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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2012 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: One interesting side effect...

    "One prime example is the first Humble indie bundle which made over a million dollars. This was before they had a big fan base."

    You are kidding, right?

    That was purely mass market, getting a number of larger (and smaller) indie game players to all point their sales to one place, and give the consumer all of their products for a pay what you want price. It wasn't done "in space". It was done by converting each of their loyal fan bases into each other's paying customer, at least for that moment.

    What is interesting is that, after 14 such "bundles", their take per bundle really isn't going up that much anymore. The zero to X sales number has pretty much leveled off.

    There will be similar projects where this will work, but it pretty much matches the same pattern. There is a significant base, and they are first in the door waving money and acting all cool, thinking perhaps they are "closer to god" as a result of their purchase. After that, things trail off, and it sort of goes away.

    The HIB has worked in part because it's time limited. Shit or get off the pot.

    It seems more like his old CwF thing... initial good sales, and then, well, everyone ignored it. Mike stopped updating it - clearly not enough in it.

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