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I don't know if I mentioned this before, but some time ago, it suddenly dawned on me that any client of mine who uses Google mail will be pelted with ads from my competition every time they open a message from me.

I was jarringly reminded of the "service" that Google provides when I visited a site that offers a free - and apparently pretty good - CD/DVD burning product called ImgBurn (the recommendation comes via Lifehacker). When the site is rendered, the first graphic to hit my eye at the ImgBurn site was an ad for a competing product called Express Burn (which I bought 3+ years ago, but cannot find installed on any current machines, and whose license appears to have "run out").

Then again, I wonder what the likelihood is of a display ad like that tipping the scale just enough to cause a visitor to click on it?

alexpgp: (Default)
The remaining 2,000 or so source words went down quickly this morning, and the work was out the wire by about 10:30 am. Invoices for both this job and the one finished yesterday went out soon after. Call it a half day of work.

I napped in the afternoon, while Galina went up to Natalie's to drop off a load of laundry, waking up just before she returned home.

I asked MoneyBookers to transfer money 5 days ago, but nothing has happened yet. My life won't turn on the amount transferred, but it would still be nice to know what method of "bank transfer" is used when withdrawing money. Right now, I'm suspecting they've sent a check, based on how long it's taking. At any rate, I've hit the MoneyBookers site and nudged them with an inquiry. Someday, knowing the ropes at MoneyBookers might turn out to be helpful.

Galina and I walked around the block yesterday, and today, I took the bike out for a spin, riding to the bank to deposit a small payment and then back. The traffic on Highway 518 was pretty heavy, making it a good idea to cross on foot, something I didn't do the first time I crossed (which, but for the grace of Providence, would have been the last time I crossed any street had traffic been slightly different). In any event, outside activities are going to become less and less attractive in the near term as the weather heats up.

alexpgp: (Default)
I recently read a post at Open Culture that noted how the #3 most popular podcast at iTunes earlier this month was Coffee Break Spanish, which has experienced over a half million downloads since starting up late last year. The money quote in the post, for me, was this:
...the digital era has enabled small content providers, with little to no capital, to serve niche markets, which if taken together, can turn out to be quite large.
This is something that seems quite obvious, if you think about it for more than a second, but at the same time something... if not profound, then at least in the class of having that animated arm pop out of the screen to thwap you on the head with a wooden mallet.

The business model here involves providing a basic product that you give away and that can stand by itself well enough to earn repeat downloads, and then to offer a raft of auxiliary aids, such as bonus podcasts, documentation, flash cards, etc., which are sold to listeners (about $18 per month, in the case of Coffee Break Spanish). Although the cost of goods is negligible (in terms of having no physical product to sell), I would not be surprised to learn that a considerable amount of effort must be invested to actually generate the content.

So, I thinks to myself, how might those 500,000 downloads translate into sales?

That will depend on the size of your audience, i.e., repeat listeners. How many such people are represented by 500,000 downloads?

We are going to have to make some assumptions.

Just for laughs, let's invoke the 80-20 rule and assume that 20% of listeners are motivated enough to think "I can do this," and download an average of 8 episodes of the 10 available, and that 80% of listeners quit downloading after an average of 2 episodes and go back to watching American Idol. If you do the math, the assumption results in an overall audience size of just over 150,000 people, of whom 30,000 are motivated enough to have downloaded almost all the episodes, and zero of the remaining 120,000 souls can be expected to buy any premium content.

Now, somewhere, I have a dead-tree article wherein it is stated that almost 95% of people will not carry through on a decision that might literally save or prolong their lives (something like quitting smoking, for instance, for someone with emphysema). Let's state that a bit more starkly as: "95% of people who are motivated to do something supremely important to them will not do it."

But buying extra content is not a life-or-death decision, so, of the remaining 5% of that 30,000, I estimate that 1 in 5, and maybe - if winds be fair and the seas following- as many as 1 in 2 of that group will muster the initiative to move beyond of their comfort zone and actually take action. (If you've ever been on the receiving end of sales training, you know how important that "call to action" is. If you don't ask for the sale, you won't get it!)

So figure something between 300 and 750 people buy into the paid goodies... that's, um, between $5400 and $13500 per month, with the latter figure being fairly optimistic.

Draw your own conclusions (but remember: generating content will be a full-time job!)

(BTW, if anyone feels like pointing out an episode of rectocranial inversion on my part, please feel free to comment.)



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