People Are Willing To Pay, Even If You Offer Something For Free

from the some-data dept

Last week, we relaunched our Techdirt Insider Shop with a number of new and different offerings, including (for the first time) the ability to do a "pay what you want" option to get some downloads, starting off with downloads of my book, Approaching Infinity, as well as the research report we came out with earlier this year, The Sky is Rising. We often hear from critics that if people can get something for free, they will, but here's a clear cut case of where that's not true (though we've seen it in many other cases as well.) It's only the early going with our store, but already, we've seen that two thirds of people who got the books decided to pay for it, with the average price being just under $5. Over 20% of orders were for $10 or more. We'll be curious to see what happens over time and if it changes. But, once again, it seems to suggest that, even if you're giving content away for free, if people want to support you, they will.

Filed Under: connect with fans, downloads, ebooks, pay what you want, reason to buy

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The First Word

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Aug 2012 @ 4:26pm

    One interesting side effect...

    This is fascinating. One of the "side effects" of this post seems to be a lot of new downloads, with a much higher percentage of them being done for "free" than what we saw since the store launched. This isn't a surprise, but neat to observe directly. Since we mentioned in this post that the files are available for free (even though that was already on the store), that seems to have encouraged more people to just go and download them for free. Not a surprise: highlight the "free" aspect and people will gravitate to it. But interesting to see how much it happens.

    Of course, it has also resulted in more paid downloads, as some of you (thank you!) also decided to give us some money for the effort.

    None of this is a bad thing. The paid downloads still increase the revenue on an absolute basis, which we might not have seen otherwise, and the free downloads are still great because the goal here is more about spreading the word.

    Either way: please go ahead and download! Feel free to do so for free, or if you'd like to support us and the work that we do, also feel free to toss us whatever you feel is reasonable. We appreciate the support.

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