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GoPro Plus subscription service lets you replace a broken camera at reduced cost

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Broken GoPro? An update to the company’s $5 monthly subscription service could make replacements less disastrous to your wallet. Announced on Wednesday, January 31, the action camera giant is rolling out expanded features to the Plus subscription service, including adding a camera replacement while keeping the cost of the service at $5 a month. On March 1, GoPro added the previously teased automatic cloud backup to the plan, following GoPro CEO Nicholas Woodman hints that additional subscription services will be arriving later this year.

The expansion adds several new perks to the existing GoPro Plus membership. GoPro says subscribers can now receive camera replacements “with no questions asked,” GoPro says. Similar to the GoPro Care program, replacing a device will add a one-time charge on top of subscription fees. The replacement fee varies by model, but GoPro says the cost is about 20 percent of the list price of the camera. Subscribers can replace up to two Hero6 Black, Hero5, or Fusion cameras in one year.

Plus subscription already included cloud backups, and with the latest update, that cloud storage can be automatic. The new feature prevents data loss by allowing the GoPro to back up files whenever connected to the GoPro App. Automatic backups are possible from both Hero6 and Hero5 cameras thanks to built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, while Hero4 and older cameras must be backed up through a desktop computer.

Plus also serves as a cloud-based storage solution, with the subscription update now including unlimited photo storage and 35 hours of video storage. Subscribers also get a 20-percent discount off of accessories purchased directly from GoPro’s website, while Plus members will also get priority phone and chat support. As an additional perk, Plus offers access to a soundtrack library for adding music to your videos.

“Plus streamlines the GoPro experience and delivers outsized value for our customers,” Nicholas Woodman, the company’s founder and CEO said in a press release. “[It] has proven popular with consumers, and the rollout of our enhanced service marks the first of several subscription initiatives we will introduce this year.”

Even with all the new changes, the price for Plus is staying put at $5 per month, and new members receive a 30-day free trial. While the changes are launching today, mobile backups will have to wait for an app update to enable the feature, which is expected next month for iOS and later in the spring for Android.

The new focus on subscription services reflects how GoPro is currently restructuring its business. A successful subscription program could help stabilize the company with a predictable source of income in addition to sales of cameras and accessories.

At the same time, GoPro Plus could be helpful for accident-prone action cam users. GoPro Care also offers a similar replacement, but with a one-time $99 fee for two years of coverage and, if you make a replacement, a $79 claim fee for a Hero6 Black. In comparison, two years of Plus will cost $120 and also includes cloud storage and auto backups, but replacing a camera will carry a similar claim fee.

Updated on March 1 to include the availability of the previously announced automatic cloud backup.

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