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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2012 @ 7:42pm

    Re: One interesting side effect...

    " 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. "

    I suspect that what you are seeing is the difference between your dedicated fans (some might call them kool-aid drinkers or flunkies) doing what you want them to do (paying you), and then the more general public, who have less attachment. Those who don't care or who are less than attached are less likely to pay money.

    You are perhaps confusing what your existing specific fans do with what the general public does.

    It's the sort of reason why when discussing business models I often say "it works for them, but might not work in general", as this sort of business model seems to hinge on already having a bit of a fan base to really make it work.

    Also, you have to wonder what the long tail effect is. Do you get most of the bigger money sales up front (as the toadies line up to get their swill), and then it fades away to being a download service that you have to maintain?

    I am still wondering why you dropped your CwF+RtB tag. Did it wear out? Is it no longer fashionable?

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