Monetization · Marketplaces

We are building travel app with dynamic and personal touch. What is be the best monetisation model?

Stan Podolski CEO at Nimble Aircraft.

May 15th, 2015

The idea of the app:
There are travel apps around, but they are not dynamic pretty much, content static, stale sometimes, no personal touch. On the other side, there are travel blogs - brilliant, personal, but missing user's location awareness

So we are trying to marry two concepts and create travel app, where a user can see the nice unexplored routes (and places) around, tied to the location and to the user's habits and curated with personal touch

What would be the best monetisation model? 

Derek Dukes Business Development, Startups at Amazon Web Services

May 15th, 2015

For some background I co-founded a social travel app called Jetpac (acquired by Google 2014). I know the space pretty well. We started out to build a new type of travel magazine, but then wound up building more of a data driven content platform. Travel on the web is a very tough business, travel on mobile is easier, but already pretty crowded. Lots of lessons learned, most best told over a beer.

There are three primary monetization models for Travel (sites / content / experiences / apps etc.). Good products build a decent sized valuable audience (e.g. Jetsetter / Hipmunk) or go after a niche audience (e.g. Tablet and Boutique Hotels).

Lead Generation - insert yourself between the consumer and the site where the consumer will make a travel purchase (e.g. book a flight / room / car, buy a travel package etc.).

Advertising - Basically, a slightly less precise version of option one but typically requiring either a good sized audience, or a highly valuable one.

Content - A couple different ways to charge for content:
Blog to book > start with a blog, build an audience, hit some magic number of MAUs, cherry pick content make a book.

Blog to app > same as blog to book, but put the content in a paid app or an app with In App Purchases

Other monetization models:
Guided Tours - Typically the revenue generating feature of a travel / food blogger you charge a range of prices in a group setting. Something like 'Ho Chi Minh Food Stall Tour - $25 bucks per person. 

Photography - If you travel enough and you've got great photos, you can make some money (this could be extended out beyond one user to a whole community of photographers contributing to a stock pool which could then be licensed to stock photography player like shutterstock or ghetty images.

If you have the time (and your investors have patience) I'd always go with some sort of freemium (or slight spin on) model. You could imagine an app that give you the top X POIs for a city like San Francisco, then lets you pay to unlock content that's selected for specific travelers (Foodies, LGBT etc.) as an in app purchase. 

Christina Miller Pursuing Entrepreneur, Passionate Public Speaker, Genuine Sales Person and Risk Taker

May 20th, 2015

I am working on a platform for locals to design and sell tours based on their own experiences and knowledge of the city, essentially Uber for tours. Being a tour guide before, I always got asked, what do you do? where do you eat, etc etc.

 I know the legal aspect is going to be a battle. And I plan on creating a "guide for guides" so it helps the create this and we approve the tours but I am worried on making sure I am different then other "local tours guides"

Since you both have experience in this industry, is there any suggestions you may have?

Also, I think selling the routes to guides would be good,

For your app-I also had the idea of having group meet ups for routes and "checking in" and have company purchase ads when they are near a location, but that maybe difficult if the area is limited in wireless contectivity.

Stan Podolski CEO at Nimble Aircraft.

May 15th, 2015

Wow! I love that idea about analysing instagram pics!

Stan Podolski CEO at Nimble Aircraft.

May 15th, 2015

We in fact think about niche audience, it is hard to verbalize, but something about chick, travel light, unexplored places.
But first, we are nothing like Hipmunk or Jetsetter, we are more like Yelp or Foursquare. You can think about it as curated travel blogs where you can actually go to the same route as blogger. That what made us to do it. I always wanted to go to the same place as some blogger did (or go to the same place as some book figure did), but it is hard to find it sometimes and if I am new to a place, I can not make a nice route I can fit in a day or so. So we provide curated routes, say Literary London, or Oxfords Colleges

Lead generation - good one, we thought something like this, basically because app is location-awared, so we can offer Uber for example or just walking directions. 

Blog - definitely, in fact this is what app is based on. We are working with couple bloggers, who are doing pretty regular updates and we think we might can go with fremium model for that.

Photography - thank you, we did not think about that at all! Oh yes, our bloggers have their own photos, so it is possible to make some revenue through the stock I guess. 

And guided tours - again, some of our bloggers are in fact local tour guides.  

Thank you, I have like a reassurance, we are on the right track. If you want to see the beta I can send a link, it looks like it is against the rules to show it in the wild.