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Subscribers balance ratio (c)
If your site were for subscribers only
Lexur




msg:4024259
 7:08 am on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is a long thread in the content forum regarding the Murdoch's rant against Google (News) and his change to a paid subscription model for news websites.

So, the question is: what's his subscribers balance ratio(c)? Could you do the same jump? (not ecommerce or gov sites, of course)

Subscribers balance ratio(c) (SBR) is the result of divide your unique users by the gross income divided by the subscription price and it means the number of now free users you need to change for one paid member to have the same gross income.


. . Unique Users
SBR= _________________________________
. . Gross income / Subscription price

I used a subscription price of 25$/year and for my main site the SBR is 11064 and it means that if I could get a 25$/year subscription for one of every 11064 users, I could make my site subscription only.

What's your SBR?

 

Lexur




msg:4025561
 7:17 am on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Gosh... no one answers this question and I wonder why?

a.- most people is lazy enough to do more than two calculations together
b.- most people here doesn't have websites for money so nobody cares about SBR
c.- nobody wants to disclose any kind of data regarding his sites or his income
d.- results are so good/bad that nobody wants to believe itself
e.- this idea of the SBR is a waste of time and neurones to think about

What do you think?

ChrisE




msg:4026038
 7:56 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well. . .

I think the key is determining subscription price and how likely you are to achieve the price at a sufficient quantity.

Your equation is just one part of a bigger picture.

caribguy




msg:4026122
 10:24 pm on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

You might want to throw in a few handfuls of secondary variables. User engagement, link ratios, individual ad categories, media and price levels/structures, user acquisition and maintenance costs. And so on...

D_Blackwell




msg:4026967
 12:03 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I used a subscription price of 25$/year and for my main site the SBR is 11064 and it means that if I could get a 25$/year subscription for one of every 11064 users, I could make my site subscription only.

I agree with both of the above responses that suggest a more comprehensive outline of the potential variables is essential.

For example, in the quote above, you have made a determination (which we will assume is reasonable), that converting 1 of every 11,064 users at $25 subscription will allow you to take the site entirely to a subscription model. 1/100th of 1% conversion from user to subscriber will work for you. Presuming quality site and content - AND that content is updated regularly enough that one would want to be subscribed in order to 'keep up' - it sounds fine. You should be able to far exceed you conversion rate minimum.

Now you are a subscription site. But 11,000 users just got shut out for every subscriber converted. Where is that traffic going to go? If another site can now (or will) adopt these users, is your site good enough to survive the free site(s) which just picked up how many thousands of users that will be unhappy that your site kicked them out?

Now that you are a subscription site, can you keep the fresh content coming to retain your base? If the content isn't fresh and always updating, they will not feel a need to renew. Even among dedicated and happy users there will be a churn rate. People move on to other interests. I can't afford to pay for everything that I would like to do - so I have to pick and choose. Maybe the free competitor(s) aren't as good as you are - but maybe they are 'good enough' if free.

Now that you have jettisoned thousands of users that did not subscribe, how will you build your base? How will you grow? It would take a strong recommendation from someone I really trusted to sign up 'blind'.

Where will the new business come from? What will it cost to get?

Murdoch is part brilliant and part lunatic. This should be kept in mind.

Your post indicates going 100% subscription. IMO, unless you've really got something special, you would sink like the Bismarck.

Do you compromise and offer a 'taste' in a free area, and keep the really good stuff for subscribers? This would be a completely different approach than what was suggested in the OP.

I think that the delay in repsonse on this post is that it was considered an incomplete thought and not taken as seriously as expected.

WebmasterWorld would be an excellent comparative. Would it survive if 'all subscription'? What is the subscription rate of unique users to subscribers?

IMO, in many of these forums the last answer you are going to get is the truth, so there are certainly people with specific knowledge that just aren't going to say anything. 'Sharing' only goes so far here. On some topics I don't believe a word of anything from anyone. The BS can be neck deep.

There is a lot more to consider than the formula that you put forth.

lammert




msg:4027219
 10:03 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I used a subscription price of 25$/year and for my main site the SBR is 11064 and it means that if I could get a 25$/year subscription for one of every 11064 users, I could make my site subscription only.

Yes, but would your site have the same value and generate new users at the same rate as before? Sites which live on user generated content like WebmasterWorld live because of the enormous number of posts, most of them created in the open sections of the site. You need sufficient fish (content) on the outside to attract people to the inside.

The only exception is when branding is sufficient and people will come anyway because they know and trust the name (NY Times etc).

Lexur




msg:4027251
 11:44 am on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Your equation is just one part of a bigger picture.

Everything is part of the big equation e=mc2 :)
There is publishing, adevertising and search engine marketing and still there is CTR. Why not SBR?

...to throw in a few handfuls of secondary variables...

Life is full of variables. Economists end its formula with "x CP" or "multiplied by ceteris paribus" (being everything else equal) because things do not happen the way we think but, again, there is stock prices. It can change minute to minute because company goes to bankruptcy or hit a big new discovery, but there is a price. This SBR is just another number.

Now that you have jettisoned thousands of users that did not subscribe, how will you build your base? How will you grow? It would take a strong recommendation from someone I really trusted to sign up 'blind'.

Murdoch owns some of the most powerful brands in the world. His online empire is just a fraction of his multimedia empire. Wouldn't you connect to a website if your newspaper's cover includes a free three day subscription? How many people in the US could take his credit card and subscribe like zombies if some of the telepriest of th Fox gave them a direct order to do it "to save the faith and the spirit of the good ol'America"?

WebmasterWorld would be an excellent comparative.

Do you really think Brett is like Murdoch?

Sites which live on user generated content...

Murdoch sites but Myspace doesn't care about user generated content. They make more content in a day than us here writing for free in a week.

So, let's supose you could go subscption only. What's your SBR?

caribguy




msg:4027296
 1:38 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Et ceteris paribus only applies when the variables that you choose to include in your calculation let you build an approximate model of reality.

i.e.

GDP - would give you a reasonable insight in the economic wellbeing of the country, and provide a somewhat reliable base for comparison.

SBR - is missing important components that result in making it an unreliable model.

In that respect, it compares well to AVUS (Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow), possibly also a number...

[youtube.com...]

Lexur




msg:4027584
 9:25 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

making it an unreliable model

What model?
Is CTR a model? Model of what?

I will try to explain it again: advertsing can be a reliable model to survive for publishers; ads can be textual, contextual, graphics, interactive or miltimedia; advertising itself can be the evil in the web or the blood making everything work; you can like or dislike advertising... but CTR is the number of impresssions divided by the number of clicks so anyone can have a CTR (if like o dislike advertising and so on...).

Anyway, to mantain this thread on topic, please, make your comments about the Murdoch failure, the pay-per-read and why you don't want to pay for anything online in the specific thread or, please, open another thread about.

If you want to discuss about this or say what's your exact number or what could be the SBR of the Murdoch sites, I'm glad to hear you.

D_Blackwell




msg:4027668
 11:19 pm on Nov 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is CTR a model?

It is a measurement. A measurement of the success of an advertising method which can be manipulated by the usual techniques of developing a site. Any change may increase or decrease the CTR. You brought up the reference and I didn't see the relevance to the OP SBR question at the time.
.................................

WebmasterWorld would be an excellent comparative.

Do you really think Brett is like Murdoch?

I meant as comparative to taking a successful website with a large free user base and kicking out the free users, not a direct comparison to Murdoch's supposed intents, for which there is no direct comparison to make; given the scale, IMO.

(Though I think WebmasterWorld would dry up and blow away if they tried this.)
.................................

The OP asks a broader question than Murdoch specifically.

So, the question is: what's his subscribers balance ratio(c)? Could you do the same jump?
.....
I used a subscription price of 25$/year and for my main site the SBR is 11064 and it means that if I could get a 25$/year subscription for one of every 11064 users, I could make my site subscription only.

I took the question to include; could others do it, and an interest in doing so yourself.

.....mantain this thread on topic.....

I don't think that there is one. I don't know that anyone but Murdoch's key people could know his SBR. I haven't done it, so don't have an SBR, and those that have aren't likely to tell you for free; unless warning you away from such a big gamble and citing specific failures. A 'consultant' that was 'boots on the ground' during such a changeover would be the person from which to buy first account details.
.................................

Lammert's comment is key. If not a 'universally known' brand, how does the brand survive or grow long-term.? SBR does not go to any of the questions of 'future'. It is one number, one variable.
.................................

Outside of <banned word> how many subscription only sites can you cite as relevant examples? Looking at some successes would be high on my list if investigating such a move.
.................................

There is a large tech question site that only lets you in to see the answers if you register. I won't even do that. They do great in the SERPs because the questions are detailed,and searches tend to be detailed, so they come up high in the results all the time. Never registered, so don't know if the site is any good or not.

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