May 7, 2019

Zero incremental cost

Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 7th, 2019

Tech industry analyst Benedict Evans has a wonderful weekly mailing list that I’ve been reading for years. If you’re into the financial, social, and cultural implications of cutting edge of tech, you might want to check it out.

Anyway... in this week’s newsletter, Ben linked to an article about newspapers finally beginning to figure out how to stay afloat in the post-print era:

The Guardian Isn’t Losing Money Anymore

I found this passage about the New York Times particularly interesting:

The New York Times is one of the few other newspapers that have figured this out. It lets you “sponsor a student subscription” to the Times to “inspire the future generation of readers.” That’s a heart-tugging pitch for a certain kind of monied Times reader, and it lets the Times do things like say “you should give us $2,000 now” with a straight face. Of course, giving a digital subscription to a kid costs the Times exactly $0. (Heck, it’s lead generation for eventual paying readers!) But they’ve gotten 30,000 readers to sponsor more than 3 million student subscriptions — which generates something in the neighborhood $10 million for the Times. Just for asking, really.

Here are a few things I’d like to comment on:

Is there something that you could make available to your clients that they would happily pay for but costs you next to nothing?