Indianapolis-based Angie’s List Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI) says the expansion of a pilot program will make its platform "meaningful to a whole new generation of consumers." The company, which dropped the paywall for its online reviews in select markets earlier this year, has now rolled out the concept nationwide. Chief Executive Officer Scott Durchslag says the paywall "created opportunities for competitors," especially with Millennial customers, who are often not willing to pay upfront for reviews.
During a pilot period covering most of June and part of July, Durchslag says new member signups quadrupled, compared to the same period during the previous year. In addition, he says the number of visits and searches doubled, compared to last year. He says offering free membership goes "right to the root cause of what was constraining Angie’s List’s growth."
In addition to the free "Green" membership, Angie’s List will offer two premium membership tiers. The Silver and Gold memberships will include additional services, features and support.
In February, the company announced its first-ever full-year profit. At the time, Durchslag said he had "great confidence" for growth in 2016.
The news comes as Angie’s List faces increased competition, even in its home base of Indianapolis. Late last year, Colorado-based HomeAdvisor announced it would open an office in the city. That announcement came a month after Angie’s List turned away HomeAdvisor parent company InterActiveCorp’s (Nasdaq: IACI) $512 million cash acquisition offer.