No More Free Jott? Fine. A Company's Got to Make Money!

I like to follow Internet start-ups, especially when they involve subscription services and have the potential to grow into mega-success stories. One company I'm particularly interested in is Jott based in Seattle. They are a voice-to-text service who moved out of beta in August 2008 and added a premium feature for $4/month. According to the company, about 30% of Jott's active users have opted for the premium, no-ads version of the service since then. 30%? In 5 months? Not bad!

What is Jott? People use Jott to send voice-to-text emails and SMS messages, to send Twitter messages, to add calendar items as a personal reminder service, and so on. It's way cool. The way it works is that voice messages are transcribed into text messages via software by, you guessed it, good old-fashioned wetware (as in humans ;-)

The free version of Jott is going to end on February 2, CEO John Pollard told Michael Arrington of The terrible advertising market, he said, means every customer has to pay their own way from now on. Customers will need to pay $4/month to continue the service, the current price for a premium account. This includes users of the Jott iPhone application.

I read today that Jott is also preparing to roll out a new service, voicemail-to-text. Like their competitors (including Spinvox, PhoneTag, GotVoice and others) voice mails will be converted into text messages and sent to the subscriber within a couple of minutes. The application is priced at the same level as their competitors, $10/month for up to 40 messages. Now that sounds a little suspect to me but we'll see as the product launches today. Film at 11!