What would you pay to listen to an episode of Six Pixels of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast?
Don't panic, I have no plans to start charging for my weekly marketing podcast. On Twitter, I was having some back and forth between Gary Vaynerchuk (Crush It and The Thank You Economy) and Avinash Kaushik (Web Analytics - An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0) and we decided that we will soon record a three-way audio Podcast to discuss branding, Social Media and analytics. @benjaminbach tweeted: "I'd buy that," to which, Gary responded with: "hmmmmm buy huh? How much? For an hour? I'm serious, curious about future of content."
Would you pay for that type of content?
I started thinking about paid content, Social Media and how people perceive the act of paying for content (it's a topic I've covered before: Free Content Is Killing Media (And Advertising), Blogging And Podcasting As A Business Model, Content Pays and When We Switch From Free To Paid). The first thought that came to mind was: what if I made that one, special, episode a premium episode and attached a fee to it? It wasn't about making money, but much more about attempting to answer Gary's question about the perceived value of the information being presented. Being the Media Hacker that I am, I started thinking: what if I charged $0.99 per episode via iTunes? Surely an hour listening to Seth Godin or Chris Brogan or Steve Wozniak and I chat must be worth $0.99? Obviously, by charging for the Podcast, I would then diminish the size of the listening audience, but does that really matter? The content is not advertising supported, so there's no additional value to having a whole bunch of free ears listening in on my weekly marketing conversations. Then, a final thought struck me: what if I charged $0.99 per episode but also left all of the episodes available for free as they are now?
At this point, you're probably thinking: "has Mitch lost his mind?"
Hear me out: This isn't about exclusion. It's about inclusion. If you want the content but don't feel that it's worth any money, that's fine. It's there for the taking. If you want the content and learn from the content, is it worth under one dollar? People who are willing to pay for their content (and you can replace the word "content" with "education," "personal development" or "learning") are a different breed. They not only assign a different value to the content, they have different expectations and interactions with it. For over fifteen years, I was in the music industry and was given every CD and concert ticket for free, trust me when I say that your perception of the content changes when it's free from when it's paid for. In the end, I'm not going to be charging for my content on the Blog and/or the Podcast. I'm doing my best to get my ideas to spread, so free is the perfect price for me, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about new models and ideas for a world that will ultimately have to pay for content - in some way, shape or form.
What do you think?