03 February 2015

Do Not Ancestry

UPDATE: Apparently there's a new subscription level for DNA users but the only reference I've found for it is this thread in the "community." Note that comments are closed on that thread.

AncestryDNA is now available in the United Kingdom and Ireland but it looks like Ancestry doesn't really want to sell any tests. The price of the test is £99. That's about $150 US. In the US the test sells for $99. Shipping to the UK and Ireland is three times what it is here, £20 ($30). US shipping is $9.95. And that's just the beginning.
For everyone purchasing a test after September or October 2014 (Ancestry has  not given an exact cutoff date) the following items are no longer included in the price of the test:
- List of surnames in common with matches.
- Ability to message your matches.
- Viewing the pedigree of your match's tree.
- Shared Ancestor Hints
- DNA Circles
Any tests purchased before the arbitrary date will still have those features with or without a subscription. AncestryDNA already lags behind when it comes to comparison tools and now they're moving what little they do have behind a pay wall.
The closest competitor for AncestryDNA is FamilyTreeDNA's autosomal test, Family Finder. Their test is $99. Period. Their prices do not vary by country. Standard shipping to most countries is $9.95 and they will ship everywhere except Iran and Sudan. And, most notably, using their comparison tools does not require a separate subscription.
When Ancestry jumped into the autosomal market they drove down prices. Once it became clear that autosomal tests would be the "next big thing" they dumped their Y and mt tests. Do they think they've cornered the market? Are they that confident in their minimal DNA tools? Do they think customers will be loyal no matter what?
Anyone have any insights on this?

[Full disclosure: I have no association with any DNA company except as a customer. I purchased a Y-DNA test from FamilyTreeDNA but have not purchased their Family Finder test. I received my first AncestryDNA test for free and have since purchased six more.]

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1 comment:

  1. AncestryDNA's biggest supporters have emphasized the great potential in combining Ancestry's trees with Ancestry's DNA test. But Ancestry's tests sell quite well as ethnicity reports. Consequently, Ancestry isn't deeply interested in combining the power of their trees with the power of genetic genealogy, and they've erected a big paywall between the DNA test results and the trees.