More on Pricing
As you’ve seen on the Forum, we’ve just instituted a second subscription rate of $6.95 for seniors, students and people on low incomes. But the whole question of pricing is a complex and important one, and I invite your comments either there or here — or via the Contact form, if you’re not yet a subscriber.
A few people were surprised at the very idea of a subscription web site. I understand this; we’ve all become accustomed to the huge amount of information that’s available free on the web, and we’ve also been conditioned by the devious business model of the traditional media, where the "consumers" don’t actually pay for what they think they’re buying. In a healthy newspaper, for example, 70% of the revenues come from advertising, and only 30% from readers. The consumers think they are buying the paper, but in truth they are being sold by the paper. It’s as though Colonel Sanders had persuaded the chickens to regard themselves as happy customers.
And of course, he who pays the piper calls the tune — so the main business concern of the traditional media is to keep the advertisers happy.
That deceptive business model worked all right when the traditional media were the only place advertisers could go to find consumers. But that day is gone. It’s time for a new model.
The Green Interview doesn’t carry advertising, and doesn’t intend to. This space serves only its members. But producing high-definition video isn’t cheap, and if we’re to do the job well, we need the enough revenue to support travel (and the associated carbon offsets), plus equipment, site design and maintenance, bandwidth and other overhead costs — not to mention sustaining the people who put the site together. And we believe that there’s an audience on the internet that’s willing to pay the real costs of producing and presenting in-depth interviews with some of the people whose ideas and actions really are the hope of the world.
That’s not to say that the question of pricing is closed. The Green Interview is a work in progress, and we’ll review the question of pricing after the site has been up and running for a while. Please do comment. We’d love to hear what you think.