7 weeks after launching the private beta, we’ve reached a good milestone this week with 200 private beta Cleeng users, including about 40 publishers (large or simple bloggers). That’s very exciting and really helped us collect a lot of valuable feedback from to-be publishers and users. Within 3 weeks, we’ll move into public beta, so get ready to generate extra revenue!
What did we learn from the private beta?
1- Pay-per-view is really what appeals to both small and large publishers, as well as potential customers. People only want to buy what they are truly interested with, because they are already over-whelmed with offers of all sort. There is strong belief that less is more, however the price must be right, kind of nanopayments, and focus on few 10s of cents. We actually wrote a full article, using latest research available.
Everyone knows that online publishers are trying to find ways to monetize their content. Consumers seem ready to pay. Survey after survey shows they are gradually moving towards an acceptance of monetization. For example, in the latest Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey conducted in December 2010, 65 % of Internet users have already paid for online content.
Source: PRC-Project for Excellence in Journalism and PRC-Internet & American Life Project Online News Survey- December 29, 2009-January 19
But are publishers ready for online content consumers? They are a notoriously promiscuous and fickle lot. According to a report from Outsell, 44% of visitors to Google News just scan headlines and never click on the articles. Another PEJ-PRC survey published in January 2010 showed that only 35% of news consumers have a favorite site. Most consult a handful of sites for their news. They also graze other platforms like radio, TV, social media and print. This is a challenge for existing subscription and ad-based business models. Lack of loyalty makes it hard for publishers to establish a brand, and without a strong brand it’s hard to turn customers into subscribers or get advertisers to pay for ads.
Value to the rescue
There is a silver lining, however. Two strong online trends might hold the answer. The first is that people know that you can’t get something for nothing, as the saying goes. A Nielsen survey published in February 2010 found that nearly 4 in 10 respondents thought that quality of online content would suffer if companies couldn’t charge for it. (more…)