Monday, August 24, 2009

ESPN = Smart

Here's a business decision worth noting and recommending for all to consider: ESPN's decision to offer a magazine subscription and website access for $1 on a trial basis.

I love direct response trial offers and spent many hours throughout my media career brainstorming, testing, and analyzing offers like these.

During my early years in publishing, I was schooled to understand that getting the reader to pay--at almost any price--beats giving it away for free. Get the user/reader to pay once, and your odds of converting the user to a long term paid customer increase significantly, versus going the other way---converting a free distribution model to a paid one (as all web brand managers know well).

I am working on several web-based brand development ideas these days, and each of them, if and when they launch, will have a strong paid user component in the business model.

The days of 'build it and the advertisers will come' are dwindling. If we in media learned one thing during the last 18-24 months, let it be that.

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