I’ve always been pretty interested in the membership site business model, but recent advances in “group membership” WordPress plugins have piqued my interest even more.
It looks like Paid Memberships Pro was the first to offer such functionality with their [Sponsored/Group Members addon]
(https://www.paidmembershipspro.com/add-ons/plus-add-ons/pmpro-sponsored-members/), which allowed buyers to buy a set of sub-accounts. The eventual sub-account users would be have coupons distributed to them by the buyer, that would grant them free access. You could’ve also patched together a similar system with WooCommerce, as described here.
These two addons allow group account owners more control over sub-accounts, being able to add/remove/edit them at will (without being stuck with the original accounts registered) up to however many sub-accounts were allotted for their membership level.
These solutions make it a lot easier to automate group account purchases. Code School and Laracasts both have automated “team account” purchases, for example. I’d imagine many other sites have more of a manual, time-consuming process.
A combination of WooCommerce, WooCommerce Subscriptions, WooCommerce Memberships, WooCommerce Group Memberships, and Sensei for an group-account-selling e-learning setup would add up to a fraction of the cost it would be to have a solution custom developed.
My concerns would be:
You’d really need an “enterprise-level” offering, like Laracasts and Code School. But this isn’t just about e-learning. I could imagine Netflix selling group accounts to companies as a perk for their employees. High-quality content, production value would be key in selling these to the businesses that could afford them.
Many businesses would just opt for a single-user account anyway, limiting it internally to one-user-at-a-time (which can be enforced from the site owner’s perspective with WP Bouncer). Although I suppose these wouldn’t be your “target market” anyway.
As a (potential) membership site operator, what would your thoughts be on group accounts? What about as a consumer?