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What?!?! You're going to charge for podcasts? It's about time. You guys deserve to make money. It's demand-and-supply. Your podcasts have given me a ton of great ideas and have been an excellent compliment to the books and magazines I read. I like the model of giving away the regular M-T 'casts and then creating special lessons or discussions that can go into more detail. Great shows recently gentlemen, thanks for all the help.

So, how much would we pay for an in-depth study of job hunting from the M-T guys?

MattJBeckwith's picture

I used to do some interview training and coaching which always turned into writing some resumes as well. There was no shortage of successful job seekers that found my resume work worth $50-$75 (that was almost 15 years ago).

For the quality of work (awesome material, excellent audio quality with no silly sound effects in the background, great dialog) we are used to on your show I could see myself paying $40-$60. When I look back at the books and tapes and subscriptions I have purchased but never really took any value from, I bet there would be a strong market for a job search training.

- DT

Anonymous's picture

Thanks Dave! We'll keep you posted.

Mark

npatrick's picture

Mike & Mark -
I'm sure one thing you are deciding is the price point of your new product. If Haldane is any indication, you could charge in the thousands of dollars...but get a small client base.

If, instead, your hope is to have a (potentially) revolutionary impact on the way management is done, you should keep it accessable for middle managers as well.

Best of luck, and thanks very much for the work you guys have been doing. It's had a huge impact on my management style!

Neal

Mark's picture

Neal-

Thanks for the input!

And, what price makes you think "accesible", and yet is commensurate with what you know of our work?

Mark

MattJBeckwith's picture

I want to clarify my point about your price. I said I used to charge $50-75 for a resume and that your podcast package on job seeking would be reasonable at $40-60. In no way did I mean to infer that my resumes offered more value than your material. In reading my post again I realized that sounded a bit like that. No way, Mark & Mike, my resume work pales in comparison to what you two do. You guys have a product and deserve to be compensated!

- DT

Mark's picture

Dave-

Us? Draw THAT conclusion? Naah! We just assumed you had the relative effects of inflation reversed. ;-) No worries.

So, with that in mind, what is your recommended price? 15 podcasts, 10 hours, same detail you're used to.

Mark

Len's picture

Since you guys are doing some market research, I'll try to help you out.

I figure 10 hours worth of podcasts is the equivalent in content of a fairly hefty book. You guys talk pretty fast...probably about 250 words per minute, or faster (I was a speechwriter for awhile--and still get tagged to do it from time to time--so I'm sensitized to speed of delivery). The tempo is great, by the way; you pack a LOT of info into a cast, and it's easy to follow.

Anyway, that's 150,000 words! Maybe a book and a half. I'd pay about $35. Maybe $40.

Can't wait!

Len

Mark's picture

Len-

Thanks for the input. We're diligently trying to come up with a price. We've never compared it to a book, so that's a good benchmark for us to think about.

Thanks for being a member, too.

Mark

MattJBeckwith's picture

I love this podcast / board. Where else do the "stars" engage in this sort of discussion. I like my original gut-check numbers, and agree with Len's book point. I like $40-$50.

Regardless of the price, there will be job seekers that will not see the value in this type of development, and there then will be the ones that get the jobs.

- Dave

Mark's picture

Dave-

Thanks again for your input. Alas, we're pretty sure that it's going to be more than that. We haven't made a decision yet, but are thinking $100.

Just like there are several ways to value companies (net present value, assets, run rates, free cash flow), there are several ways to look at our pricing.

We agree that a book is one such way... but there is simply no book that teaches all that we teach. There are thousands of resume books, NONE of which are terribly good, and many of which are $20 bucks all by themselves.

There is nothing out there about how to prepare the way we recommend it. (I know because I invented it when I was a recruiter. ;-) ) There's nothing that teaches closing... well, because no one teaches that.

There are plenty of books about dress, and there are other books about behavioral questions... but none of those give you the exact format for thank you notes.

Marcus Buckingham's GREAT book, First Break All the Rules, is available as an ABRIDGED audio book for $20 bucks... but that's only 3 hours long.

Anyway, you get the point - media differences and product differentiation make this unusual. What's more, nobody has ANY experience pricing podcasts like this.

All this is completely thrown askew when you factor in that I get $3,000 daily to teach perhaps ONE of these techniques to ONE manager.

Regardless, though, Peter Drucker says it all. When it comes to pricing, one should not charge what the market will bear, or cost plus margin. One should charge for the value customers get from the product.

THAT is a great question, the answer for which we are stumbling around! :-))))

Mark

Gary King's picture

Mark-

I guess I will weigh in on this. Looking around the net I see numerous places where lists of recruiters by industry specialty are available for $159 (no I did not buy them!). I pay $25 to go to a 2 hour movie (okay with popcorn). If your 10 hours of education gets a person the job of their desires (pick a $100,000/year benchmark) then $100 os only 0.1% of the first year salary. I get "educational" seminar offers all the time that are priced at $800-$1500 per day. Rice University offers a leadership development class for $6500 for 40 classroom hours - that is $162.50/hour.

At the risk of the ire of my fellow registered users I think even $100 is selling yourself short.

Would I rather you give it away? You bet. But I also like finding $20 on the sidewalk. Do I think it is worth $100. No doubt at all. Do I think it is worth $200 or $300. Very likely.

Gary

esanthony's picture

I agree 100% with Gary...What value is it to the individual if it lands them that $100K job? .1%, 1%, 5%?

BUT, from a marketing stand-point there are a lot who will struggle with the decision if the price is too high. So I guess it comes down to whether or not you want to sell a lot of them at a lower price or a few of them at the higher price. Given your EXTREME generosity with everything else you do, I suspect you would prefer the first option.

From all the podcasts I have heard now (got to catch up on my 9 hour drive to NC), I believe $100 is very fair and is certainly within reach of anyone serious about the subject matter. They will save half of that by not paying someone else to do their resume.

Best of luck...not an easy decision. Put my name down for an autographed copy... :lol:

Gary King's picture

Mike/Mark-

One other thing occured to me. You might consider more than one sales channel. Certainly selling this set of podcasts at a fixed price is a viable option and should be available.

As a second alternative (in addition to) you might consider a premium subscription that would allow the "premium subscriber" unlimited or limited access to your library of premium material. The limited access might allow a fixed number of download credits per month, quarter, or year.

I am going on the not too dangerous assumption that this will not be the last set of podcasts available for purchase.

The premium subscription option might allow some managers to get the company to pay the fare. Where turning in a receipt on an expense account for having purchased a set of podcasts on finding a new job might prove difficult. Not so if the subscription included other skill building material on becoming a better manager.

I couldn't resist offering up the idea. It's the "marketing" in me.

Gary

MattJBeckwith's picture

Sure, sell your podcasts, you just took away my get rich quick idea (in jest of course). Years ago I had an idea for a book that would [u]revolutionize management[/u]. The "book" was pretty simple. Page one - how to lead greatly.... Page two - have a skip level everyone once in a while!

Brilliant show topic. Can't wait to hear the next part. I have been using formal skip levels for a few years now and they have helped pave the way for some great improvements in my department.

I do have a couple of questions / comments but will post them seperately, just wanted to say there are companies that should pay you just to tell about skip levels.

- DT

esanthony's picture

WOW, Gary! Great idea...count me in. That would almost be a no brainer for me, I would subscribe. As far as Mark & Mike goes, it turns a one time purchase into recurring income, sweet.

I'm thinking win-win here.

Mark's picture

All-

Yes to everything. There will be more products coming out, and we have always thought about subscriptions for premium services.

Again, though - there will always be free casts!

Mark

jpb's picture

just let me know when I can preorder!
A benchmark might be a highly recommended book and HBR so somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$150USD is good for me.
I hope this helps.
jpb

sdwike's picture

I have found Podcasts to be an interesting phenomenon, and a source of both entertainment and education that I hadn't anticipated. There is a LOT of chaff to be separated before you can find the wheat, but there are some Podcasts that make the searching worthwhile, and yours is one of the true gems.

Your Manager Tools podcasts have been extremely beneficial to me, and I have recommended them to my direct-report managers as well. I find myself using terms like "feedback" and "coaching" far more often these days, and being much more diligent about rounding with my direct reports.

I have seen the value first-hand and can safely say that for the price (free), it is the best deal out there in self-paced management training.

That said, I would be more than willing to pay an annual subscription fee for a predictable number of sessions, as long as it was reasonable. Somewhere between $295 and $495 a year for the material being given away today would keep me interested. If a new (annual) subscription came with an iPod Nano, and provided access to additional, monthly "subscription-only" sessions, and the weekly ones were still available free, that would work well at the $395 level, perhaps with a discount for renewals or people that didn't need the iPod. I know I would sign up all of my direct reports immediately, just to make sure they had access and an iPod to play them on.

As the price went up from there, I believe some additional materials or tools or resources would need to be available to subscribers. Perhaps 10 free DISC evaluations, or some such, and access to bonus materials or an annual seminar.

As a comparison, I just received by e-mail an offer for a two-day seminar on a batch of topics specific to my company's line of business, including an iPod Video 30GB, with all the seminar sessions on it for replay later, and a one-year subscription to a series of additional upcoming podcast seminars. The total cost was $595 for the seminar, iPod and subscription.
You could skip the two day seminar and get the rest for $495, and it was $295 if you didn't want the iPod.

EBeck's picture

Mark & Mike:

Don't forget that not everyone listening to your podcasts are making $100,000/yr (or even half of that!).

When I heard you mention the idea of an interview training series, I was thrilled. I have gotten so much from your weekly shows, thought-provoking ideas that I try to implement into my management style. I do not do much interviewing, I actually have a pretty good record of interviewing for jobs I want and getting jobs I interview for, but I don't feel I have much direction when interviewing. I try to be [color=darkblue]open and honest[/color] but feel, for the most part, like [color=darkblue]the interviewing process is happening to me rather than feeling in control of the situation.[/color]

Anyway, I do not have an expense account for training seminars, but would be happy to donate to you, Mark & Mike, for the great job you do and for the time you put in helping me and others be better managers. I appreciate the free shows you do and would definitely pay, out of pocket, for an interviewing series, but for me, $100 is a push and anything more than that would be tough to rationalize.

Keep up the good work!
- Eric

Mark's picture

Eric-

Thanks for the candor! Believe me, we don't think everyone here makes 6 figures, or even half that. And frankly, we're much more Wal-Mart than Tiffany's. We'd rather sell a lot at a lower margin, all things being equal.

We'll probably be in the 100 range. That said, think of it this way. There are 15 (perhaps now 17) podcasts in the series. If someone were to argue that the resume podcast we produced wasn't worth ten bucks, we'd think they were nuts, because there is no where you can get HALF that value for TWICE the cost. If you assume some relative equality of value among the casts, that puts us at $150 for the set. We have major corporations paying us $1,000++ per cast.

We're trying to balance our costs, your hard earned cash, the value... it's never easy. We hope we've behaved in such a way that we'll be trusted to be fair to both you and us.

You're not little guys. You're members here, and we're doing our best to find a sweet spot.

And we'll decide soon, promise.

Mark

wendii's picture

Hi Guys,

Real life has kept me busy, but I'm using the easter weekend to catch up!

Given that I can confidently recommend (without even hearing them!) that people listen to the 15/17 hours of information, follow everything in them and get a better paying job, more suited to them and quicker than they believed possible.. I think $100 is 'reassuringly expensive'.

Of course, sales in the UK are boosted by $100 being a smaller number in £ sterling.

My twopennyworth.

Wendii

Mark's picture

Wendii- Thanks for the input! At least our money doesn't weigh as much as yours!
Cheers,
Mark

Finsz's picture

It seems to me that some form of membership might be the best way to charge for this form of information.

You are providing new content on an ongoing basis so it doesn't seem right that a one shot deal provide "all" of the information. A "pay as you go" method would be more apprpriate and not require such a large single payment. I think $100+ is going to scare many people away from making that first purchase.

Your site could provide some content to non-members for free but the podcasts would require a premium membership ($49.99/yr). You could also charge on a per-podcast basis the way songs are purchased on iTunes. If I had a particulat subject I was interested in I could drop $2.99 and buy the single podcast.

Stefan Zavatone

Finsz's picture

Here is one more thought related to selling/marketing this material....

After 2-1/2 years of part time graduate study, I just completed my last class on Saturday towards a Master's Degree in management. After all this time and over $50k spent on tuition (paid by my company thank God) I can sadly report that I am far more likely to listen and re-listend to your podcasts than I am to look in any text book or notes from my entire MS program.

The practical "use it in real life" knowledge that you are providing is outstanding, USEFUL, and EFFECTIVE.

If I was a professor (in any subject) I would require manager-tools for all of my students. This is essential material for anyone who plans to have a job. Had I learned this stuff 15 years ago it would certainly have helped my career.

Thanks again for sharing Mike & Mark!

Mark's picture

Stefan-

Thanks for the thoughtful comments and for the kind words as well. I just bought a book at O'Hare by Henry Mintzberg, "Managers Not MBAs". And some of my work comes from years of coaching post-MBA students struggling with workplace effectiveness.

Also - we're thinking of different pricing strategies, including separate priced products, as well as some subscription services.

Thanks for the input!

Mark

may's picture

Mike & Mark:

Microsoft sponsored a lot of good webcasts using LiveMeeting. I wonder if it is in your plan at all to do one with them... I think it will be a great way to reach audiences who can really use the knowledge. And when you start charging for special content, they will be a great membership base, both for personal and corporate subscription.

Will be a great book promo too... (hint.. hint... when will we get to read your book?)

They have some really great people like Stephen Covey, Marcus Buckingham, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, the Blanchards, etc.

They are all great... My favorite so far is the session with Tom Peters and Daniel Pink - Outsource Proof Your Career. But there are a lot I haven't gone through, including A Tribute to Peter Drucker.

I used to log on to listen to one presentation almost every night... that is until I found the Manager-Tools site. I will go back to it after I'm done catching up with all your podcasts.

And though I usually like free stuff and don't part with money all that easily, I am pretty sure I will gladly part with mine for the privilege of learning from you guys.

BTW, if anyone wants to check out Microsoft LiveMeeting webcast archive, the url is: http://main.livemeeting.com/demos/web_seminar_archive.cfm

Most of it is really good... though of course not as good as here. ;-)

BTW, I told a few people in Asia about this site. And they are not in Japan, so if you start chargin, $100 will probably be more than they can afford.... Would be nice if you can set some kind of discount for countries where average pay is way less than the US. I know it's probably too messy... but just a thought.

merritr@gmail.com's picture

I've listened to only 5 or 6 of the earliest podcasts, and I have new, tangible skills that have made me a better manager this week than last. When I finally catch up, I am confident I'll have better manager sklls than almost all others in my office (40+ people), including the MBAs.

Regarding pricing...I'd estimate that those first 6 podcasts were worth at least $1500 to me, personally in my career (I make approx. $50k), using my graduate level classes and professional training opportunities as a comparison. If the price on those podcast was $1500 or even $150, I probably would have to skip them, acknowledging how much I would be missing out on. I'd seek this information and e-coaching elsewhere, knowing all along that I wouldn't find anything as helpful as Manager Tools.

However, there are things that Manager Tools could offer in a membership/subscription type deal that I would pay $100 or $150 for. I know that I would get more out of that $150 than any of my professional association memberships.

Have you all considered accepting sponsors to sponsor the podcasts? For example, Sun sponsors the Buzz OutLoud podcasts on CNet.com. I don't know how profitable they are for CNet, but about 2 minutes into the 30 minute podcast, a 15 second add for Sun runs, then the podcasters get on with the show.

Ultimately - as long as you are honest and open with your core fan base about your pricing decision process, they'll support you guys - and pay.

Thanks,
Ross

P.S. If the pricing decision has been made prior to this post, I apologize and I'll feel like a big @$%^*!

BasicJim's picture

Any estimated delivery date for this? I am up for a position and would really like to listen to this series soon!

duckboxxer's picture

I agree ebeck; not all of us are in that $100K bracket yet. I'm trying to get there. I am very grateful for the information in the podcasts, but I understand the need for reimbursement for your work.

As annoying as ads are, that might be one way to fund things or other partnerships with others that offer managerial products to feature on the website. Paying for archived podcasts, transcripts, interview tools, document templates, etc. might be ideas for paid featured content. It would be great to offer a monthly/yearly subscription option as well as being able to buy individual items (say a specific archived podcast or communication templates). I offer up Techrepublic (http://techrepublic.com) as a potential model. There is free content, as well as paid content as well. My point is simply don't forget about those of us trying to get there. :)

mcg

Mark's picture

Mcg-

We're going to do our best to provide effective pricing. We are considering tiered pricing - different costs for different levels. We have in our head to use the honor system. We're trying to balance that with the greater cost to us in terms of time and resources as we grown.

We're talking a lot about it, and really appreciate your input.

It's a privilege we don't take lightly.

Mark

Peter.westley's picture

I'd second the thought about tiered pricing - while I'm without a steady income stream I'd hate to be missing value like M-T just for the sake of a few bucks of cash flow (which are otherwise occupied with my addiction to food and shelter). It's always a relief when an organisation allows concession for genuine need. :oops:

Mark's picture

Peter-

Thanks for the input. How about 15 bucks(US$) a month for those netting less than 100K a year, and 20 bucks for those above that line?

The way Mike and I are thinking, that's 3 (or 4) dollars per cast (5 total: 4 weeklies + 1 monthly). 3 lattes a month? We think that's a good deal for everyone.

We came up with that in part because one member expressed concern as others have. I think he was a student, and I just came down to a number that we thought was reachable by all, and figured if he could, it would allow many to join. He said yes, and that's the science of this decision. (Okay, there's more to it, but that may have been the linchpin.)

Remember - the CASTS will be FREE. It's only the collateral - transcripts and slideshows and related documents - that we'll charge for. The documents will be for personal use only, to protect the copyright.

How does that sound?

Mark

cincibuckeyenut's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Peter-

Thanks for the input. How about 15 bucks(US$) a month for those netting less than 100K a year, and 20 bucks for those above that line?

The way Mike and I are thinking, that's 3 (or 4) dollars per cast (5 total: 4 weeklies + 1 monthly). 3 lattes a month? We think that's a good deal for everyone.

We came up with that in part because one member expressed concern as others have. I think he was a student, and I just came down to a number that we thought was reachable by all, and figured if he could, it would allow many to join. He said yes, and that's the science of this decision. (Okay, there's more to it, but that may have been the linchpin.)

Remember - the CASTS will be FREE. It's only the collateral - transcripts and slideshows and related documents - that we'll charge for. The documents will be for personal use only, to protect the copyright.

How does that sound?

Mark[/quote]

If you really wanted to tier it, I'd suggest a slightly bigger tier. $10 for < 100k and $25 for > 100K (or business pricing if someone could get their business to pay for it like a subscription to WSJ)

I don't think I would have much problem selling my boss on paying the 25 bucks a month for all the stuff associated with the casts. And if I couldn't, I think I would shell that out personally without worrying too much.

Peter.westley's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]
Thanks for the input. How about 15 bucks(US$) a month for those netting less than 100K a year, and 20 bucks for those above that line?
[snip]
How does that sound?
Mark[/quote]
I think it sounds great and the suggestion:
[quote="cincibuckeyenut"]If you really wanted to tier it, I'd suggest a slightly bigger tier. $10 for < 100k and $25 for > 100K[/quote]

Also seems a good idea. Importantly though: keep it simple.

I guess it's difficult for you to know what proportion will subscribe at either level and you wouldn't want to be too wrong on the down side. :? Keeping them close-ish mitigates this risk somewhat I'd reckon. But of course that's your decision. What you want to know from me is is the $15/$20 suggestion OK and I say YES!

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Mark's picture

Thanks Peter!

We're not going to try to engineer this thing too carefully. Every hour I spend thinking about pricing is an hour I don't spend on content or answering questions.

:wink:

Mark

jmachols's picture

Mark - that is a great point. As a "consumer", I would much rather see you guys spending your time on the content than administrative things. As a technical person at heart, I like your model that emulates an OpenSource application, the core is free and support has a cost because there is significant value add.

I can see something like a discount for students, or maybe a corporate enterprise license. Anything more complicated than that type of thing seems to be awful cumbersome not only to setup, but to maintain and support long term...

Have you thought about a sample or one free "session" so people can see exactly what to expect from the subscription service?

Jeff

Mark's picture

Jeff-

Oh, yes.

:wink:

Mark

mauzenne's picture

Mark,

Does that mean we might have something coming soon for folks? hmmmm ... I wonder.

;-)

Mike

billramo's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Peter-

Thanks for the input. How about 15 bucks(US$) a month for those netting less than 100K a year, and 20 bucks for those above that line?

The way Mike and I are thinking, that's 3 (or 4) dollars per cast (5 total: 4 weeklies + 1 monthly). 3 lattes a month? We think that's a good deal for everyone.

We came up with that in part because one member expressed concern as others have. I think he was a student, and I just came down to a number that we thought was reachable by all, and figured if he could, it would allow many to join. He said yes, and that's the science of this decision. (Okay, there's more to it, but that may have been the linchpin.)

Remember - the CASTS will be FREE. It's only the collateral - transcripts and slideshows and related documents - that we'll charge for. The documents will be for personal use only, to protect the copyright.

How does that sound?

Mark[/quote]

This all sounds great to me - I'm ready for the content now! Would I also be willing to pay for transcripts of previous podcasts? You bet. As you mentioned on your site - skimming through podcasts is not easy. Please consider taking payments using AMEX. I can easily expense this as part of my career development. Might as well make it an annual subscription for $300 with access to all member content for current and prior shows.

P.S. Keep up the great podcasts - it seems like you all have lots of fun.

Cheers,
Bill Ramos
[url]http://pmslackers.blogspot.com/[/url]

MattJBeckwith's picture

For what it's worth, I like the annual subscription option. I didn't notice the tiered pricing based on income before but I like that idea.

chuckbo's picture

Here's my advice on the $100 mark.
It seems to me that the work is more valuable than that. On the other hand, you'll need to recognize whom you're competing with. People are used to paying in the $30-$50 range for management books. The next step I recognize is that you're covering lots more than most of the books and in a superior format. But that $100 is going to freeze out a large bucket of potential buyers. So have you thought about it this way. The typical management book might have 12-15 chapters. What if you package your shows on a comparable set of topics for $40 but offer multiple discs, and even offer the whole set at a package discount.

chuck

Mark's picture

Tom-

It's easy. Honor system. If you tell us you make less than 100K, we'll take your word for it. Mike and I trust our members to treat us fairly.

How's that?

Mark

Peter.westley's picture

so is that USD$100k? ;-) or should I convert at market rates to AUD$100k...?

Till's picture

Here an example of a premium-model where I just paid $25/month for 6 months full access. Its gets cheaper if you buy for 12 months in advance.

www.chinesepod.com (3rd most popular podcast in China).

These guys are in their own way as effective and brilliant as Mark and Michael. If you are willing to dive in you learn to conduct a simple conversation in Mandarin Chinese in DAYS not months. Proven!

For more, see the entry on Chinesepod in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinesepod . Hey, is there already an entry for Manager Tools in the Wikipedia? Let´s check....well, now there is....

Mark's picture

Till-

BRILLIANT! I love this... and am going to subscribe and get some basic Mandarin under my belt.

Mark

joolzb's picture

Not sure if offering all the Podcasts free with the collateral being available to subscribers will draw listeners in to sign up. Your going to have to actively tie the documentation in to such a point where its going to be very difficult to follow a podcast without having the documentation or whatever in your hand. And thats going to really reduce the value of a podcast and make things a real menace for you.

I think my approch would be to tier the podcasts so that you have free content covering all the topics you currently do, then drill down (like DISC) for subscribers. (Onion-skinning, I call it).

Maybe then use a pricing strategy like Audible (ok $8 is too cheap for the basic level), where subscribers get say 20, 40, 60 downloads a year for the respective fee (Audible gives 1 Premium and 1 Bonus download for the monthly subscription). Subscribers then can pick and choose what they want to listen to, based on what information the desire. I suppose its pre-paying for credits (do you have pay as you go mobile phones in the USA? well its very similar).

Also you could offer slower moving topics as a special offer download, i.e. a 6 chapter podcast for 2 credits or whatever. Audible has a library feature, which would be fantastic for Management Tools and you could insert a corporate subscription giving access to the full library for $$$$$'s per year (in 5 user steps).

The fee / download credits would need to be based on the number of podcast you realistically would post per month/year so that even the most basic level of subscriber would have value in the service. If your going to post 1000 podcasts a year then 20 credits would expire in a matter of days, especially for new subscribers 3 years down the line! the library could potentially hold thousands of hours / credits worth of download.

This will require you to build a much more complicated site, but a more useful and personal experience.

Im thinking here that you will secure your product and income over time and provide a service which is flexible and personal. Offering something from from Student to CEO.

Julian

John Bull's picture

The www.chinesepod.com model works because it has good answers to the question what you CANNOT do without paying:

* You cannot listen to the podcast vocabulary and structures in different context, and thus speed up retention

* You don´t get the transcription and thus don´t learn to read pinyin

* You don´t get tools such as vocabulary download and thus cannot learn off-line...

* For more advanced texts, you have no chance of following.

Therefore, the difficult question for Manager TOols is: what is it that listeners should be able to do/learn that is not possible without the subscription? So far - to the credit of the podcast - it would be difficult to answer! THere is too much in them already. Maybe a good idea is to only provide 50% of each podcast (just stop right in the middle of a sentence...) - create curiosity and relevance and a bit of learning. And a cliffhanger! Or do this with every second podcast. But hold something back! Cruel but probably the only thing that would motivate me to subscribe if I were not "powered by fairness" :?

Gareth's picture

At present I'm only a single year into my career while also studying at a local college.

The wealth of content found on the MT podcast for someone like myself, a team member, has been very helpful. I've recently, last Friday, had an email of my manager asking if i would be up for taking on some of his responsibilities next year, naturally i said yes.

With this in mind the talks on pricing and subscriptions for MT leaves me slightly worried. I understand that additional material, or even the current material needs to bear a cost to myself however some of the prices been thrown around here will with out doubt leave me priced out of the market.

If i were asked to pay $15 per month then i would go for it, anything more then i would really have to think about it. What that $15 buys or what i would expect from that $15 I'm unsure right now.

sholden's picture

One gauge for me is that I personally subscribe to Dr. John C Maxwell's MaximumImpact monthly audio program (one topic - about 1 hour) at the cost of $156 a year (http://www.maximumimpact.com/Mentoring/MIC/).

I have gotten a lot out of the CDs (where's the podcast? - trust me I tried to talk to them about it but I haven't gotten anywhere), and I think that MT could easily be in that range.

On the hestitation side of the house, the new services from David Allen (http://www.davidco.com/store/catalog/Membership-p-1-c-248.php) while very attractive have a pretty high price ($48 a month) that has stopped me from considering it using personal funds.

Steve

Mark's picture

A couple of thoughts on premium content:

Podcasts will always be free.

FREE.

FOREVER.

We're growing subscribers pretty well, and don't think of paid subscriptions as driving more listeners.

We will NOT EVER do some something like a cliff hanger. I'll go back to making myself rich and anonymous first. I like who I see in the mirror now, and am not willing to become someone I'm not to pay my bills.

Premium content is, for now, to be PowerPoints, transcripts and related documentation for all casts.

15 bucks, we think, is tolerable. That will allow you to build the best managerial how to book EVER.

We figure there will be a lot of folks who never subscribe, and still get the podcasts. Lucky them! We don't consider that at odds with our values or our mission... QUITE THE CONTRARY.

Sure, we need income. We could go get venture capital...and lose control. That worries us... for your sake. We actually... care.

We do maintain tight copyrights on our material. Our podcasts are free only for your personal use.

It's possible that we won't get too many subscribers. That would endanger our future. We'll see.

Just to be clear, if we were in this for the money, we wouldn't be in this.

And we think that the value we deliver ought to be recognized economically.

AND...Podcasts will always be free.

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