"If you're going to charge me 4 times more, you'd better increase the club membership's value"

michielterlouwmichielterlouw Helsinki
edited November 2016 in General
Hope I don't sound like an ass, but I think we're fooling ourselves if we think people will sign up for a 48 dollar membership when we know from previous years that only a tiny percentage signed up for the 12 dollar membership.

Looking back, I  joined the club after quite a long time consuming their content for free. And the only reason I signed up, is because I wanted to support Baldmove, and because 12 dollars is such a low hurdle. On the other hand, the reason it took a long time for me to open my wallet, is that ... the membership just doesn't offer much added value. I get podcasts without ads, but I don't really mind the ads (they are usually quite funny). And then you get Lunch... but sorry, I am not going to pay 48 dollars to listen to 2 guys talking about their trips to the lake, and which video game they are playing. For that kind of stuff I just have lunch with my colleagues (sorry, no offense to anyone who is a loyal LWJA fan).

To cut a long story short, there needs to be a clearer distinction between "free" and "membership". A distinction that the homo economicus understand, and goes beyond the "I want to support these guys because they are so nice" incentive.

Here's my 2 cents:


SNEAK PREVIEW
As a member, I would like to get my podcasts (the unedited version, I guess) before everybody else. Not as a video, but as a podcast audio-file in my itunes library. Non-members need to wait a day. 


LISTENER FEEDBACK
As a member, I want to be able to give listener-feedback about the shows. Non-members cannot send in feedback. Or if they can... it is discussed only later in the show, after the members-feedback has been taken care of (and only if there's some time left)

Or maybe the distinction is that members are mentioned by name when they send in feedback which is discussed on the show, whereas non-member's feedback is anonymous.

I realize this sounds artificial, but I think people experience enormous value when the podcast-hosts take the time and energy to answer their question, and I think this feeling ("5 minutes of fame") should somehow be used to set the membership apart from the free stuff.

You could take this one step further by somehow having members given the opportunity to call in their question over Skype or have some way to make them a part of the show.


MEMBERS-ONLY CONTENT
There needs to be content that is only accessible to members, and that is related to the shows that I love (for example GoT). In other words, if I come to Baldmove because of their GoT podcasts, it would be smart to offer me additional GoT content that requires me to sign up as a member. Maybe the Spoilore editions, or special in-between season episodes.


What am I forgetting?












notgotcha
«13

Comments

  • Did I miss something?  Has there been definitive discussion about increasing the membership price?
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, delaying podcasts, pay for play in feedback, and pay walling our existing free content are very anti-growth. Our challenge is to make the club better without making our public content worse. In the short term, the value for dollar members such as yourself very well might suspend their subscriptions, because there certainly isn't going to be 4x the value of the new club.
  • Yeah, delaying podcasts, pay for play in feedback, and pay walling our existing free content are very anti-growth. Our challenge is to make the club better without making our public content worse. In the short term, the value for dollar members such as yourself very well might suspend their subscriptions, because there certainly isn't going to be 4x the value of the new club.


    I think non of these ideas make the free content worse:
    • Delay: I wasn't suggesting you artificially delay the podcasts. Just make the unedited recording available as a members-only podcast five minutes after the recording has ended. Non-members get the edited version at the same moment as they do right now.
    • Pay for play in feedback: I understand you want to keep the feedback option available to everyone. But it wouldn't be hard to make the members feel a little bit special. For example: starting the feedback part of the show with reading feedback from members first could go a long way toward adding value. It's all about perception.
    • Pay-walling existing content: I was more thinking about future content. I don't know exactly in which shape or format this would happen. But as a wild idea, perhaps you could consider a special "end of the season" podcast, in which club members can call in with their opinion of the season and the predictions for next year. This would be members-only content, but it would be presented purely as a bonus feature as a special treat for members. The Reply-All guys recently had some sort of "call-in" session in which they promised to answer anyone's call and talk about their show. You could do the same, record the calls, and combine the most interesting bits into a bonus episode for members.
    I don't see how any of this would limit your growth
  • *shrug* 48$ a year isn't going to kill me. The problem was that it was too cheap to begin with (which is why there is such an uproar now). $3.75 a month is my least expensive "bill" for entertainment content that I actually pay for. Considering I listen to multiple podcasts which is hours of content each week, it's well worth it to me to spend a little extra for this entertainment. While I understand it's not easy for everyone (especially our friends in different countries), I'm surprised an increase didn't happen sooner.

    As far as "unedited" why on earth would they want to realease that? Part of the reason people listen is because they are so good at the "final product". I don't envy the guys in the position they're in, it will be difficult to decide how to transition a new model where possibly more content is "club only".


    Elisagjulleen896JgFEeTaraC73S. Smithdecheck21
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • @michielterlouw Members can already watch live recordings of the more popular casts. If someone is *that* interested, they will watch it live. I don't think putting it up 5 minutes after would make that much of a difference...
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    I'm sorry but BaldMove was charging too little and still is.  That said I think the new cost is totally justified.  Honestly, most fultlime podcasts charge $10/month minimum.
    gjulleenMichelleTaraC73FarFromCommonHollyoakJudd BS. Smithphil_neko
  • Finns are very direct. This guy isn't a Finn, he told me before, but he lives in Finland apparently. Just wanted to inject this into this thread.


    Finns are not direct. But Dutch are. I'm Dutch.

    In this case, I'm intentionally talking as a critical customer (rather than a friendly fan), because I think we are having a biased discussion so far.

    As long time fans, paying more for the service (and the survival of baldmove) seems like a no-brainer.

    But I'm worries that "normal" people will end their subscription, and very few new members will sign up. Simply because the ADDED value of the membership isn't clear.

    So you end up with fewer and fewer loyal members who pay higher and higher membership fees. Sorry for being direct, but that's neither fair nor sustainable.

    Hence my statement (and I understand how difficult that is): Jim and A_Ron will have to figure out how the increase the membership's (added) value, with features that don't jeopardize audience growth.
  • KingKobra said:

    (especially our friends in different countries)

    What do you mean with this?
  • GrahamGraham Grand Rapids, MI

    Finns are very direct. This guy isn't a Finn, he told me before, but he lives in Finland apparently. Just wanted to inject this into this thread.


    Finns are not direct. But Dutch are. I'm Dutch.

    In this case, I'm intentionally talking as a critical customer (rather than a friendly fan), because I think we are having a biased discussion so far.

    As long time fans, paying more for the service (and the survival of baldmove) seems like a no-brainer.

    But I'm worries that "normal" people will end their subscription, and very few new members will sign up. Simply because the ADDED value of the membership isn't clear.

    So you end up with fewer and fewer loyal members who pay higher and higher membership fees. Sorry for being direct, but that's neither fair nor sustainable.

    Hence my statement (and I understand how difficult that is): Jim and A_Ron will have to figure out how the increase the membership's (added) value, with features that don't jeopardize audience growth.
    The value of the content is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't see their content as worth $5 per month, then that's kind of on you. Personally, I don't have a problem with the increase in price, and if they were to increase it again I'd probably still pay for it. I'm sure there will be people that disagree, which is fine. No one said this transition was going to be easy.
    ElisaTaraC73GeorgeDStar
  • KingKobra said:

    (especially our friends in different countries)

    What do you mean with this?
    Because sometimes the conversion of currency doesn't work to international memebrts favor. For instance Australian members would go from ~$31/$32 to ~$63. While on a yearly basis it's still a "low" expense, some may not be able to make that jump just yet.
    TaraC73unread
  • Reni said:

    @michielterlouw Members can already watch live recordings of the more popular casts. If someone is *that* interested, they will watch it live. I don't think putting it up 5 minutes after would make that much of a difference...



    Well, maybe this is more a personal thingy for me. I often eagerly await the podcast, so if I can get the content sooner .... that's added value to me. I listen to the live recording sometimes, but because of the format (youtube), I cannot use my phone for anything else, it drains my battery and skipping forward or backward is hard.
    sleefDStar
  • edited November 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Graham said:

    Finns are very direct. This guy isn't a Finn, he told me before, but he lives in Finland apparently. Just wanted to inject this into this thread.


    Finns are not direct. But Dutch are. I'm Dutch.

    In this case, I'm intentionally talking as a critical customer (rather than a friendly fan), because I think we are having a biased discussion so far.

    As long time fans, paying more for the service (and the survival of baldmove) seems like a no-brainer.

    But I'm worries that "normal" people will end their subscription, and very few new members will sign up. Simply because the ADDED value of the membership isn't clear.

    So you end up with fewer and fewer loyal members who pay higher and higher membership fees. Sorry for being direct, but that's neither fair nor sustainable.

    Hence my statement (and I understand how difficult that is): Jim and A_Ron will have to figure out how the increase the membership's (added) value, with features that don't jeopardize audience growth.
    The value of the content is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't see their content as worth $5 per month, then that's kind of on you. Personally, I don't have a problem with the increase in price, and if they were to increase it again I'd probably still pay for it. I'm sure there will be people that disagree, which is fine. No one said this transition was going to be easy.
    Once more. It's not about value, it's about added value. The free content is such an incredible good deal. And people LOVE free stuff.

    It's great that you are willing to pay the increase. As are many more people here who are active on the forum. I will probably upgrade to the more expensive membership as well.

    I just don't think there are enough of us, and it will be superhard to recruit new club members if the added value is unclear.
    Elisa
  • Graham said:
    Once more. It's not about value, it's about added value. The free content is such an incredible good deal. And people LOVE free stuff.

    It's great that you are willing to pay the increase. As are many more people here who are active on the forum. I will probably upgrade to the more expensive membership as well.

    I just don't think there are enough of us, and it will be superhard to recruit new club members if the added value is unclear.



    I agree with you.  To justify things, I've cognitively re-framed the situation.  I don't look at my new membership rate as paying for the value-added services (of which I use none), I look at it as a means to ensure that the free content will still be able to be produced.

    My main concern (and I won't drone on about it because I've mentioned it elsewhere) is that I think that your point about the new price being palatable to the existing superfans, I can't help but think that it will be a non-starter for attracting new members (which needs to be the foundation of future stability).  I ultimately think that this can be re-evaluated in the future, and the main goal should be to help the guys out in the here and now.

    Elisa
  • Finns are very direct. This guy isn't a Finn, he told me before, but he lives in Finland apparently. Just wanted to inject this into this thread.


    Finns are not direct. But Dutch are. I'm Dutch.

    In this case, I'm intentionally talking as a critical customer (rather than a friendly fan), because I think we are having a biased discussion so far.

    As long time fans, paying more for the service (and the survival of baldmove) seems like a no-brainer.

    But I'm worries that "normal" people will end their subscription, and very few new members will sign up. Simply because the ADDED value of the membership isn't clear.

    So you end up with fewer and fewer loyal members who pay higher and higher membership fees. Sorry for being direct, but that's neither fair nor sustainable.

    Hence my statement (and I understand how difficult that is): Jim and A_Ron will have to figure out how the increase the membership's (added) value, with features that don't jeopardize audience growth.
    I'm not an expert on Finns but I heard they are direct. Pardon me. Maybe they just think they are. :)

    I agree with some of what you're saying in this reply, and I've stated some of it, and seen others do so, in a different tone. Your tone was really intense, people are emotional here now..so I got worried they would pile on or conflict would start.

    This is usually a very collegial board so that's the reason for my response.

    My tone was intense on purpose.
    As we say in The Netherlands ..... "mild doctors cause smelly wounds".
    I was trying to be the voice of listeners who are less engaged (and don't visit the forums)
  • Keep it up bald move your content well worth the new charge. At least imo
    Elisa
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited November 2016
    Everyone wants the same thing, and it's important to keep that in mind. We all want Bald Move to thrive. How is the key. Rigorous debate in this regard is important, but should also remain respectful and constructive.

    The title and separation of this thread is a little needlessly aggressive in my opinion, but the intent and substance seems to be constructive.

    There's a lot of good and honest conversation going on here and over in the main thread, and hopefully it keeps going that way.



    MichelleElisaMelonuskBrawnweeniegirlGeorgephil_neko
  • I think once we get past this bump, having a model where people pay quarterly may help. Someone pay feel fine paying $12 for 3 months during Game of Thrones to access the forums, see the live recording, or see the TellTale walk throughs, but not be able to justify it during the parts of the year that don't coordinate with what they're watching.

    Let's get through the harsh Georgia winter, and then figure out methods of attracting new members.
    voodooratElisaMelonuskweeniegirl
  • notgotchanotgotcha Pacific Northwest, US of A
    edited November 2016
    I think what our friend is saying has a lot of merit. I'm grateful that @michielterlouw is bringing us the perspective of someone who's going to view the Club from less of a charitable "let's support independent podcasting" point of view and more of a dispassionate "this a product being put out by a business".

    I'm not going to get into the whole, "oh, charging $x is too much or too little" discussion - as far as I'm concerned content creators can charge what they want. That being said, I don't think it's unreasonable if a customer (and, as michielterlouw said, that's how many members see themselves) is asking "what do I get in return for this extra money you're now wanting me to pay?" 

    For many mainstream businesses, their answer to this question is a cold "nothing". The cost of soda has skyrocketed compared to things like gas and yet, does it taste any better, or give us a quicker caffeine buzz - no. My rent keeps going up, and the landlord isn't putting in plush new carpeting or upgrading my appliances. They had to increase their prices because of desire to make a larger profit and/or increased overhead. They can get away this because they have a product/service that people need or are unwilling to give up. 

    I will admit, I'm a mix of the supporter and customer mentality. As I said in a previous thread, I'm definitely donating money to the #SaveBaldMove war effort, but am on the fence about renewing my membership at the higher rate. One of the things that's preventing me from pulling the trigger is there are so many other equally worthy podcasts asking for support as well - I want to give them all a little something. Often what decides who gets my money and who doesn't is the thing the OP mentioned - value. And yes, that's in the eye of the beholder, we all value different things. I get value from the GoT, Westworld, House of Cards podcasts and Telltale playthroughs, but for other people, it might be something else. I just need to decide if all these things are $48/year worth.



    Guy
  • AjasAjas Seattle, WA

    I listen to the live recording sometimes, but because of the format (youtube), I cannot use my phone for anything else, it drains my battery and skipping forward or backward is hard.

    I agree with this whole-heartedly. It should be a priority to release the audio at the same time the video goes up.
    ElisaMelonusk
  • well, there's no getting around the fact that subscribers are going to subsidize to some extent the free-riders:  almost all of the growth potential comes from those free-riders, though, and if you really like the content then you're paying for it after the fact, as it were.  so, yeah, you're contributing for not that much value-add over what they (free-riders) get, but it's mostly a result of people subscribing that the whole venture can exist at all (especially now that the amazon affiliate relationship is out the window).  you're subsidizing the whole enterprise in a similar way to how people without kids' taxes still go towards schools because everybody benefits from an educated population and people being able to get jobs, even if you don't directly benefit from your own kids going to public school.

    i like bald move a lot, but yeah, at some point it's competing with services that offer a lot more (for ~$9-15 a month you can get services like amazon prime, hulu, hbo now, spotify, etc, which have an incredible amount of professionally produced commercial content)...  and they are also cumulative, so yeah getting a single service isn't that much, but having a lot of services every month can add up pretty quickly, enough that even a few $5 ones might be out of some peoples' budgets (3 services at just $5 a pop is $180 a year, not a small fortune but not nothing either).

    honestly i might have tried it a different way, to double the cost of bald move sub ($24/mo) so it'd still be  near no-brainer with some kind of additional purchased add-ons (ad-free as a separate add-on maybe) and/or with a subscriber drive and maybe a fundraiser/pledge drive like what is happening now.  the problem i see with raising the club membership a lot is that *if* it is too high--if $48 is enough that it drives away membership, it's more challenging to lower it (how do you prevent people who already paid for it at the higher price from feeling ripped off) than it would be to have raised it again in a few months if necessary.  hopefully it won't be a problem and enough existing fans will bite (i think this will be the smaller obstacle) and enough new fans will develop a strong enough affinity to also bite.
    notgotchaMichelleElisaMelonusk
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    edited November 2016
    I listen to a shitload of podcasts and $5 a month is indeed about the going rate for the "join the patreon or club and get a bonus podcast a week" thing.

    Most don't even offer ad free on top of that.

    That being said, guess how many podcasts I support at $5 a month? None.

    I see where both sides are coming from, it's one of the unfortunate realities that as cheap as podcasts are to make they still take a lot of time and time is money.

    I have tried other tv podcasts and they are so so crappy compared to Bald Move. They are either scared to criticize a show, or in general are not professional.
    voodooratElisaOriginal_Joseph
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I don't know, the only reason anyone has anything to complain about now is because Jim and A.Ron were willing to offer such a low price point to begin with.  It was too low.  Don't look at it as "charging me four times as much", look at it as "it was nice I was able to pay 1/5th of what I should be paying for so long, now its finally time to pay market value (if even that).

    The foundation of your complaints rests on the bedrock of Bald Move's altruism.
    ElisaDeeMichelleDStarLeigh
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • notgotchanotgotcha Pacific Northwest, US of A
    edited November 2016
    My tone was intense on purpose.
    As we say in The Netherlands ..... "mild doctors cause smelly wounds".
    I was trying to be the voice of listeners who are less engaged (and don't visit the forums)


    Well said. I think we all would be doing Jim and A.Ron a great disservice if we held back constructive criticism or suggestions for improvement. That's often the silver lining of these crisis situations, is they lead to some tough, but ultimately fruitful, discussions. 




  • Stackpile said:

    I don't know, the only reason anyone has anything to complain about now is because Jim and A.Ron were willing to offer such a low price point to begin with.  It was too low.  Don't look at it as "charging me four times as much", look at it as "it was nice I was able to pay 1/5th of what I should be paying for so long, now its finally time to pay market value (if even that).


    The foundation of your complaints rests on the bedrock of Bald Move's altruism.

    I disagree. You cannot claim the market value is 50 or 60 bucks if the vast majority of the market is getting it for free.

    Original_Joseph
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Everyone's making some valid points here; but bottom line is you all are butt hurt and stuck on the fact that your cost is going to rise and you don't feel the content is worth that increase.

    BUT as laid out in the financial video, comparable podcasters put out the same or LESS content for $5/month. (I don't recall their examples, I didn't take notes...)

    I respect that people are leery to pay more money. But the price they are charging is comparable and IMO fair for all that they offer.

    I mean no disrespect to the OP or anyone else voicing their opinions. :)

    Namaste!
    anubus21S. Smith
  • Stackpile said:

    I don't know, the only reason anyone has anything to complain about now is because Jim and A.Ron were willing to offer such a low price point to begin with.  It was too low.  Don't look at it as "charging me four times as much", look at it as "it was nice I was able to pay 1/5th of what I should be paying for so long, now its finally time to pay market value (if even that).


    The foundation of your complaints rests on the bedrock of Bald Move's altruism.

    I disagree. You cannot claim the market value is 50 or 60 bucks if the vast majority of the market is getting it for free.

    This is either an academic point out something you haven't thought through. It reminds me of the old joke that an economist is someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. But instead of rehashing the same points again, i will just point out that it you think that is not how much bald move is worth to you, you can just donate how much you think it's worth. And if you think it's nothing, then you can always free ride and take a risk bald move fails.
    sajroaneDStarS. Smith
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