[Advice] Building a Subscription Model for Content

Being the last person standing is an underrated tactic in the world of online content creation.

But for the peace builder looking to create a subscription model for content, this may be the best strategy possible.

Three things are working in the peace builder’s favor:

  • the speed of the Internet and the ways in which content consumers access content is increasing, even as the cost of acquiring the tools is decreasing;
  • the rise of ad blocking is causing many organizations to either double down on advertising, or to simply eliminate it altogether as a driver for content;
  • the cost in time, emotional energy, and personal effort (number of “touches”) to acquire a paying customer online is about the same as it is to acquire a paying customer offline.

More content—written, audio, and particularly video—is being consumed by audiences via mobile applications, nested on mobile devices, and accessed via the cloud. This is being seen most visibly in the overlap between subscription based product services (i.e. Harry’s Razor, Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox (for men and women) Trunk Club, Casper Mattresses, etc., etc.), and the ways in which applications, URLs, and even QR Codes are being integrated into the content consumption experience around advertising those services. Peace builders must be aware of these trends to keep their content delivery systems current and updated to get in front of as many audience members in their long-tail as possible.

The rise of ad blocking as a driver for developing a subscription based business model for content development is a key point for peace builders to take in to consideration. Yes, putting content behind a paywall and encouraging people to either give an email address (or pay a fee) to access that content may knock the peace builder in a Google ranking. But if there is an abundance of previously “free” content (audio, written, or video) that can be nested behind a paywall, advertising and ad blocking become less worrisome, in spite of whatever changes Google attempts to make to its search algorithm.

The offline content acquisition experience and the online content acquisition experience are beginning to hew closer and closer together. In the past, both on and off line, there was tremendous friction between the consumer of content and the creator of content. Now, both online and increasingly offline, all of that friction is either being automated, “app”-ed, or otherwise disappearing from interactions. Content consumers in the peace builders’ long tail are still eating, sleeping, buying clothes, and purchasing content from a variety of both on and offline resources. Peace builders must be aware of this friction reduction and move to a world where the frivolous parts of the experience (i.e. signing up, giving an email, taking a payment, etc.), are becoming more friction less so that the actual engagement with the peace builder can happen.

The peace builders that understand these three trends and incorporate the reality of them into their content business model will be the last peace builders standing (and getting paid) even as others drift away.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

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