Angie's List to Free-up Some Services

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Scott Durchslag (pictured in front on his first day) became Angie's List CEO last September. Scott Durchslag (pictured in front on his first day) became Angie's List CEO last September.

Indianapolis-based Angie's List (Nasdaq: ANGI) is dropping the paywall on some of its signature features. As part of its Profitable Growth Plan unveiled Thursday morning, the company says it will make online rating and review services free.

Angie's List says early returns from a pilot run of these changes showed "significant increases in consumer engagement and service provider value."

The company is also rolling our what it calls new "freemium" and premium tiered offerings.

Chief Executive Officer Scott Durchslag says the new plan "transforms our legacy business model to bring in a new era of growth and profitability at Angie's List. Angie's List is the premier brand in the $400 billion home services market. By removing the paywall for ratings and reviews, our new Profitable Growth Plan removes the barrier that has limited our growth and enables Angie's List to engage with more consumers and more service providers than ever before." He adds the plan will "reignite" growth in revenue and, overtime, drive increases.

Angie's List expects to launch paywall-free ratings and reviews and new tiered offerings over the next three months in select markets. It plans to roll it out nationally in the third quarter of 2016. The company says the new premium features will include emergency service hotlines and expedited handyman service calls.

The company says the full compliment of changes are expected to drive total revenue up to $750 annually by 2020. It will implement the plan over five years, targeting the following milestones:

  • Strengthen and Reposition the Core Business (2016), which includes redefining the paywall and launching premium consumer services, improving the consumer experience by scaling the Angie’s List 4.0 platform, as well as optimizing the service provider sales organization to better monetize consumer traffic;
  • Leverage the Home Services Platform (2017-2018), which includes expanding value-added services provided on the AL platform, and improving customer and service provider relationships with personalized offerings; and
  • Expand to Adjacencies (2019-2020), which includes expanding the consumer and service provider bases, and developing relevant partnerships to provide additional value-added services.

Last month, the company announced its first-ever profitable year. Earlier this week, the company reworked its board of directors, which now includes one of the company's largest shareholders. TCS Capital Management LLC founder Eric Semler has pushed for the company to accept a buyout offer from New York-based InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI).

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