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DC Rainmaker on the Strava vs. Relive.cc Backstory

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DC Rainmaker on the Strava vs. Relive.cc Backstory

Old 07-12-19, 08:04 PM
  #26  
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I never even knew this existed.

This is just like when Napster was forced to shut down before I ever got to download a free mp3.

Except different.
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Old 07-12-19, 08:41 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
Yeah, Im guessing they are crippling the free membership further.
I think this will seriously hurt their followers too. I would not pay for what they have, just not worth it.

Risky
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Old 07-12-19, 08:51 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
Yeah, Im guessing they are crippling the free membership further.
Do all the Strava add-ons, like VeloViewer and Elevate, for example, connect to Strava the same way? I wonder if Strava would move against them to goad more folks to pay? If so, I think that would be the last straw for me.

How do these access arrangements work? I don't know much about VeloViewer and Elevate, but these are pretty much one-man shows, are they not? I can't imagine they make enough off that to be sending a lot of revenue Strava's way. Do they pay at all?
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Old 07-13-19, 01:45 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Strava have to the location of secret military bases.
I'd offer what they have are publicly searchable heat maps of GPS tracks that users have elected to share all over the surface of the earth, and when you scan the heat maps, hot spots in the middle of nowhere are an indicator. Coupled with some other pieces of info it might point to who is there...that said, savvy observers have all kinds fo ways to figure out where "secret" stuff is. And, where it is might be interesting, what it's doing is a mother matter, and Strava doesn't have that info or have the ability to display it.

My 2 cents.
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Old 07-13-19, 03:29 AM
  #30  
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No great loss, I got bored with Relive after the first couple of tries. It might have been more fun with a replayable HUD first person shooter interface and final boss showdown on KOM attempts.

After reading statements from Strava and Relive, I'm inclined to believe Strava's assertion that Relive failed to honor Strava's requirements, based on one telltale clue: in Relive's rebuttal post, they included a Spongebob Squarepants image.

That's theft of intellectual property. There's no disputing that.

In my experience chasing down cases of IP theft (for a decade I was a mod on a once-popular photography site and investigated many, many complaints about IP theft), invariably the people who use other people's images without licensing agreements and compensation are utterly clueless and indifferent to the nuances of law. They'll invariably fall back on bogus, unsupportable claims that images, music, etc., are public domain, or they "just found it on Google", or it's "fair use." All incorrect in that context.

And if they're ignorant of something as relatively simple as licensing intellectual property like an image from a well financed, powerful and lawyered-up TV network, it's likely they screwed up with Strava too.

This lends some credibility to Strava's assertion that Relive failed to honor Strava's API.
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Old 07-13-19, 03:32 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Do all the Strava add-ons, like VeloViewer and Elevate, for example, connect to Strava the same way? I wonder if Strava would move against them to goad more folks to pay? If so, I think that would be the last straw for me.

How do these access arrangements work? I don't know much about VeloViewer and Elevate, but these are pretty much one-man shows, are they not? I can't imagine they make enough off that to be sending a lot of revenue Strava's way. Do they pay at all?
I'd really like to see Strava integrate Elevate's additional data tools, preferably by paying to license from Elevate or just buying them out. That might be enough to motivate me to pay for a premium Strava subscription.

As it is, I've used Strava for awhile for free and don't really have any complaints. It does what I want. Mostly I regard it as another social network for keeping up with meatspace cycling friends.
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Old 07-13-19, 09:55 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I regard it as another social network for keeping up with meatspace cycling friends.
Primary use. Secondary, smack talk those same friends, since we are all fast. Third use? No idea, I'll figure it out later.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:31 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'd really like to see Strava integrate Elevate's additional data tools, preferably by paying to license from Elevate or just buying them out. That might be enough to motivate me to pay for a premium Strava subscription.

As it is, I've used Strava for awhile for free and don't really have any complaints. It does what I want. Mostly I regard it as another social network for keeping up with meatspace cycling friends.
So I was paying for premium up until about a year ago. What did it get me? My interest was in the suffer score, power curve, heart rate distribution. For a little over $0.16 per day. I realize, there are other bells and whistles, but the free version plus Elevate and/or VeloViewer is pretty good.

According to this source, Strava adds a million new users every 40 days. If so, they probably don't concern themselves terribly when a few formerly paying customers, now free users, cease to use the platform.
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Old 07-14-19, 04:04 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
No great loss, I got bored with Relive after the first couple of tries. It might have been more fun with a replayable HUD first person shooter interface and final boss showdown on KOM attempts.

After reading statements from Strava and Relive, I'm inclined to believe Strava's assertion that Relive failed to honor Strava's requirements, based on one telltale clue: in Relive's rebuttal post, they included a Spongebob Squarepants image.

That's theft of intellectual property. There's no disputing that.

In my experience chasing down cases of IP theft (for a decade I was a mod on a once-popular photography site and investigated many, many complaints about IP theft), invariably the people who use other people's images without licensing agreements and compensation are utterly clueless and indifferent to the nuances of law. They'll invariably fall back on bogus, unsupportable claims that images, music, etc., are public domain, or they "just found it on Google", or it's "fair use." All incorrect in that context.

And if they're ignorant of something as relatively simple as licensing intellectual property like an image from a well financed, powerful and lawyered-up TV network, it's likely they screwed up with Strava too.
I love your avatar.
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Old 07-14-19, 08:13 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
I love your avatar.
My stink gland is weeeaaak!
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Old 07-14-19, 08:42 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
According to this source, Strava adds a million new users every 40 days. If so, they probably don't concern themselves terribly when a few formerly paying customers, now free users, cease to use the platform.
I'm only speaking anecdotally but I find that hard to believe. Does the article say how many people stop using, paying or logging on every month? No matter what, I would think you reach a saturation point of users and have nothing left other than add new features.

I agree that Strava seems to be the FB of fitness. I tried the free version a couple of years ago and was not impressed. I think it held my interest for a day or two. Garmin Connect does everything I'm looking for in a fitness reporting program.
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Old 07-14-19, 10:14 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I agree that Strava seems to be the FB of fitness.
Indeed, it's the one everyone has heard of, and it's easy to get started with since the basic premise is that you use your phone; investing in specialized hardware comes later.

One of the other big parallels is that it works for all sorts of people: grandparents are on facebook, similarly, you can make a lot of usage of Strava to get a sense of your own unambitious rides, see what your friends are doing, get ride ideas, check recent conditions, etc...

I tried the free version a couple of years ago and was not impressed. I think it held my interest for a day or two. Garmin Connect does everything I'm looking for in a fitness reporting program.
If you're looking for real athletic performance metrics, maybe not. If you're just curious about tracking your own mileage, seeing the history of your times on a particular segment, or if other people are suddenly riding something a lot slower than usual (indicating bad conditions) it's fine. I'll probably never get a KOM. But it's been fun to try to boost my PR on some segments where it is appropriate to do so. When I look at the paid features, the only one that's useful is the beacon, which makes the current a la carte pricing ideal - were it more expensive as a result of still being bundled with things I don't want, I'd probably go looking for other alternatives.

I really wish they'd make it easy to see a local heat map though, yes, I can zoom in on my area from the world, but it should just be a tab on any of their maps. Or have a feature where for a given segment, you can see where others who rode it tended to come from and go to. A popularity vs. time would be great, too - if something that was popular suddenly sees a dropoff in usage, there's probably an issue it would be nice to know about before setting out.
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Old 07-14-19, 12:46 PM
  #38  
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why would anyone need strava premium when there is Garmin connect with full data analysis for free?
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Old 07-14-19, 01:12 PM
  #39  
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maybe I have not explored GC much... but I strava I track things like how many miles on shoes (running) and miles on chain(bike).. things like that.
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Old 07-14-19, 01:25 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
why would anyone need strava premium when there is Garmin connect with full data analysis for free?
You do of course recognize that not all of us use Garmins, correct? Beyond that fact, I was a Garmin user for ~3 years, and Connect has continually proven to be, IMO, clunky. Strava, particularly with the Elevate App installed, is better at... everything.
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Old 07-14-19, 02:30 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
Strava recently dropped the "Remember Me" box on their login (maybe still there for paying members?), just making it a bit more annoying to use. Our club has been trying to use it to track members mileage, but you cannot even get a report of year-to-date mileage by member out of the system. there is a support thread going back more than 5 years I think requesting this. A couple of times a Strava person chimed in they were working on it, but it's obvious they are not.

Overall the functionality seems pretty stagnant over the last few years and now this is a downgrade.
Here is what gets me: Strava has raised $55 million venture capital so far (since 2010), and has about 150 employees. The new CEO came on board in late 2017 with stints in Facebook/Instagram. Strava wants to be the social media of the fitness crowd - cycling, running, what have you - hence the reason they banned Relive. But nothing, no new features, has happened in the last year or so. What have these 150 people been doing?

We have 2 Summit memberships in our household since they started the subscription model a few years back, and we all sue Garmin devices. I do like some of the social features of Strava like tracking my clubs and seeing what my friends are doing, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify renewing every year.
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Old 07-14-19, 03:12 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
why would anyone need strava premium when there is Garmin connect with full data analysis for free?
Maybe because I'm a Wahoo user...?
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Old 07-14-19, 03:20 PM
  #43  
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Strava functionality has been stagnant for years. Can you believe they still do not allow you to do the inanely simple task of sorting saved segments? Or perform a minor adjustment of your GPS track? On Fly Bys, the "spatial correlation" values don't work anymore, yet they are still part of the fly by screen. Just looks bad. They so focused on the social aspect, they could not care less about technical functionality, and or look. I have never once posted a technical suggestion, or pointed out a glitch, and have Strava fix it. But hey, bombard me with "give your pal a kudo!", and "check out the segment you rode today!" nonsense.

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Old 07-14-19, 04:42 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
Maybe because I'm a Wahoo user...?
Even the free version of Training Peaks is better as a training tool.


-Tim-
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Old 07-14-19, 04:54 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by dalava View Post
We have 2 Summit memberships in our household since they started the subscription model a few years back, and we all sue Garmin devices. I do like some of the social features of Strava like tracking my clubs and seeing what my friends are doing, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to justify renewing every year.
What exactly are you paying for? If there's something else that gives you better personal analytics you could use that and upload GPX to strava for social purposes, or am I missing something? Or start with strava and download GPX to put into whatever you are using for performance analytics instead.

As for the current spat, I got fairly bored with Relive after a few times (and it considers the rides I'd most like to have it for too long anyway). In theory one can download the gpx and then upload to Relive, but I guess you'd have to do the pictures again. Granted, Strava seems broken in not letting you order pictures from multiple cameras post upload.... Maybe it's time for a new "home" solution that exports to these various limited-by-commercialitization ones ;-)
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Old 07-14-19, 05:03 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Even the free version of Training Peaks is better as a training tool.


-Tim-
My comment was in reply to the person talking about Garmin Connect
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Old 07-14-19, 07:17 PM
  #47  
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There is an interesting thread over on a different forum that estimates, circa 2015, that Strava had somewhere around 8.2 million users. At that time, the author created other interval estimates, including one for the number of premium users. On his blog, he gives some additional details, but his sample was on the small side, so take his findings with a grain of salt. In any case, if it is true that Strava went from 8.2 million to 42 million users in four years, give or take, they are growing at about 50% annually.

Very briefly, he estimates the percentage of premium users at that time to be between 0.83% and 3.9% with 95% confidence, or to put it in raw numbers, somewhere between 65,000 and 312,000 premium users out of 8.2 million registered users. Back in 2015, he estimated the revenue from premium subscribers was around $11.5 million/year, and they were not profitable, nor have they ever been profitable.

At the same forum, another thread parallel to this one on Strava vs. Relive.cc.

This article echoes the "a million new users every forty days" statistic, but adds some other useful information:

Originally Posted by Outside Online
[...] Every one of these people is doing something active, but there’s no GPS track of speed, location, and distance for it. I look at the walls of windows in the condos that have sprung up on Denver’s west side, likely the site of more than a few residents tackling before-work treadmill runs or yoga sessions.

These are Strava’s new target users. The company is growing fast: it currently has 42 million accounts and is adding roughly a million new ones every month. And while runs and rides will always be part of the Strava experience, there’s far more variety to the platform these days than just endurance sports. But why is Strava targeting yoga practitioners and Peloton fanatics and people who use rowing machines? [...]

It would be facile to say that Strava wants to be the Facebook of fitness. In fact, Quarles pushes back directly against the idea. “None of our team is trying to create an orange Facebook,” he says. [...] “Strava wants to be the home of your active life,” says Quarles. It’s positioning itself at the center of your existence as an active person. Strava wants to be the dashboard for tracking your fitness, a calendar for inviting friends to work out, a feed for you to follow others’ activities, a blog for your race reports and photos, and a message board to ask for recommendations on a new pair of trail-running shoes. In the process, Strava’s goal is to cement itself as “the next great sports brand of the 21st century,” as Quarles puts it.

Of course, Quarles’s job isn’t only to grow Strava’s user base—it’s to monetize it. Venture capital isn’t the sole source of funding, but Strava hasn’t made a profit in ten years of existence, relying instead on patient backers to fuel growth. As every company in the world has learned, investor forbearance has a shelf life, and Strava’s inches closer every day. The company has lofty goals, but can it grow big enough and fast enough—and become rich enough in the process—to reach them? [...]

Strava’s user growth is solid and geographically diverse; according to the company, 82 percent is outside the U.S. Given the platform’s international reach, the potential user base is massive. To capitalize, Strava must either grow its subscription revenue (by offering more Summit packs, for example) or come up with additional revenue streams like advertising, perhaps at the risk of pissing off current subscribers. “There will definitely be fallout from the core audience if they push more on ads, but inevitably people will stick with Strava,” predicts Thompson. “You have to be thoughtful about how that’s done.” The company doesn’t have to massively scale up its revenue, but it does have to show that the economics work, he says.
Late in the article, the writer cites the blogger above and summarizes his own similar analysis, which uses a slightly larger sample and finds a slightly higher estimate of premium users. But with all the resources Strava is expending to become "the next great sports brand," it seems to me they have made a conscious decision that the original user base of mainly cyclists and runners is expendable, unless they are willing to pay.

I applaud their attempt to do a more la carte offering, and I don't mind to pay for something I value. But I wouldn't pay for Facebook anytime in this life, and if Strava keeps on keeping on with fixing things that aren't broke, finding solutions to imaginary problems, and not adding value, let them crash and burn. This is a great opportunity for their competitors to step up.

I'll give you a simple example. For years I have used BikeJournal to record mileage on components, because both Garmin Connect and Strava offer very limited gear tracking. How hard would that be for Strava to offer truly flexible gear tracking? I can't even enter a manual odometer reading for anything. To me, that is stupid.

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Old 07-15-19, 09:45 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Even the free version of Training Peaks is better as a training tool.


-Tim-
The free Training Peaks is awesome. If you know the math, you can past your basic TSS given into a spreadsheet and get your CTL/ATL out. I just pull out my phone once in a while and transfer a few workouts into my sheet.

Also there's GC for folks not blocked from downloading to a work laptop.

To me, the problem is that Strava has pay/benefit/free balance problem. People who pay should get a good amount more. They don't. I think it would work best if Strava monetized on advertisements a lot more on the free users, lowered the pay price a touch, and throw the ad revenue from the free users into benefits for the paid users.

I'd pay for Strava if:

-they created a club/group segment feature: only open to club members, and tracks efforts for solo efforts and group efforts with separate "awards"

-the had a much more serious training add-on for paid members, c'mon the free TP is better

-they focused the "social media" aspect more around clubs, events, group rides, kind of stuff instead of just making it like a Facebook feed. Enable the community. Promote some USAC and local racing somehow. Focus on expanding the community.

I think the issue here though is that Strava pretty much has to play ball with places for getting hold of your data from fitness events. They need that to have a product to operate since we are the product, our fitness data. But, once people want something to exit the ecosystem I assume they have to see something in it for them.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:06 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
There's definitely something going on in the background at Strava that they apparently don't want us end-users to know about. They've been quietly dropping support for third-party apps for years now-- they killed KOM Defender, and the cool one that showed how many square mile sections were contained inside a loop route. It's a shame about Relive, the videos were really cool. I wish there was some other alternative, but I recognize the reality. Strava is cycling's Facebook to everybody's everything else.
Rainmaker's last sentence sort of sums it up. Strava had a great idea that it built a company around, but now they seem unwilling/unable to come up with new innovation, so they want to protect their existing business by preventing threats to it from companies like Relive.
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Old 07-15-19, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
Do all the Strava add-ons, like VeloViewer and Elevate, for example, connect to Strava the same way? I wonder if Strava would move against them to goad more folks to pay? If so, I think that would be the last straw for me.

How do these access arrangements work? I don't know much about VeloViewer and Elevate, but these are pretty much one-man shows, are they not? I can't imagine they make enough off that to be sending a lot of revenue Strava's way. Do they pay at all?
I would guess they could be cut off on the same basis on non-compliance with API access terms. But Strava may not do it unless they're perceived as a threat to Strava's business, and it's not clear they are. They're an enhancement but not a potential alternative. Relive by comparison was bordering on an alternative, at least to teh social aspects of Strava.
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