Roger Ebert Gives People A Reason To Buy

from the after-connecting-with-fans-for-so-long dept

Last month, we wrote about Esquire's incredibly moving profile of Roger Ebert as part of our discussion of a segment of that article concerning Disney taking down the video of the tribute show for Gene Siskel that Ebert did right after his longtime sparring partner passed away. If you liked the Esquire piece, you should also check out Will Leitch's touching personal story about Roger Ebert, which shows how incredibly nice Ebert had been to Leitch very early on in Leitch's career (and how Leitch screwed it up in a regretfully rebellious moment).

What comes through in both pieces is how utterly nice and decent Ebert seems to be. After the Leitch piece ran, Ebert tweeted to Leitch that "all is forgiven." For decades, tons of people have connected with Ebert through his old television show, and through his movie reviews, blogs and columns. More recently, he's been connecting in a big way via Twitter as well.

And now he's trying something different. He's giving his fans a reason to buy. While we often talk about the whole CwF+RtB business model in the context of replacing traditional models -- such as for music, books and movies, it can clearly work in other areas as well. Our own curiosity led us to try setting up our own CwF+RtB offering -- which was a fantastic success (and, yes, we know we need to replenish and offer more -- hold on, it's coming).

So we're always glad to see others jumping on the bandwagon and trying similar ideas as well. In Ebert's case, it's The Ebert Club, which is a yearly subscription that grants you additional access and benefits for a mere $5. A lot of what you get is available for free, but there are some good scarcities in there -- including private discussion threads and early access to special Ebertfest events including a special meet-and-greet with Ebert himself.

It sounds like they're looking to do more as well, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it. There aren't any tiers -- it's one price fits all -- though I could see room for a tiered offering down the road as well with additional benefits (private film screenings with just club members?). But what it's really showing is that this whole concept of connecting with fans and giving them a real (scarce) reason to buy goes beyond what you might expect -- and opens up all sorts of new possibilities elsewhere as well. And, considering that Leitch's "falling out" with Ebert was over Ebert being the king of "old media," this sort of venture seems very, very new media.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Unintentional typo correctiness?

    "meet-and-great with Ebert himself"

    I don't know if you did that on purpose or not, but leave it! It's perfectly fitting....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Unintentional typo correctiness?

    I don't know if you did that on purpose or not, but leave it! It's perfectly fitting....

    Dah, no, I didn't... Fixing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    ReasonToBitch, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    A mere $5?

    You can feed a child in Africa for an year with that amount.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: A mere $5?

    Bonus points for directly referring to children in Africa. You're on a roll!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    feels like the free chat i had with my ISPS ceo publically

    this is one reason teksavvy in Canada flourishes despite the wrangling of BCE to screw it up da arse

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Karl (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    Ebert

    I've had kind of a hard-on for Ebert ever since we exchanged emails over the movie "Chaos."
    http://www.khznoise.com/karlheinz/content/roger-ebert-swell-dude

    Surprisingly, he emailed me once or twice after that, and was never anything other than kind and funny.

    His blog is one of the better corners of the Internet:
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/

    I would probably join the Ebert Club, but I think that might technically be "stalking."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    interval, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Unintentional typo correctiness?

    Whoah, score one for the big DH.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    ReasonToBitch, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: A mere $5?

    What can I say! I learnt from the best :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    crade (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    "(and, yes, we know we need to replenish and offer more -- hold on, it's coming)"

    Yeah whats it gunna take to get a shirt around here? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Mar 4th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Ebert will be in Boulder in April

    If you happen to be anywhere near Boulder from April 5-8, Roger will be participating at the Conference on World Affairs. He had been a speaker for about 30 years, then missed a couple of years because of his health. He returned last year and will be at the conference again this year.

    62nd Annual Conference on World Affairs - Information

    The conference is open and free to the public. Kind of like TED but anyone can attend and there's no charge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Unintentional typo correctiness?

    despite the improper grammar, you should have left it alone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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