30 Nov 2012

Studies show the majority of internet users are not willing to pay to remove advertising

Anyone who creates any consumable media on the internet knows this intuitively, but here are actual hard numbers to back it up.  From the study conducted by the Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange and summarized on the right, only 27% of the general internet population is willing to pay to remove advertising.  When you combine that stat with the number of people who are rabid enough about your app to be willing to pay for it, you’re left with a very small number.  Consider some published stats about paid user percentages:

  • Spotify – 20%1
  • Evernote – 4.1%2
  • Mobile apps – <30%3
  • Guardian iPad – 2.1%4

In case you miss the point, let us spell it out:

People do not want to pay for anything on the internet

Your app or service is no different.  People love what you’re building, and that’s cool, but they still don’t want to pay for it.  There is an ingrained mindset in the average internet user that everything digital should be free.  People pay for cars and houses and food, but bits are intangible and people treat them as such.

So if you own content, or a game or app, or other web service, how can you hope to make money in such a bleak environment?  You have paid users that provide consistent and dependable revenue, and you have casual users who enjoy your app but just aren’t that engaged.  And then you have everyone in between.  The users who are hitting your paywall consistently or maxing out on usage limits, but they’re not willing to pay.  Those are the users with potential.  What if we can provide a way to convert more of those users to paid WHILE making you money?

Volume11’s value exchange marketplace allows you to do just that.  Let’s give your users the option to opt-in to advertising in exchange for a small period of free premium usage.  If your users hit their usage limit and their only two options are to pay or bounce, chances are they are going to bounce.  But if you give them a third option to watch a video ad, install an app, or engage with rich media, chances are they will take that option.  Not only are you extending the users engagement time with your app, which in itself increases your chances of converting them to a paid user, you are also giving them a peek into the good life.  The life without advertising and usage limits.  Once they see that, they’re much more likely to pull out the credit card.  And if they still aren’t, at least you provided a great user experience and made some money.

The fact is you just aren’t going to reach all of your users, and there’s nothing you can do about that.  If your users are unwilling to pay, there’s very little you can do to change their minds.  But when it comes to getting users to pay, the carrot is always better than the stick.  Let Volume11 be your carrot. Your carrot that makes you money.

  1. http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/26/spotify-tops-three-million-paying-subscribers-20-percent-of-its/ []
  2. http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/19/evernote-by-the-numbers-34m-users-1-4m-paying-and-how-different-platforms-pay/ []
  3. http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/15/70-percent-of-mobile-users-pay-little-for-apps/ []
  4. http://paidcontent.org/2012/08/10/guardian-sees-2-1-percent-of-ipad-readers-pay/ []
29 Nov 2012

Awesome video of the week #47 – “Steve’s New Pilot” Happy Honda Days

The holidays are a special time for all of us, and it all touches us in a special way.  The lights, the smells, the music… the marketing.  Yes, Tis the Season for fabulous holiday commercials.  And let’s face it – they’re not all as memorable as the Coca Cola santa – but once in a while one stands out that makes us relive that special time of our childhood.  And this one particularly reminds us of our mothers.

29 Nov 2012

Did Liquid Plumr have what it takes to go viral?

Yes.  Yes they did.

Lets face it.  We’re not watching this commercial for the educational factor.  We will, however, remember the name Liquid Plumr next time we need to unclog a drain.

Pay special attention to the actress’s quips and quirks (best moment at 0:27).

Well done, LP.

15 Nov 2012

Awesome video of the week #46: Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – “Surprise”

We recently noticed this video getting a lot of attention, and thought we’d point out a few things that make it deserving of being Awesome Video of the Week:
1. It’s Epic
2. ‘Back in Black’ is epic
3. It’s directed by Guy Ritchie
4. It translates well between TV and online (Not all video ads make sense on TV)
5. It has a consistent theme – “Surprise”
6. It’s still Epic

By the way, you’re welcome for having ‘Back in Black’ stuck in your head all day. Enjoy.

09 Oct 2012

Awesome video of the week #45: Nokia Lumia

Yes, Nokia. This is an awesome ad for the Lumia currently running in Germany. It’s interesting not only for the amazing imagery, but also to note how ubiquitous the iPhone has become in our culture. Phone manufacturers don’t simply run ads for their own products anymore, they run ads AGAINST the iPhone. Samsung is doing the same with the Galaxy S III right now.

26 Sep 2012

Awesome video of the week #44: Old Spice

Old Spice has been on a roll for like 3 years now. Their newer ads don’t have a whole lot to do with deodorant, but they’re definitely a great branding study.

19 Sep 2012

Awesome video of the week #43: Radio Shack Cell Phone

We’re reaching WAY back for this one — it’s just too funny seeing old tech ads like this. The ads are always the same, too. Business man in a suit…check. Woman in bikini on the beach…check. Construction foreman…check. And they’re busy, man. Too busy to pick up a real phone. Instead, they just lug around a device about the same size and weight as a car battery all day.

And at only $799 PLUS a per-minute price…how did these not take off?

12 Sep 2012

Awesome video of the week #42: Sportscenter

Sportcenter is known for their brilliant ads. John Clayton is a long-time ESPN contributor who’s extremely knowledgeable about the NFL and also a little odd looking. Combine the two and hilarity ensues.

05 Sep 2012

Awesome video of the week #41: Mad Men Compilation

Being in the ad industry, we have a soft spot for Don, Peggy, Joan, Pete……ok maybe not Pete. But the rest of them. Here’s a great compilation of some of our favorite clips.

29 Aug 2012

Great new article on the merits of value-exchange advertising

Jack Loechner at the Center of Media Research just published a great writeup about Facebook user advertising preferences. A whopping 72% of users prefer opt-in interactive advertising including value-exchange vs 28% for traditional display. We could have told you that intuitively, but it’s always nice to see it validated on paper.

Brands — are you paying attention?