need to add a little bit of code to your app. You simply measure usage along the appropriate dimension(s) and then call a new AWS API function to report on the usage. You must send this data (also known as a metering record) once per hour, even if there’s no usage for the hour. AWS Marketplace expects each running copy of the application to generate a metering record each hour in order to confirm that the application is still functioning properly. If the application stops sending records, AWS will email the customer and ask them to adjust their network configuration.
Here’s a sample call to the new
AWSMarketplaceMetering::MeterUsage("4w1vgsrkqdkypbz43g7qkk4uz","2015-05-19T07:31:23Z", "HostsScanned", 2);
The parameters are as follows:
- AWS Marketplace product code.
- Timestamp (UTC), in ISO-8601 format.
- Usage dimension.
- Usage quantity.
The usage data will be made available to you as part of the daily and monthly seller reports.
Here are a couple of examples of products that are already making use of this new pricing option. As you can see in the Infrastructure Fees, these vendors have chosen to price their products along a variety of interesting (and relevant) dimensions:
This new pricing option is available now and you can start using it today!