Vodo's Big Brother Bundle Shows How Bundles Can Improve The 'Pay What You Want' Concept
from the a-step-up dept
You may recall Vodo, the website that was set up a few years back to help promote indie films by letting indie filmmakers promote their content for free with a “pay what you want” model on top of it. For a while, they’d either do things like release content episodically once enough money had been raised, or go with a more straightforward “give it away and pray” type of model. Over the last few months, however, Vodo’s founder Jamie King has been revamping the service, taking obvious inspiration from the folks over at Humble Bundle — and the result was recently launched: the Vodo: Big Brother Bundle. If you’re familiar with the Humble Bundle, you’ll get it right away. A bunch of different content is offered together as a bundle in a pay-what-you-want setup, with some content only available if you pay above certain levels to “unlock.”
One neat little innovation is that the Vodo bundles are curated by someone well-known — in this case, former Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Also, unlike Humble Bundle, this bundle crosses over different types of content. In the Big Brother Bundle, there’s a video game, a film, a book and music, all somehow built around the concept of “big brother” and surveillance. And for the first 10,000 buyers who beat the average price, they also get a free month of the iPredator VPN. There’s some good stuff in there, so check it out.
I spoke with King a bit to see how the Bundle is going, and it sounds like it’s off to a great start. He notes that, with the previous more general pay-what-you-want model for a single offering, the conversion rate was understandably low: around one out of every 2,500 to 3,000 visitors to the site paid. However, with the bundle, the conversion rate is massively better: one out of every seven visitors are paying something. As with Humble Bundle, if you pay more than the “average” price, you get extra content, and that continues to drive the price people choose to pay steadily upward as well. Vodo has added one more feature, with a “premium” price that’s a bit higher, to get even more content, and King tells me about 10% of all buyers are paying above the premium level. One interesting tidbit: you can pay in Bitcoin, if you have some lying around.
King also notes that it might not just be the setup and the model itself that gets people to buy, but the content. He told me that with this model, not only do users of the site appear to like it, but content creators are much more interested in working with Vodo as well under this model, meaning that they can source higher quality content, which in turn, makes for a better experience for users as well. In the first few days since the Bundle launched, it’s already brought in over $15,000.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of what folks over at Humble Bundle have done, and I’ve been surprised that we haven’t seen others do more similar things. Whereas there are tons of crowdfunding sites, we haven’t seen the same explosion of these kinds of timed-bundle offerings — but perhaps that’s starting to change. I look forward to seeing where Vodo goes with this. Oh, and as a teaser, Vodo notes that its next bundle will be the “Surveillance Survival Bundle,” which already sounds interesting…