Bring me sunshine, in your smile

eric and ernie
Over on the podcasters mailing list Mark Czajka asks about selling podcasts. I’ve been talking to people about this sort of thing recently too.

It came to me in mid-bite of my apple this morning, as I contemplated another day in London in the 80s*, that selling content is like selling sunshine.

Nobody tries to actually sell sunshine directly – that would be stupid and, under some jurisdictions, doubtless illegal. Here in the UK, we’d have to give the deckchair-hire surfer-dudes each a combined visible light, heat and UV-meter, get them to take readings regularly, and then go round busting people for more cash when the clouds disappeared (but we could also probably get away with paying them even less as they get free sunshine as a perk of the job!).

But do you doubt that there is money to be made if you have access to sunshine? Those deckchair-hire dudes are just a tiny part of the sunshine economy, and the benefits are open to anyone who lives in a seaside town in the summer. You make money by doing anything that enhances the sunshine experience, helps people get to the sunshine in the first place or helps them yakk about it for the next six months till they get their next dose.

Sunshine is free, it wants to be free but it can also bring you customers and put them in the mood to spend their money. And that’s what damned fine writing, sounds & pictures should aspire to do too.

tags & &

* I mean 80-something fahrenheit, of course, the time machine to take me back to my youth still has some kinks that need ironing out before I can spend a whole day there. btw dexys send hugs (except kevin, he’s in a mood ‘cos I told him what happened to princess di).

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One thought on “Bring me sunshine, in your smile”

  1. The only professional organization I belong to regularly sells audio of its conferences. I wasn’t clocked in to this when I emailed several higher ups about podcasting the meetings, events, field trips, etc. I never got an favorable answer–even though it wouldn’t cost them anything. I have a feeling that wasn’t the issue, the issue is not making anything.
    Imagine how piss*d off I was when they just hit me up for my annual dues and included a list of all the audio content I could buy from the conferences I missed. Now, tapes are not an option for me anymore–the money spent rotting in the back window of a toyota coupe, etc. . . .CD’s and DVD’s are the way to go if you want to keep your investment. So, out of the 55 lectures from one conference I found at least 20 audio segments I would be interested in listening to. The whole set costs $875–almost as expensive as attending the bloody conference. To buy my 20 sessions would cost around $400.–that’s twice the yearly dues, and almost a third of the cost of attending the 5 day event.
    What troubles me, beyond the fact that I can’t afford any of it, is that although these audio bits are professionally recorded by a big time studio–that costs money. These segements could have been podcast and then released for a moderate fee of $20 for 5 or something. Money will still be made by the organization, but more of it will be earned, because tightwads like myself will spring open their wallets abit further for something of more obvious value.
    I don’t think every bod will be able to monitize their podcast like we might all dream of. But an organization wishing to include its membership in events could recoup the costs of paid speakers by selling some audio content to those who could not attend. The key is in keeping the costs down and offering incentives, perks or other offerings to keep the punters coming back.

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