This Is Why I Want To Have A Paid, Premium Section Of Mixergy. What Do You Think?

I have an idea to charge for some content on Mixergy as a way of bringing in revenue and growing audience engagement. My idea is different from what others have done, so I detailed it below.

Here’s a summary:

  • I would only charge for older interviews.
  • New interviews would stay free for a limited time.
  • More people would download new interviews when they’re posted to avoid paying later.
  • More people would download older interviews because I’ll occasionally make them free.
  • More people would blog about the interviews because they could embed videos and give away for free what I’ll charge for.

What do you think? Details below.

Why I want to charge

I want to earn money.

Not much to say here. I know you don’t begrudge me a profit. What I think you want to do is make sure that I take your needs into consideration. That’s why I’m writing this post.

I think sales are a strong measure of quality.

Can you guess how many people in the past 30 days saw my new interview with Paul Graham? 6,900

The same week, I also ranted about Google Buzz. I hadn’t used Buzz much when I wrote it because it was new. I didn’t contact the Buzz team and ask them for an interview. I just ranted because I was honestly upset. Want to know how many people saw that? 11,706

If I cared about hits, the data would tell me clearly that I need to spend 20 minutes ranting every day instead of hours prepping, requesting and doing interviews.

In a model that depended on ad revenue, rants like that will make their way into my interviews. Then viewers will react to them with equal passion, and my traffic will go up, and my advertisers will send me lots of pens with their logos on them.

But if you had to PAY for one of those posts, which would you pay for? I think money is a better yard stick here. The interviews you pay for tell me what you consider so good that you know they’ll help your business.

I think it’ll keep my old interviews from being dismissed.

I interviewed Seth Godin over a year a go, and it was one of the most influential interviews I’ve ever done. Know how many people saw that interview in the last 30 days? 26.

I posted a funny video last week of a guy at Groupon who got hit in the face with coffee. Know how many people saw that? 10,047

It’s an extreme example, but what I see over and over is that old content always underperforms what’s new — regardless of quality.

Nobody cares about old content, because content creators think of it as “old.” If I start charging for old interviews, there is a good chance no one will buy Seth Godin’s interview and I might lose all of those 26 viewers. But I bet you if I stop charging for it for just 1 week, people would jump on it for the limited time it’s free. They might even thank Seth for doing it and me for re-releasing it. Suddenly, old is valuable.

I think it’ll grow my interviews’ audience when I publish.

Since I know that most of an interview’s views come in the first week, I want to try growing that audience by adding a sense of urgency. If viewers knew that every interview was only available free for a limited time, I think they’d be more likely to download each interview on the day I publish it. They may not listen to it right away, but once it’s on their computers (or iPods), they’ll be more likely to listen to it.

I think it’ll encourage people to blog and embed my interviews.

A lot of people blog about my past interviews and interviewees. I want to grow that.

Right now, since everything is free on my site, there isn’t enough incentive to blog about my work. Anyone can just find my interviews on Mixergy. Why should they bother with someone else’s site?

But if I start charging for my interviews while others embed my videos on their sites and have those videos available for free forever, then I think they’d be more likely to blog.

I know this is dangerous and could leech traffic from my site, but it’s worth it.

What I do NOT want to charge for

All current interviews would be free.

Nothing would change here. You could get them on Mixergy and many other sites and services — including iTunes were you can get each interview is audio and video format.

Featured older interviews would be free.

Every week I’ll take some premium interviews and re-release them for free. I know that will generate buzz for what’s now considered old.

An intro pack of interviews would be free.

Anyone who comes to the site should have an intro pack of 5 to 10 interviews that they can download or view on the site. I think this would be a better introduction than having them look through the site and try to figure out where to get started.

The interview’s transcripts would be free.

If you want to learn from a program, the transcript would be available to you.

Mixergy interviews posted on your site would be free.

If a fan writes about my interviews, she should enhance the value of her post by embedding the interview.

Mixergy interviews posted on interviewee’s sites would be free.

If someone does an interview with me, they’ll be able to post it on their site and keep it free.

What I DO want to charge for

I would charge for the archive.

I have over 300 programs on Mixergy. I think people would pay or them. And if they don’t, isn’t that a good message for me? It would mean that my interviews are considered just another piece of content and I better work like mad to improve the value.

I would charge for special programs.

A few of my past guests suggested that I create online classes based on their work. I don’t have the time to do enough of these right now — because each session would involve a lot of prep — but I’d like to try them in the future.

Why other revenue options aren’t enough

Why I don’t think advertising is right

Advertising is good for people who are aiming for huge audiences. I’m not an entertainer. I’m not gunning for a huge audience.

I like spending 15 minutes asking an entrepreneur to detail how she got the first 2 sales. That’s never going to get the kind of audience that a falling cat has (or a screaming CNBC host, for that matter). It’s also never going to get the size audience that Leo Laporte has. That’s not my vision, passion or interest.

Why I don’t think shares in startups is a right fit

A lot of people who try to reach startups do it so they could get adviser shares, or so they could find companies to invest in. That’s not me and I’ll tell you why: it’s because that’s not how I got here.

When I researched Paul Graham’s history for his interview, I saw that his investment style was based on the investment and support he got when he launched Viaweb. He figured that if that what worked for his company, then it could work the companies he invests in.

I never took funding. When I try to do what others did for me, I think of the ideas that I learned. I remember Kara Swisher’s book on AOL, where she talked about how Steve Case planted himself in someone’s office until he got a deal. I don’t even remember whose office or why he did it, but the idea that you can go do something like that was more valuable to me than a financial investment. I remember how I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, where he said he based all the ideas in the book were based on the experiences of real students in his classes. I took the Carnegie class and the way it showed me how to relate to people was worth more than a financial investment.

I paid for books and classes with my work and money. If Kara handed me her book, I might have dismissed it. If I hadn’t worked so hard to get a seat at Carnegie’s class, I might not have looked at it as a Discovery Channel show — educational, but not really worth my time.

Why I don’t think just living off my past money is the right fit.

How can you respect my work if you see it as just a hobby that I’m luxuriating in? How can you respect what’s taught on Mixergy if you see that I’m not bringing in real revenue? You can’t. And I know you can’t because when I didn’t run ads or charge for anything I’d get emails from people asking me, “What do you really want to do, Andrew?”

What’s your take?

Much (but not nearly all) of this idea is up so you can see what I have in mind, but I can adjust it easily.

I can’t do exactly what everyone says, because then I’ll be your slave.

I can’t do only what I want, because then I’d only be useful to myself.

What I will do is listen, learn and internalize. I’ll adjust based on your feedback.

How can I make this work?

  • chrismanfrank

    Just want to register my support. I'll pay. Maybe you could release a short 5-minute clip of the interview for free, and have people pay for the full. Charge a few bucks each. I don't know the logistics of doing that – maybe iTunes? I can usually tell within one or two minutes if I'm going to like an interview, and I would be happy to pay for those.

    I'll pay for whatever you decide to do though. Good luck with this.

  • emad

    You should write a book based on your findings from these interviews!

  • Andrew Warner

    I want to reiterate that a large part of this is live right now, but I'm not pretending this is what will stay. I'm open to ideas.

  • David Spinks

    I think you have a lot of great ideas and if you're going to charge for something, the model you've explained here is pretty solid.

    I don't think people lose respect for your work if you're not making money. You may get a lot of questions from curious viewers, but I don't think they'd think any less of your work and your content.

    I'm not sure if people would pay… Would I pay? Probably not. Not necessarily because I'm cheap…I just enjoy watching your videos to learn on my personal time. If I started paying for it, I'd feel like it's more of an obligation…like it's work. Kind of the whole “anti-motivation 2.0” argument in “Drive”.

    You're right that I would make a point to try to catch more interviews live or right after they come out though. I'd see viewing your videos for free as a privilege since I know others are paying for them.

    Just my take…interested to hear what you decide to do.


  • Andrew Mayne

    I think your content has immense value and you're doing a fantastic job. But do you think a $300 a year subscription is the best starting point? A big part of your audience is aspirational entrepreneurs who are paying for things like college tuition and noodle ramen.

    Also, a curious thing about business content is the people who can most afford it are the ones that have the least amount of time to consume it.

    I wonder if selling pay-per-view downloads might be a better model? Like once a month put together an hour-long digest with a topic from your content library like “The 10 smartest things to do when approaching a VC”, “How to get good developers on a shoestring” or “How to launch a start-up in 24 hours”, etc. Those are off the top of my head examples, but I know I'd be compelled to buy content packaged like that. I can make a quick cost/value decision and click “buy”.

  • netsp

    It's good that you wrote this Andrew,

    I like that it has some creative thought behind it.

    I don't think there is much of a business model in directly selling this kind of content, but I may be wrong. I'm also a bit suspicious of attempts to manufacture scarcity, but I am certain there are ways of doing this that are not wrong. You put at risk all the benefits of Free: long tail traffic (I think you could be doing a lot better on search, especially video search), goodwill (or avoiding this strange hate against charging), letting a newcomer dive into mixergy content, cherry-picking interviews they think they'll like and becoming a fan.

    All that said, I'm glad you are experimenting. You may discover something really valuabl. As long as you aren't locking yourself into a model, I think it will be worthwhile either way.

    * I suggest considering a serious redesign to support this sort of approach and giving it the best chance. I think you may be bending the blog form a little further then it'll go.

  • Amey

    I'd definitely be interested to see how your model works. I would think that new visitors to your site are the most likely to opt into your paid program as compared to active followers. If they see all your interviews for free already when they first came out, then why would they pay to see them again?

    Not sure if this makes sense, but what about launching premium workshops every so often? Kind of like a “Best of” series. These include a package of your old programs that somewhat mesh together or have some sort of overlaying theme. I know personally, I would be more likely to pay for something like this, then just getting to watch old programs as its more targeted.

    Obviously, there are some more details to flush out there, but hopefully that made sense.

  • Sam

    Some ideas that might increase viewers:

    Less intimidating titles. The titles on the interviews are borderline sales pitches for self-help seminars or business classes. I think if you just put the name of the interviewee and the company less people would be put off and actually watch the video.

    Rotating featured videos. I see the four interviews at the top and the first couple posts on the front page, but until now I didn't even notice the menu of old interviews on the side. Those 4 videos at the top are good, but you could put 4 new ones up every week or something. Alternatively, make the list of archived videos more prominent.

    Don't take this harshly, your interviews I great!

  • zpoley

    I agree with Chris and vote for iTunes.

  • Patrick Navarro

    Andrew, I am 1 of the 26 who recently viewed the Seth Godin interview. I enjoyed it and found it hugely valuable. Unfortunately, I doubt that I would have ever paid to view it. It's not the price barrier, but the fact that there's just too much great free content online (search YouTube for “Seth Godin” and you will see quite a few videos). I don't think you are doing yourself a favor of charging for content. I highly respect what you do and you do it very well. You give students/entrepreneurs/developers like myself, resources and answers to questions we all have. Although, I hope that I would never have to pay someone for advice or to answer a question of mine.

    Here's a good example. Paul Graham provides free essays on his website that many of us read often. I reference his essays when I need them and often share the link with friends. If he charged for his essays, he would turn away many readers that would otherwise share his message. Don't become the Experts-Exchange.

  • WD7

    One negative to putting the interviews behind a pay wall is that it limits the 'linkability' of those interviews. I've linked to one of your videos before in blog comments several weeks after the video was posted. It was relevant to that conversation. However, if viewing the video required payment, I'd be more likely not to link to it.

  • Niyi

    Patrick, your point about turning people off by charging is quite valid. There are tonnes of great interviews on the web. Stanford's ecorner comes to mind.

    That said, Andrew pointed out that “he wants to earn some money”, and that's pretty important as I'm sure you agree.

    Andrew – my advice is to sell an ancillary service.

    By offering his essays for free, and hosting Hacker News for free, Paul Graham sells the ycombinator brand indirectly to entrepreneurs. Perhaps, you could host web and physical seminars and get people to pay to attend.

  • Nwokedi

    Been keeping up with Mixergy for a while now, and I think many of the interviews are good enough to pay for.

    I think I've mentioned this to you in the past, but I think the past interviews should be organized. There is a WEALTH of knowledge here, but it's difficult to find. And according to the Paradox of Choice giving people a ton of choices actually frightens us.

    Also, since you don't have the time to edit down mixergy interviews, maybe you could let people who purchase the interviews remix the interviews and allow them to sell condensed versions of the interviews. And the seller can share their profits with you.

  • Olexandr Prokhorenko (white@)

    Hi Andrew. First off, I'm cheapo, so I'll probably pass on paying. :) And I typically view your interviews live or right away anyways. But I think it's a good idea to charge for access to archives. However, $24/month sounds a little bit high for only archive access. Add some more value (seminars, books, forums, support, … – you name it), or put the price on the lower side; and it's good to go. The best of luck!

  • Pc Tutes

    I will pay. Love the show.

    I would also pay to see premium content such as an array of entrepreneurs on a specific topic such as raising capital, monetizing information, branding.,etc.

    It would be relatively easy to produce. Just have a set of standard topics that you will ask all of your guests, then re-purpose the content in to topical programming.

    Or even do a “Best of Mixergy” series where you pick out all nuggets of past interviews arrange a collection of soundbites. Just get yourself some damn good editors.

    For people like myself who love your videos, but don't have a lot of time to watch them all, that has a ton of value.

    Or how about event programming. Invite two guests with different work styles to go at it for an hour.

    See it now,

    “Rumble in The Jungle: Ferris vs Vaynerchuk”

    I would pay anything to see that.

  • Andy Cary

    Crowdsource the nuggets of wisdom contained in each interview, compile this information into a book format, then weave your narrative or editorial through the series.

    Its like a “chicken soup for the entrepreneur's soul” meets the essays of Paul Graham.

  • Jon_Bishop

    $300 a year would be too expensive for me as well, but I'd start considering it at 5-10 a month. I was thinking about the same structure you propose in a pay per view model. I would pay for content structured like lessons aka “The 10 smartest things to do when approaching a VC”, but not for a 25 minute Seth Goden interview that may only contain a minute or less of what I really want to hear.

    There are already lots of websites and blogs that do such interviews for free anyways – I would need the value of content edited and structured into lessons where I know what I'm going to get to want to pay.

  • Miguel Cavalcanti

    Hi Andrew,

    I'm learning and admiring more the way you work every day.

    Great move, and great idea.

    I will subscribe for it. US$25/month is a good price.

    Think about let the payers to ask exclusive questions to the interviewees.

    Tks a lot, Miguel, from Brazil

  • Michael Gioia

    I think you deserve to get paid for your work and effort it takes to conduct these interviews. I have learned more about starting a business watching mixergy interviews for the past year or so than I did in the past four at business school. My two wish list items would be:
    1) The “special content” that you mentioned above (maybe one a month?)
    2) A mixergy members area (forum?)

  • boyter

    Well on one hand you have to look at who is listening/watching your interviews. If its people looking for tips by all means charge. If its people looking for something to do, you will price yourself out of the market as there is pleanty of free material in the entertainment business.

    Would I pay for new or old podcasts… no. The reason being is while I enjoy these podcasts I dont know if I am getting enough value out of them to make it worth the money. If you can proove the value of the podcast beyond “entertainment” then you might have a compelling case. But as it is, if you charge for video I wont watch it. If you charge for old content I wont listen/watch it. I prefer a ad supported model for that reason.

    The other thing is it would be hard to lock down the content. You are dealing with smart people and I am sure that the moment you announced this you would have seen a spike in the downloads of your content just in case.

  • pier0

    Create a “Best of” dvd every few months, organize a live event, sell ebooks or consulting services. They all sound better than charging to access the archives.

    And those who say they cannot respect you unless you are bringing in real revenues they need to have their heads examined, possibly by a very good doctor.

  • james

    I can't say I'd ever be willing to pay for these videos, but I definitely enjoy watching them when I can relate to the business they are talking about.

    I think your business model should be sponsors like you've already got but also affiliate offers that you can mention at the beginning of each video.

    Here's an idea I wanted to work on but never got around to. A success stories website that ALSO has a monthly magazine, ideal for coffee tables in waiting rooms. Each magazine has about 5 or more interviews with a business person and how they achieved success and the obstacles they overcome.

    Maybe it'll be too expensive to print, but it's still a cool idea :)

  • name

    charging would definitely benefit you but you'd lose a huge amount of international viewers imho.

    2 cents

  • patrick giagnocavo

    I would ask whether the transcripts would be more valuable – perhaps the audio/video could be free but the transcripts are the value-add that only paying members get? Plus a members-only forum.

    I like the way did it – most forums are free, but “Premium Members” get a T-Shirt each year, a “Premium Member” badge beside their avatar, and a few forums that are PM-only.

  • Courtney

    I look forward to viewing the interviews, everyday.

    I did pay $25.00 to view some of the older interviews that I was interested in, however I truthfully don't think I'd be able to keep up the continuous monthly payments at this time with start-up costs, school and everything else. I agree with Andrew Mayne, maybe pay-per-view download would be the best.

  • felix quevedo

    You could charge to view it live and have the right to ask questions, and you could also charge for early viewers, for example the video can be viewed only by premium users the first 7 days after the interview, then It can be free.

  • dg

    Pay to watch free interviews? Bye bye Mixergy, I'll never visit again.

  • djwulff

    I do pay $25.
    Maybe – to hit all budgets – let people buy credits. $25 dollars for 25 credits (intevriews).
    Get viewers hooked w/ that week's free content. (Whatever the timeframe, you must have at least one killer interview that makes people want more.) Then, from a users POV, charge me 25 dollars for 25 credits.

  • Josh Hogard

    Andrew, here's my take:

    1. Take people's public estimation of what they're willing to pay with a HUGE grain of salt. There will always be a discrepancy between admitted perceived value, and what customers actually open their wallets for. How many people would admit to finding $60 worth of value each month in a dating site? And yet the numbers are staggering. People pay for premium products and service.

    2. Re: People pay for premium products…I don't know how the pricing structure will go over based on current show quality. The content is great, but Skype isn't cutting it. I vote the show needs a little investment. As is, there isn't much out there that can compete with you on free. However, if you decide to monetize this way, there should be little doubt that the product is premium.

    I say give it a go: You attract relevant big names, the content is good, and you're vocal about your effort to continually improve on the product.

    Best of Luck.

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  • buraddo

    So, love the content and wish you all the best with a monetization model.. I don't think I would pay for archived content, because I think the content has a limited shelf life and the real value of your content is often the interviews with the unknown startup successes.

    I think your challenge is go broad on content (for large subscriber base and therefore advertising revenue) by opening up channels of different themes (syndicate your brand and style) or deep and offer more services to your community allowing for a subscription model and a higher revenue per subscriber.

    $0.02 from an armchair qtrback


  • Shane Dickinson

    Great Idea! Yeah, please charge us as soon as possible. I think $300/year is too cheap, I'm willing to pay twice that amount. When will you implement this?

  • facebook-314409

    This is probably the best idea Andrew could execute, write a book on traits of successful internet-oriented entrepreuners featuring the most insightful tips over the 300 interviews.

    I'd buy that book for $19.95, I wouldn't subscribe to the archives of interviews for $20/mo though. I'd come by weekly, see the latest interviews and leave.

    Open the site up a bit more and do more daily blogging or even a start-up service directory …etc…

  • horris

    You're interviews are valuable AND I love “free”. I have always been astonished about how many high quality interviews you are able to put together in such a short period of time. That said, and while I would love to be able to at least sample each and every interview, your speed in publishing these videos has forced me to fall behind in my viewing. I am now attempting to cherry pick my way through your most recent 15 videos in an attempt to “catch up”. I don't like the model where you incentivize me to watch your most recent video when others may be much more valuable to me at a particular moment. There are only so many hours in the day. How about a different plan.

    Since the newer videos are deemed “more valuable” even though the content MIGHT not be as compelling as some of your older interviews, more people would be willing to pay for them to get the newest and latest thoughts from your interviewees . For your interviews that are less than 1 month old, give a choice to either pay per download or buy a subscription for access to all of them at any time. However, make it FREE to view your archived catalogue that is older than 1 month AND ALSO make it FREE to watch the LIVE STREAMING of the actual interview. FREE viewing of the actual interview will encourage greater viewer participation, more ideas and maybe even a better interview.

    I think many of the people you have interviewed did so with a heart of freely sharing their experiences for the benefit of the entrepreneurial community. Ultimately, under the plan outlined above, all of your interviews would be free after 30 days when they are “less valuable” because the infomation would be “dated”.

    Thank you Andrew for your great work!

  • briteguy

    I totally agree with Patrick.

    I don't think charging content will work in this case, it works for some other niche area, such as for stock trade secrets, etc.

    Andew, I think you'd better stick with ad revenue for now…

  • Cam

    I really dig your content. I completely identify with the need to monetize. Sadly, I believe most people are cheap, and when you get them used to a free model most will not want to pay. Hey, these are the breaks when you monetize. You lose some; but if your product is good enough, and I believe yours is, you win some. I would argue that one of the best ways to begin making money, along with advertising content within your videos, is to follow Ramit Sethi's latest selling venture: collaborate with peers to create a product line or set of product lines that will teach people something valuable with regard to being an online entrepreneur, blogging, etc. Hell, I would buy a course that taught me to build a website like yours because I believe this model of information organization can work for other modes of creating and disseminating information. Also, create scarcity around these products.. As that guy, what's his name, the crazy guy with the penny stocks informed us, he makes more money selling teaching material about penny stocks than he does buying and selling penny stocks. So, make a list of the top 10 things people need to learn to be successful internet entrepreneurs and build products and instruments–seminars, software, live web stuff, etc etc–around these top 10 things. Also create an archive out of these products that remains monetized. On top of that keep doing the interviews and use the videos as platforms to advertise your products and those of others. It's a lot of hard work; but you and hard work appear to be close friends. Good luck and much love.

  • Faheem Moosa

    I agree with chrismanfrank, too. Pay per interview is fine and I'll gladly pay.

  • ryanh

    Andrew, I respect the decision that faces you, but I think you're off base with your comment about free cheapening the content. While charging certainly does place a value on a product, what you provide is much more fundamental than a widget or an electronic service. Perhaps I read too much into your journey here at Mixergy, but the way I have come to view your work is as an exploration of entrepreneurship through the lens of a documentarian.

    I certainly understand your desire to monetize your work, and I'm sure there are some creative solutions to achieve your goal. As a fan, I hope you find the right formula.

  • bobfet1

    Your price points are way too high. It's just unrealistic to think that this is even worth the lowest price point. $25? really? When a WSJ online subscription costs $8/month? When a Netflix subscription is like $14/mo? When there are is an abundance of other video content out there like This Week in Startups and Building43 for free?

    If you want to make money from this, then get more sponsors – this content just isn't worth paying very much for. If you must do subscription, you should be thinking more in the range of $2-5.

  • briteguy

    hahaha, I like your saying about getting the heads examined…

    Reading through all the comments, I think 9 out of 10 are against charging for content.

    Andrew, again I think you'd better off monetize indirectly by doing consulting services or ad-supports…

  • briteguy

    Sorry dude, I don't think your model works.

    I think consulting service, or selling software as a service, are way superior. Selling magazine is very tough, especially with limited audience. Maybe it works with mass market, say, some magazine for losing weight, etc.

  • briteguy


    I don't agree. I like Andrew's interviews and learned a lot, but, I don't want to pay for just listening to the interviews. Why? Because the interviews to me are nice-to-have, not needed.

    I can still do my software programming and sell my software products. Mixergy interviews help for sure, but, without them, I can still learn on the side from business books for example.

    So, no, I don't think charging works in this case.

  • Chadwick

    I'm bootstrapping my company, Mixergy connects me to the stories, pain, and success of other entrepreneurs I'd pay for that experience as long as it wasn't to expensive I'd certainly pay for it. Think of it as inviting Paul Graham or Seth Godin for coffee. You'd pay wouldn't you? You better.

  • james

    If it is of any use to you to know this, I WOULD pay to watch TWiST, because that show has a lot of value for me as a startup founder. At the current quality of the show, I would pay $5 per episode. However, paying $200 for 40 episodes in one go would not be of interest to me. To buy all current episodes I would be willing to pay $50.

    If Mixergy was to do an interview with a company relating to mine, I'd happily pay $10 for it though. But that would have to be Eventful, Zvents or It would be like paying $10 to have an inside peak at your competition and your idols.

  • Daphne Ho

    Andrew, I think I'd more likely pay $9.99 by paypal for one interview I'm really interested in, (if I can see a summary of it so I know what to expect) than to pay for a monthly subscription fee to access all the interviews…but that's just I pick the price $9.99 because that's the price my customers pay me on ebay for my information products.

  • Girl Startup

    Well as I has said in the past I have found your interviews immensely helpful and that I would be happy to pay something. $25 a month is way too much for me at this point (but at the same time don't want to insult you in saying your not worth $25 a month or more), but $5-10 a month or a yearly one off payment would be fine for me at the moment. You have to factor in that your audience maybe in different countries too so the currency changes.

    However, like many said, you may put current users off and their the ones that are helping spread the word of mixergy.

    I don't know how you feel Andrew…but I'm not sure if your audience is big enough yet to pull this off. Making things private, may reduce your user number. On the other hand, I am trying to imagine what I would do if I was a new user.

    If I saw one new interview and a few best of interviews for free, then yes I probably would be tempted to pay for extra content.

    But the thing is you would probably have to tidy up your older interview…not in the actual recordings but how they are presented on the HTML page. I found that when I first started I skipped a lot of the early interviews, because they weren't very visual.

    In addition, if you do make things private, I guess you will have to do a lot more promoting on other websites to “get the word out there”. Like you doing interviews on other sites promoting your site and membership.

    If it was paid I would love some sort of workshop or something. I would probably pay more than $5-10 for that.

  • Justyn Howard

    Hey Andrew – just thought I would weigh in with an additional (not necessarily different) perspective.

    First, you're doing awesome stuff. AWESOME. Easily the most useful info available for entrepreneurs in the tech space right now. And, no one will blink if you monetize – BUT I don't fully understand the approach for a couple of reasons.

    1) I see what you're doing as something that will be leveraged into much bigger things. A paywall now, no matter how well strategized is going to impact your growth. You're on fire, it's not time yet.

    2) People will either a) pay you, b) try to find the free version of an interview on an interviewees blog c) give up. Don't forget the long tail – a lot of your archive traffic is going to come from search. They don't know you yet, they don't know it's worth paying for.

    3) The pay for archives model is tough – personally, I sometimes don't get around to watching some of the videos for weeks after you film them. I'm happy to support your work, but if I wasn't as familiar with you as I am, and I missed the free window – I wouldn't look any further.

    4) If there's a specific interview I'm dying to see, it's because I'm a fan of that person. Some of the best interviews though are with people I didn't know before – and I wouldn't be very likely to pay for those.

    All in all, I think the long tail needs to be free, there are other ways you can monetize. Preroll ads would be fine (in fact I'd rather those than the sponsor pitches), or grow like crazy and get more money from your sponsors. I don't think the audience is your $$ source with this one. Much easier to sell to sponsors than to thousands of people (less headache too). Or add premium features. Also, unless you're revenue sharing with interviewees, I can see some potential problems there. May have a harder time getting them also.

    My $.02 – but you know your business best. Keep up the good work!


  • Tony Ruiz

    I personally like the idea because the content is still free but it forces your audience to keep checking back for the latest interviews before they become locked up in the premium section.

  • bondChristian

    Yes, after reading through most of the comments here (I love the suggestions), it seems to me like the main problem here is in keeping old posts open to ANY new-comer while restricting access to those who've been around before.

    It seems like you could pull something like that off with cookies, but they don't last long. Your logic for wanting to restrict access is right where I'm at. I've considered something like this for my own site but couldn't really figure it out. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. This is a perfect case study for me to watch.

    Though I love your interviews, I probably wouldn't pay for the archives… BUT I definitely would make it a point to come by right when content is released (though I pretty much do right now anyway). I think in that way, you'd win in current viewers even if they didn't pay.

    The problem I see of course is with visitors: how do you give them enough available content to snag them?

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    P. S. After reading through some more of the comments, I agree with those who say they'd be more willing to pay per view than the monthly subscription. From your perspective, I can see the benefit of the subscription, but that is hard to keep up with.

  • saadshamim

    Hey Andrew, I wouldn't mind paying, but its way too expensive, it would be a lot better if it was $5-$10 max a month, because the way I see it, I have time to watch maybe 1 episode a week, and paying $5 for an episode is too expensive for me. Maybe you could a a per episode pricing of 99 cents so when I have time I can watch rather then feeling guilty for not watching and losing money.

    Why can't you take on sponsorships like this week in start up or this week in tech? I'm trying to save as much money as possible because I'm a student and also boot strapping so money is hard to come by, I would think that a majority of your audience is in the same boat, just wondering what the thinking behind that is.

  • noname

    Your older stuff is what should be free. That's the long term memory of the 'net.

  • John


    Can you guess how many people in the past 30 days saw my new interview with Paul Graham? 6,900

    The same week, I also ranted about Google Buzz. I hadn't used Buzz much when I wrote it because it was new. I didn't contact the Buzz team and ask them for an interview. I just ranted because I was honestly upset. Want to know how many people saw that? 11,706

    This isn't a great example to make your point that rants get more views. Your Google Buzz rant got more views than the Paul Graham interview because there was Google Buzz buzz. If there was Paul Graham buzz, like that he secretly led a Tiger Woods-style shadow-life, then obviously your Paul Graham interview would have gotten more views than it did. Try ranting about something non-buzzworthy, although that might get a lot of views because of its novelty.

  • Jeff Cook

    I'm just going to paste my comment from Hacker News here, because it's relevant to this post and I don't know if anyone saw it since I posted after the story faded a bit.

    I agree that an opposite model would probably have worked out better — charge for early access instead of archive access. Those who appreciate and anticipate new installments can pay to receive them sooner, [past] interviewees are perhaps less disturbed because the content will ultimately become free, and users searching the web for things like “Paul Graham interview” or similar would be able to find the content and get hooked, thereby creating new paying customers.

  • conorp

    “I interviewed Seth Godin over a year a go, and it was one of the most influential interviews I've ever done. Know how many people saw that interview in the last 30 days? 26.”

    I bet if you re-posted that though it would have FAR more than that.

    I have no problem in paying, but I wish you would accept payments from unauthorized Paypal bank accounts.

  • k_

    I buy music on iTunes, books on audible.
    I pay per song, I pay per book.
    A monthly subscription wouldn't work for me.
    I have a subscription to but that's because I know what I will get.
    It's very specific information, very technical.
    I have to say it's kind of hard to know what your next interview will be about.
    I looked at 1938media, didn't he used to have a paywall?
    I looked at Charlie Rose, he used to have one as well, right? (not sure)
    I looked at watchmojo, Ashkan doesn't have a paywall. He has distribution deals in place where he gets a share of the ad revenue. Your videos might be too long for this model.

    You say you would occasionally make your older videos free.
    uhm, I can't speak for someone else, but that would be a bad idea, I won't visit your site that often because I want to know what's available before I go to your site.

    And asking me to pay for older videos?
    The newer they are the higher the value, imo.
    What worked in 2002 won't work right now. Some principles might be the same though.
    Charging for new videos seems like a better idea.
    However, in my case it wouldn't work.
    You're in direct competition with sites like thisweekinstartups.
    The content is a little bit different but you're competing for my time.

    I'm not experienced in video but you may want to consider is:
    a) turn it into a show that looks more professional. That will get you a bigger audience.
    b) Make how to videos, make them searchable.
    c) Go niche and sell consultancy services offered by others.
    d) Start a leo laporte kind of radio show 24/7
    e) Talk to your fanbase about partnerships.
    f) consider doing a club model, one on one consultancy.
    You once interviewed a lady who did something like that.

    I'm sorry for not supporting the idea of a paywall. I would support it if it added more value (save me money, save me time, know what I will get) but right now there're too many alternatives in the market. The timing doesn't look right.
    I will think about it some more.

  • openclause

    It seems like you're trying to move traffic off your site. I suppose it fits with you wanting discussions to take place on HN rather than Mixergy Forums. But I really don't understand it.

    Every interview is building Brand Andrew and Brand Mixergy. The sheer volume of interviews is an important part of that Brand. And I think the fact that the interview are free is an important part of the Brand too – not just for viewers, but also for potential interviewees. Even if almost no-one watches any particular interview, a huge number of people know that it (and many like it) took place, that you extracted useful insights (because that's your reputation – a reputation being built in public), and that you/Mixergy is now one entrepreneur smarter.

    Surely the real question is how to monetize the Mixergy Brand over the long haul. Charging for access to the interviews is not the way. As an ambitious upstart, I assume you're trying to reach the Moon. The interviews are your rocket fuel. You don't get to the Moon by selling your rocket-fuel.

  • Felix Kitaka

    Am a 20yr old from Africa who never misses any of the mixergy interviews that are posted on HN. When mixergy starts charging I'll be losing out.
    You should just let people pay for the old interviews.

  • Richard

    I don't think charging for a premium version of Mixergy is a good idea. I always thought you did the interviews because you were genuinely interested in how these people set up/overcame challenges. I'm also not sure if your interviewees would be happy for you to make money out of what are often very passionate interviews.

    Keep Mixergy as a hobby not a business – there are plenty of other ways to make money.

  • LIAD

    im curious whether your interviewees knew when they consented to the interviews that you were planning on putting them behind a paywall and whether you think future potential interviewees would turn down interview requests on that basis.

    – nobody would begrude you trying to profit from your venture. you create immense value, its only fair and proper that you capture (at least some of it) yourself.

    – keeping the transcripts free is very decent of you. your effectively proposing a freemium model. (free content, pay for it in video form)

    – i do think however that $25 a month is nuts. do you know of any other comparitive service in any industry charging along similar lines?

  • chrisco

    Sounds like a tried and true system talking about adopting and it seems like a great fit for your content. Might as well test the hypothesis :)

  • k_

    Mixergy as a hobby?

    No, no, no, we want Andrew to make money, we want Mixergy to make money, we all want this to continue. We want this to be really professional. We want this to be succesful.
    But a paywall seems like a bad decision. It doesn't matter whether you place old or new videos behind it. The timing's just not right.

    The content needs a bigger audience.
    Make your longer videos shorter, or just make short videos and businesses will approach Mixergy and ad revenue sharing deals will be signed.
    Those will get Mixergy a bigger audience. Look at watchmojo!
    Andrew, you say there're 300 interviews on Mixergy?
    Cut and paste and you get 1500 or more videos. Easily!
    Make how-tos and top 10 lists. Do videos like Seth Godin on Linchpin, AJV on social media, x on how to set up emaillists, Andrew on how he became Charlie Rose, …
    Post some of those vids on youtube and on itunes for free.
    Let people embed some of those videos on their site. And when they want more? Go to Mixergy.
    That's how you will get a bigger audience.

    And where are the sponsors. I see 3 little boxes.
    I would want more as a sponsor.
    And as a user of Mixergy I want to know what services Mixergy endorses.

    Mixergy needs a new design. Take some time off, Andrew. And figure it out.
    You don't want to wait, we want this site to change, to become better.
    A paywall ain't it. Bring in a bigger audience, raise your prices, give your sponsors better brand visibility, and then see if the market hasn't changed.
    Right now it ain't ready for a paywall, maybe it will be when the ipad comes along, …

  • Antonio Centeno

    If the issue is the amount of money for some, could you print your own currency? What I mean, is in lieu of paying with cash, those that have more time than cash could pay with a required amount of participation and incoming links. This would help increase your traffic and make the site affordable for those who can’t afford to pay.

    A lot of my friends who I’ve turned on to your site live in East Europe and parts of the world where $25 a month is a huge chunk of their salary (5 to 10%). You will lose them immediately, and with the amount of traffic from these parts of the world increasing at a higher rate than richer nations you may be cutting off a huge potential audience.

    Andrew – I’ve followed your site for a year now, and have downloaded and listed to 95% of your archived content. Whenever I speak with another entrepreneur or someone wanting to start something, I always tell them about your interviews. I ran an internship program, and your content was required listening. Charging for this content does change my view; I would expect a lot more, and probably not pay or recommend as often as that about ½ the interviews are not relevant to me and only 1 out of 10 have been must haves.

    What I would pay for is an exclusive forum or access to circle of peers who help me reach the next level. Revisit your interview with Ali Brown……I think you could easily have something like that while maintaining a very broad following of people who learn from your free general content.

  • alexapetrei

    Come on dude, you have all the transcripts free, if you want the video just pay the man , bandwidth isn't free and even if it would have been what Andrew said makes sense.

    How can you expect people to take you seriously if what they are getting is more free stuff that they could just as well get anywhere else on the internet.

    And it's true , advertising is not the way forward online or offline … advertising money is stupid money, what idiot would pay for a banner in the hope that people would see it ? especially when that banner is costing him a significant amount of money . For the same money they could get involved in their community and add value through services or products connected to the industry they operate in in order to raise awareness that way.

  • damiansen

    have you considered the impact that has on the people being interviewed? They may see it differently, i believe…

  • JohnExley


    Huge fan. Love what you do and look up to the way that you host interviews. Your questions are awesome.

    I'll just weigh in with my 2 cents. What if you kept all of your online content free but started a nationwide (eventually worldwide?) tour of conferences? You charge for the conferences, invite some of your friends that you've interviewed to speak, and then give workshops on hot topics (i.e. what Andrew Mayne talked about, “The 10 smartest things to do when approaching a VC”)?

    I'm pretty sure you've done live events before (not sure if you still do them, aren't you out of the country right now?) but weren't they only in the bay area? I'm studying abroad in Singapore and I go to college in upstate NY. I'd LOVE to go to an event to meet you and some of the people you interview. And the audience you have are people just like me (i.e. like what Patrick Navarro pointed out): students/entrepreneurs/developers. It would be really great to be able to network with your viewers.

    Just a thought. I've attended Web 2.0 Expo in San Fran last spring and NYC last fall, and I'm a broke college student. I would definitely find a way to pay to attend a Mixergy conference.

  • JVocell

    Hi Andrew,

    First off, I love your interviews… They have been instrumental in my taking the step to launching a company. However, I agree with what some others have said, more specifically:

    1. I think the current price is too high. I would possibly willing to pay $5 – $10 per month. However I think this could be looked at differently; why not just place a donations button on the site similar to what Leo Laporte does?

    2. If you are going to add a paywall for “premium” content, make that content different and worth it. There is no added value (in my opinion) of paying for the older interviews. If you just want more eyeballs you could periodically tweet or post messages about interviews you are trying to promote.

    Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes, this was sent using my iPhone.

  • Arno

    Why not the following:
    – All new interviews (with your sponsor messages at the start) are free, can be download, etc… to reach your goal of broadening the discussion on the interview
    – For the new interviews everyone has the option to either pay to not have the “sponsored by” part per interview or on a monthly/yearly subscription
    – For the old interviews, offer the choice on a per interview or monthly subscription scheme

    And just for kickers any bloopers that happen during the interviews can only be included in the premium section (on a more serious note I believe that the research and preparation material you do before your interviews would be worth it's weight in gold in the premium section)

  • Andrew Warner

    That $25 number came from thin air. I'll change it.

    My goal is to find ways to add more and more value so I could justify a higher price.

    But I need to start somewhere.

  • Andrew Warner

    Jon & Andrew: From what I hear, the big decision for people isn't price it's whether to take that card out of their wallets. So I don't think I'll get more rev from 1-time charges than from monthly.

    My goal is to find ways to add so much value that I people can easily justify the price.

  • Andrew Warner

    A few months ago, Seth Godin offered a few of his old videos for a price. I forget what the price was, but it was expensive. Even though all his stuff is free online and the ideas in the videos weren't new, people paid.

    I have lots of examples of that in Mixergy interviews.

    This may not work (probably won't, actually), but I it's worth a shot.

  • Andrew Warner

    Yes. That's a good suggestion. I'll try that too.

  • Andrew Warner

    To be honest, I hadn't thought of that.

    I'm not sure it's a better option, since interviewees are hot to show their programs the minute they run and once an interview gets old, the audience doesn't care.

    Still, I like your idea because it's making me think differently.

  • Andrew Warner

    Okay, you're the second comment I read here that suggested I charge for newer programs. A few of my past guests have offered to try this with me. I'm up for a test.

  • Andrew Warner

    I'm surprised that people are so resistant.

  • Daniel P

    Andrew, Like many others, I find your interviews very valuable and rewarding. Unfortunately I don't think this is a good idea. The fact of the matter is that only a very small number of users would subscribe to this payment model. I think advertising is your best bet.

  • Andrew Warner

    I think people who want my work will always come to Mixergy. I just want to give some value to others who write about my work.

  • Andrew Warner


    This is such a nice change from people who refuse to even hear this out.

    I appreciate the trust. I hope to earn your membership in the coming months.

  • Andrew Warner

    If you come here from HN, nothing will change for you. You'll still get to see/hear/download/read every interview without paying.

  • Andrew Warner

    I'm up for trying it in the near future. First I need to do it here. Good idea.

  • Andrew Warner

    I'd like to. Thanks.

  • Andrew Warner

    Isn't a book more about marketing than revenue? Especially early on in a career?

  • Andrew Warner

    It's a work in progress. I'll improve it.

    Glad you're there live!

  • Andrew Warner

    Yup. I'm happy to take the arrows for you and others who are considering this.

  • Andrew Warner

    While I'm setting this up, you can pay what you want, even if it's nothing. I said that on the reg page and I really meant it. Email me and let me know.

  • Andrew Warner

    Part of creating the premium membership was cleaning up the old posts. The guys who set it up did a bit of that. I imagine we'll need to do more in the future. Like you said, it used to a mess.

    I like the idea of workshops. I'll see what I can do.

  • Andrew Warner

    Do you read Seth Godin's blog?

    I do.

    How many of his older posts did you read last week?

    I read none of them. I bet that's pretty typical.

    We ignore old content.

    Now, if Seth said all the old content that you're not reading is going to cost money next week. Would you at least consider going through his archive and looking for value?

    I would. I'd hurry up and get as much free as I could while it was free.

    That's the idea here.

  • Andrew Warner

    I pulled that number out of thin air. Name another price and it's yours.

    For what it's worth, others who sell content online tell me that it's too low. They say find a way to add more value and charge more. You can't make any real money on $25 orders.

  • Andrew Warner

    Fair point. I hadn't considered it.

  • Andrew Warner

    Thanks! And I hope to keep earning your faith in me.

  • TaeFitz

    It's unlikely that I would pay for archives since the content isn't indexed and searchable. The interviews are great because they are organic and often go into directions that are unexpected but makes it difficult when there is a specific topic I want to learn about.

    What I would definitely pay for is a panel format on specific topics. Seems like Vokle would make this easy technology wise although coordinating multiple guests could be a nightmare. Once a week or even twice a month would be good. Just a thought.

  • shawntaylor

    I agree with Andrew Mayne – $300/yr is a barrier. iTunes style $1-2 per interview seems more natural – I may even buy 100-200 and make the $300 anyways, but at $1-2 at a time, there's so little barrier. I like the idea of free for a day or two after the interview, and then pay to play later on, both on the site itself and through iTunes download.

    Also like the idea of special content for free once in a while, for limited time – will keep people on their toes and checking your site daily to make sure they don't miss the great freebies.

  • chrismanfrank

    Of course. Your interviews are a net win for me. I've gotten ideas that I've applied to make more money and lead a better life. How could I not pay?

    People who say they can get this content anywhere…no. No one else asks questions like you. Most business interviews are like fairy tales.

    But you're doing what you love – why bother with a business model? If you're doing it to get our respect, you already have it.

    Sorry to write so much. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

  • shawntaylor

    more brainstorming… one premium interview per week free (same day every week), plus one premium archived interview for free on another set day of the week… everything else is $1-2 per download/view.

  • t_carnell

    …well I think if you give value to the videos (especially monetary value), people will simply steal them when they are free and host them on sites that have got loads of advertising.

    In a short space of time OTHER people will be making money from your videos. I think charging for content would be a risky move. But (just like on TV) if the interviewees were allowed to plug their products a bit, they may even pay you to be interviewed?

    I think these interviews are really great. If you could also get these entrepreneurs to practically give semenars/lectures, then the videos will have REAL value (universities, colleges, other startups etc). You could also, charge people to have access to download the videos in high quality and in multiple formats (audio only for example), and possibly with transcriptions.

    ah! another great idea: Simply have half the interview free (the chit chat bit), and half the interview premium – all the juice bits – you could split the money between you and the interviewee to give them an 'incentive' :-)

    You could also charge to sell CD'sDVD's of all videos etc and post them out to people. (some people may not have sufficient bandwidth to watch these videos and also may prefere to watch them on a TV for example).

  • Jon_Bishop

    I agree with your point on having to take out the card every time; anyway you can reduce friction will help you get more subscribers. I do feel though that structured lessons would be the way to go though.

  • Peter Knight

    my 2cents. It's always difficult to start charging for content that was previously free. Of course rationalizing or justifying any subscription amount is not hard, the content is valuable enough. You're not going to get an argument on that, than perhaps from people who compare it to other services like netflix and others mentioned above.

    I can't say I like the idea, it makes the site less sticky for non-subscribers.

    there are other models, like what some subscriptions models are doing, by charging for the 5th (just an example) piece of content etc. But that has other downsides.

    I'm more in favor of another comment, where the emphasis is charging for the new content. That makes more sense to me. New content is perceived of higher value. For non-subscribers they would still be getting the same content just not as quickly as people who are willing and able to pay.

    Besides, I think the 26 that did watch the older Godin interview were 26 very important people. It's so easy to get stuck in numbers only.

    Even nicer would be to publish a magazine and embedding videos inside of it, with great design and readability and targeting a paying audience who are using ipads and similar devices using a subscription model. It might be early days for embedding videos in a magazine, but it's not far out, esp with the coming rise of the ipad. I love the idea of being able to sit somewhere other than behind my desktop and take in the content like I would do a real magazine, book or newspaper.

    p.s. The older content still seems freely available if you're pulling the content from an rss reader, at least the audio is. *delete this if needed*

  • shawntaylor

    if you can set up the card on the first go, and never have to pull it out again, like in iTunes, you could get the best of both worlds. $1-2 easy purchases, pull out the card once. Also, selling them on itunes would mean not even pulling the card out once (although Apple will take their cut).

  • Joseph A. Jacks


    IMHO, I think $4.99 (good sweet spot number) per month will get you the most subscribers. Keep the option for others to pay more, if they elect to, of course.


  • Tivm

    I completely agree with Justyn. You have great content and you're on a roll, but I would either wait until you hit higher critical mass and have better opportunities to generate income from sponsors, or keep the interviews free and try monetization through pay-per-view or preroll ads. It is infinitely easier and eventually more lucrative to go with sponsors and still “move the free line” by allowing your core audience to view for free. This shouldn't stop you from writing a book or creating other side gigs for Mixergy. Why not putting on live shows or conferences where some of the great speakers come on board and are all in the same room? I would pay for THAT in a heartbeat, much more than paying for older videos that I don't have time to watch.

  • aarolove

    I wouldn't mind paying $9/month, but this is an interesting approach–but don't do a book.

    A better idea would be to patch together the gems from the best interviews into a video or set of videos into courses. They would be highly condensed and with notes and help from you in the form of workbooks, checklists, and/or coaching (via forums, webinars, etc.). CopyBlogger does a pretty good job of this.

    Examples of courses you could make off of the video content you already have:

    – How to Raise Money
    – How to Bootstrap
    – How to Generate Massive Traffic / Go Viral
    – How to Get Your First Sales
    – How to Create and Grow a Subscription site
    – How to Sell to Big Companies
    – How to Sell Your Business


    You could probably charge $100+ for these individually, even if they were purely digital. People would pay more if they were physical products.

    Or you could roll these into their own separate member's area and call it the “Mixergy Masters” or something. You could probably charge $50+ / month if you offered support and/or coaching as mentioned above (private webinars, forums, etc.) or had people you trust and handling it.

    Just some food for thought.

  • aarolove

    Add in a private, member's only webinar/QA session with Andrew or an interviewee every other week and I'm definitely sold.

  • k_

    Whatever you do, I want it to be succesful. I want Mixergy to get better.

    But look at the market and you will see a lot of companies who already tried a paywall and they shut it down because it didn't work.
    It's not because a paywall ain't a good system to make money, it used to be a very good system, but it no longer is.
    There's a lot of content online that's in direct competition with what you're doing.
    One day that may change, in fact I think it will change.
    The more publishers go for that paywall the more likely it is people will be under the impression that the illusion of scarcity in high quality content can only be overcome by paying for access.
    The right time is the day Steve Jobs yells “all aboard!”
    Lots of publishers will use the iPad, it's the model they know and Apple will fund their server and bandwidth costs.

    So, until the iPad comes along advertising IS the way forward.
    And a good alternative.

    Hold out a few more months when possible and try to reach a bigger audience first.
    See my previous post for more on that.
    There are numerous ways to do it.
    And there're numerous ways to get your sponsors to pay you more, while keeping your audience happy and your content free.
    And before you do anything to first step is to make it look more professional.
    The reason why works for me is because it's educational, it saves me a lot of time.

    Not convinced?

    Ok, ask everyone to pay whatever you had in mind, and offer them a discount of 20% and see how that works out.

    Promise them to return the money + something extra if you don't go through with it.
    That's how publishing works, you sell your audience a promise.

    I won't pay because I prefer to help the businesses that help you.
    You deliver, I deliver. That way I don't have to pay upfront.
    One more thing. It's hard to remember who those advertisers are. Now why is that ! ?

    I can feel a joke coming :-) but I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say.

  • gladrobot

    im not a fan of pay walls. But freemium can certainly work.
    1. hold premium events bi-weekly like the good ol' mixergy days in Santa Monica. These webinars would be pay based to compensate the show and your guests.
    2. Charge people in advance to ask questions. Say i offered you a $10 tip to ask jason nazar a question about scribd. You could profile that section of your interview and pick which questions are 'worth' asking.
    3. sell a highlight reel. The full video remains free but a condensed 4 minute tape is $1.99.
    4. etc. etc. etc

  • Tawheed Kader

    Andrew, I'm a huge fan of your interviews and of you. However, I don't think I'd pay to see the interviews, especially not $300 a year. HOWEVER, what I would pay for, even $300/year is for access to other people that also watch your interviews and are part of the Andrew Warner community.

    I'd assume that these are rare yet like minded people who have similar goals to me. Getting access to them through your “filter”, so that we can talk about similar things, share articles, and just be part of an active community would be something worth paying for.

  • Melvin Ram

    Yep, I expect you to charge $100/month by the end of the year.

  • Melvin Ram

    Like that idea.

  • Ade Lack

    Andrew I love your work and I am learning so much from you and your guests, your content is way better than some of the “how-to” crap I have paid for online previously. That said, something in your plan just doesn't sit right. Maybe it is the expectations your super human efforts have created for us all to hold against you? (Yes I fully appriciate the work that goes into each interview having started posting simple email Q&A myself recently.)

    Personally I'd love to see you exploring the possibilities in conferences. Can't say I know anything about profit margins in this field but having an eye on FOWA (and all the other events the team puts together) right now makes me think you could take a simular approach to Carsonified.

    I would hand over my card details and my G.Friends card details to pay hundreds of dollars to see informative talks and demonstrations by some of the awesome guys n gals you have interviewed, followed by the main event of you quizzing a top personality like Gary V on stage in front of a live audience of thousands, all toped off with workshop opportunities and more importantly an opportunity to personally meet, chat and hopefully make some connections with these dudes during a social evening (Party :))

    Now that's VALUE!!!

    As always keeping a close eye on your progress.


  • Melvin Ram

    If you would pay for those, which easily would be at least $30 for the book and $200+ for the other stuff, why would you not pay $25/month?

    I'm going to take a rough guess and say you wouldn't pay for the services you are suggesting.

  • Marc Vermut

    Andrew, first, congratulations! You have just demonstrated the strength of your audience and their interest in what you are doing with the volume of comments and conversation here.

    I'll just echo some of several comments with the packaging ideas. People will pay for convenience and time saving. So, maybe charge for access to transcripts (one-off and/or monthly), since it's easier/faster to read an interview than watch. Or, edit the biggest nuggets of wisdom from across interviews into categorized blocks and charge for that (e.g. best ideas for affiliate marketing, best ideas for staffing up, best ideas for funding). The value is people don't have to search out the “best” information.

    Oh, and This American Life uses the free for a week, pay via Audible/iTunes for archived episodes. Wonder how successful that is. The alternative is the Financial Times model of allowing a certain number of articles for free each month and then a flat subscription beyond that amount. That allows for trial from search/new viewers.

    And the courses/conferences route is more work but very viable as you grow the brand.

  • RamPrasad

    I would first like to say what a great influence you site has been on me. I am someone starting out and am working on a few ideas. To me Mixergy is my “Weekly dose of inspiration”, it keep me going during tough times. The content motivates me greatly.
    I see you are under playing the value of your content, let me say something good content is ever green, but I do understand that the numbers (stats) you are seeing do not support that. The problem might be because of the way it is organized. I do understand there is way too much information available for free, but that can be such a bane. People will sooner or later look for quality content even if they have to pay something for it. A perfect example common craft Lee & Sachi LeFever content on basic topics.

    My thought: Try to organize the content in a much better way (instead of a huge list on the right bar). Like you experiment with Titles of your post, try to better organize content under topics like SEO entrepreneurs or start-ups under 1 million. I guess you get the point.

    I think you are doing a great job and you can never make everyone happy.


  • Melvin Ram does it that way. You can also buy an all you can eat subscription.

  • egranville

    I'd pay…but how about throwing in a community of like minded (aspiring)entrepreneurs?

  • Paul

    Wishing i'd downloaded the 9 programs that I'd bookmarked for watching (I hadn't had time to watch – and a bookmarked stream sitting in the cloud *was* 10 times more powerful than a file stored on a desktop for when i find the time, but away from the home office)… shame you couldn't have given regular readers more of a heads up?

    Have just started on the self-funded-start-up route so subscribing to a monthly mixergy subscription is a luxury I can't afford, but can't afford to be without. I guess time will tell what percentage of mixergy users are looking for inspiration and success as they start out as opposed to already profiting from their success and thus able to pay the recurring fees.

    Will definately keep up with live broadcasts (as I had been starting to do – google calendar great idea btw) You'll keep a regular viewer, but until I've measured my own success I can't personally reward the overnight change in model which deservedly celebrates your own success – I'd support the addition of a pay per episode model as this would allow users to attribute a one off cost to a specific known quantity giving a lower risk-reward for those on the fence.

    30-60 second previews are worthy of consideration as these will act as a hook for users who are completely new to mixergy.

  • Girl Startup

    I wish mixergy incoroporated something like I'm in Australia, and we just don't have things like this here, we're too conservative, so although I can't travel to the US to do this, I would love an online version of

  • Adrijus Guscia

    First, off it's not bad that you want to earn money, you deserve it! But I don't like this model now. In my opinion videos should remain free and accessible to everyone! But you could charge for the exclusive stuff like you and AJ Vaynerchuk did when commenting on websites. That's what you could monetize! Let's say people who subscribe can access once a month live video with you where you and a guest analyzes their websites and help improve it. You have that expertise already with your experience and you can monetize that. Gary V doesn't monetize his business vids. But he gets speaking engagements for that! And honestly, we should be seeing you talking in those conferences too in my opinion. Or sell your consults for 1000 bucks an hour rate for select few who have enough to pay that much (there probably are). Do few of them a week and you are doing great. Or restrict live videos and comments and communication on the chat to your paying subscribers only. Others would just get the video after the editing etc.

    I probably wouldnt pay for videos. One in 20 maybe… and just a few bucks, like iTunes does with songs. But you probably wont make enough off of that.

  • Coldice4678 Aka JRameau

    Wow, this is a very smart idea and I can't wait to see it execute and how it turns out (hopefully you are transparent of those future stats).

    yeah, one of the big issue any blog has is their huge catalog of “old”content, for most sites its actually deadstock, but for Mixergy thats the complete opposite.

    I like that you are supplying the old transcripts for Free. One that will give continued SEO to those pages and for non-subscribers it will aid to see if its worth a buy.

    Plus as you stated it will make people gravitate to the current/free content, I could see myself reblogging your videos more often if I want to keep them in my safe keeping or the share.

    Adding this time constraint, will encourage so much great activity for Mixergy.

    Plus I love offering an old post for free weekly, because you have so many great interviews, but sometimes it hard to discovery them when the options seem endless. (I will not lie, I rather someone else pick what I should watch sometimes, it makes my job of picking way easier)

    I notice some earlier comments talk about price, so I guess this is still up for debate…

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  • Tim Bourquin –

    The fact there is a ton of “similar” stuff for free is THE WORST excuse out there. Tap water is free and available anywhere. Why is bottled water a billion dollar industry?

    There is a market for content no matter how much out there is free. The fact that the people who won't pay are simply the most vocal about it, does not mean that the market doesn't exist.

    People who are willing pay simply open their wallet and do so. They don't waste their time in comments telling other website owners what they should or shouldn't do with their own companies.

    They simply become customers.

  • Tim Bourquin –

    Maybe I can ask my mortgage company if I can link to them from my blog instead of sending a check next month. Hey great idea! I'm calling them right now!

  • Tim Bourquin –

    Don't sweat it Andrew. These people are simply the most vocal. People who are willing to pay just do so. They don't comment about it, they don't tell website owners what they should be doing with their own sites, they just sign up.

  • Haji S. Seesay

    It is obvious that the pay wall has generated a lot of ideas; We, as aspiring entrepreneurs and Andrew can learn from;

    I think it is a fallacy that so called 'free content' devalues ones work–case in point, gmail, Google doc, Wikipedia, etc.

    The current content space is driven by the gift economy which values recognition and reputational currency as a leveraging point, which is long term rather than instant economic gratification. Although I understand that the brother got to EAT!!

    Andrew, what you do create with your great content is a lot of credibility and reputional currency which you can use to, every now and again profit from immensely. Once you have “the ambitious upstart disciples”- hook, line and sinker, you can monetize in other ways. I am not going to repeat the various means of monetization because some of them have already been exhaustively discussed above.

    The 25.00 price point—-
    The vast majority of your audience, at least for now are struggling entrepreneurs dispersed all around the world. In some of these countries, 25.00 is the entire monthly income. One need to look no further than Haiti; I currently live in Atlanta but I am from West Africa and believe me I know it.
    I have added Mixergy to my blog-roll on my personal blog, I have referred it to many young entrepreneurs as a source of inspiration and great content–this is the kind of evangelism that mixergy needs—-I admire your work. I have come to think of you as the crusader for the under-dog….
    Haven't said that, i will pay for the content-not the 25/monthly though..i believe that with the pay-wall, those who need the information the most may not have access to it—-information ones to be be free!!!!! LOL

  • mikeytoomey

    Hi Andrew,

    I think this is a really interesting (and brave) experiment. I have to admit, my first reaction when I realized that you were charging for old interviews was negative. I felt like I've had something taken away from me. But when I'm really honest with myself, it's rare that I go back and re-listen/re-watch older interviews. And I'm more than thankful for all of the education that you've provided me, and plan to continue providing. And all for free!! That's amazing.

    Reading this post, you make some good points about creating some urgency with the interviews. And I definitely think you deserve to be paid (and paid well) for all of the informative and inspiring content that you create. But I'm not sure much will be accomplished with this. Yes, if you re-release an old interview for free I'd probably download it, but I don't know how that will help you. It's really just a hoarding mentality to get something while you can because there's a perceived value to it, but in reality, it would probably just sit in my iTunes, unlistened.

    I'm perfectly happy with your plan to keep new interviews free and downloadable and charge for old interviews. At this time, I wouldn't pay just for access to older interviews (that I've mostly already heard.) And I'd be happy not to pay and just download the mp3 of any new interview that really inspires/educates me.

    But you have knowledge and experience that I would gladly pay for. And more than $25/month. I would pull out my credit card in a heartbeat if you were to release startup how-to lessons, or an online academy, that followed case studies of new startups who shared their frustrations with the community, and you and your interviewees provided specific advice. In a recent interview for EventView, you asked Josh what he thought he could have done differently looking back. When he didn't have an answer, you suggested that he could have called 3 event promoters a day and asked them about the most frustrating parts of their jobs, all so Josh could have learned of existing problems in order to be able to sell them a solution. I think that is brilliant advice, that I plan to use in my business, and I'm sure something Josh would have loved to have heard while his company was still active. You have so much experience that you probably don't realize young entrepreneurs lack and would gladly pay you to learn.

    Ever since I started listening to your interviews, probably about 7 months ago (?), I've always been really interested in listening to you talk about the art of selling. I know you can sell ice to an Eskimo, and I would gladly pay to learn your strategies and mindset. I think that if you created an online lesson in selling for startups/web designers/consulting services you could make your $300 yearly subscription in one 4-6 lesson course. I know I'd buy it.

    What ever you decide to do, I'm very thankful for all that I've learned through this site.


  • tp

    Wow, been gone for a couple interviews… Here's my two cents on charging:
    I think that you're providing a lot of value and ought to be paid.
    I personally wouldn't pay for the interviews as described above.

    • Pandora type model with a cap on free interviews/month + ads
    • The “Primal Approach” make your audience into successes stories. not just viewers.
    Heck, maybe hit two birds with one stone. charge [maybe auction] for 1 on 1 consulting with your guest right after the interview. Both the guest and viewer are already there. The guest could get a cut, help an up-start, and market for future business. The viewer gets to speak to exactly the person they want to because they just saw your great interview ;) Andrew makes a few bucks and now has way of knowing the value of each interview and can move in the appropriate direction. – not the million dollar scalable approach but, a unique powerful one might bring more viewers. I'm less likely to share if I pay for a video.

    Again, these are just thoughts off the top of my head. I would really get the audio/video
    of the interviews nailed before I felt comfortable charging but, thats just me.

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  • Doug G

    I just don't see consumers paying for content. I am addicted to your interviews, find them immensely valuable, and can afford the subscription fee … yet I would never do it. Perhaps its a fear or rebills, or knowing there is just so much content out there. I watch Charlie Rose every night and don't pay for that.

    I do think you have developed an amazing library of content, that unlike shows like TWIT which really are only relevant when they are new, your interviews have a timeless educational quality. I think the focus should be more towards redistributing your content … or additional advertising in the middle of your interviews ? You gotta believe someone at some point someone is going to buy the whole lot.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Justyn Howard

    You've answered your own question :) You didn't read any of his old posts last week, so why make your old content your revenue source?

    Am I reading you correctly that the idea is to get people to watch the old stuff before you turn on the paywall?

    Seth has stated a few times that his blog will always be free and ad-free because he makes his money on the opportunities it creates. Was it 'Small is the New Big' that was the compilation of blog posts? I can't remember. Anyway, tons of people bought that book even though they'd already read his blog for years – and all those blog posts were still on his blog. I can't remember what my point was, but you'll find it.

    Anyway, with the sub. model I see some people paying, devouring the content, canceling the subscription and just keeping up with the new stuff. Or pay per view and then you're forced to only draw recognizable names.

    I know TV and old media are trending to extinction, but I can watch the best interviewers on television without spending a penny. It's the ads.

    Or create a community forum site that we pay for access to, plus some other goodies you think of.

    Todays web revenue models just don't fit in edutainment.

    I think there's an opportunity to find a new model here that doesn't slow your growth or turn anyone off.

    Worst case, if you decide to do the pay per view model, give away a 2nd episode free so they can see they are consistently good.

    It's late, I'm rambling. I'll try again tomorrow :)

  • Rob

    I feel that you should charge for it as long as the interviews are from successful entrepreneurs. If you don't stick to your guns, you're going to devalue it. You have something unique. One-on-one passionate, informational interviews with others that have had success and share how they did it. It's worth $20 a month easily. If you are a current viewer of Andrew's content, understand that he is sticking his head out and bringing something you couldn't do yourself. There is value in that – if you're broke, then get a job. Don't complain about being in college. The interviews here in my opinion, as well as others on here have proven that he has a loyal following willing to support him. I will.

  • Mike

    If it's what you think is best for your business, then make it happen. You've detailed your reasons and I say run with it. Every company needs to make a profit to continue and this model will allow you to increase your profits, which in my opinion, will allow you to put more resources into Mixergy, which benefits everyone!

  • Adam Teece

    I can't pay for access at this point but I think this is a great move for you Andrew. I am glad you are keeping current and certain archived ones free and the fact that the whole transcript is free is awesome. What you are putting together is definitely worth paid access.

    I kind of wish there was an alternative personally, such as advertisers or something like what This Week In Tech does. And its ok and will definitely keep recommending people to your site.

  • Adam Teece

    Sure there is a ton of free stuff out there, and have you noticed when you buy something, even if the info was the same as the free stuff suddenly your subconscious puts more value on what you paid for and you are more likely to apply what you learn.

  • Sammy

    I think this is a great idea Chris. I rather get a taste of the interview to see if its something that would interest me before i pay for a package. Maybe have like different packages. For example 10 interviews a month for a specific price , 20, 30 etc. Hope it all works out Andrew and thanks for the great interviews:)

  • James P Hart

    I haven't been able to read all the comments so apologies if this one has already been mentioned. Maybe you could try something like 37 Signals do with their Getting Real book. You can read it for free online with advertisements or you can download the book for $19 and it is advertisement free and easier to read offline because it's in PDF rather than HTML form.

    To put it in context for Mixergy, improve the ads in the free version and have a version you can pay to download that is ad free. Perhaps package them by subject, month etc. Advantage is one large download rather than having to do each interview separately.

    Andrew, you are compiling a wealth of information and maybe work out a way to repackage it into meaningful chunks that are not too cumbersome to compile and useful enough that people are willing to purchase.

  • Ravish

    If you are good at something, Never do it for free!

    Your programs are high value, but I believe $300/year is not a good price. $5/month or $50/year should be a good price point. It offers great value to customers and good revenue stream for Mixergy.

  • Ade Lack

    So been thinking about where I get the most value from your content and it is clear that the notes I take about key points made, and how these can be applied is the real value for me. However, this generally means watching an interview through twice pausing as I take notes the second time round. Can you save me this time? Hell, i'd pay for those key notes and application suggestions, tied into other interviews and suggestions would give me premium content.

    Just a thought :)

  • Aaron Davison

    Hey Andrew,
    Why don't you have one or two free interviews a week and then charge a monthly fee for people who want to access all of your interviews? It seems like a lot of people are having a hard time keeping up with your output anyway and by doing this you could separate those who are just occassional listeners with those who truly value your work. There is a lot of free crap online sure but there is only one Mixergy. Keep up the great work, you should be paid! And thanks again for that one time you talked to me on the phone for free about my business. You're very generous with your time and knowledge!


  • Coldice4678 Aka JRameau

    I agree,on a personal standpoint I like Free better than Paid. My original view was coming from a standpoint of someone that will probably not pay the hefty annual fee, so the created “scarcity” in free goods will cause me the non-paying but active viewer to be force to be more active in watching the videos quicker or just visiting the site more often to download the episode before it falls behind the paywall.

    I agree lot that this probably will hurt in bringing in new mixergy listeners. I came to Mixergy when Andrew had the Gary V interview and immediately after that I quickly watched most the remaining interviews on the frontpage. If I was confronted with a paywall on any of the videos on the frontpage, I would have probably been more hesitant on checking up Mixergy again.

    So I think this idea will work and help increase activity for people that already in the Mixergy community and understand fully whats going on, but It might have a bad side effects with bringing in new visitors.

  • hagop

    hi Andrew,
    First: THANKS – this site is SO good – what a valuable resource.
    What you do is amazing and provides such an inspiration in my life.
    I would pay a small fee to be a member of your community for a year.
    BUT I would pay way more for your advice – isnt there some way that you can harness this incredible asset you have to build a “backend” that does make you more money?
    Or is that not scalable?

  • Jing Liu

    I agree with Niyi, if it's paid you will lose a lot of people who desperately need to hear these tapes. They will not be able to afford it, even if they have the money they will not consider it because they are the type to search for other stuff which are free.

    The people you should be after are the ones who pay for seminar and tapes, build a structure like that. Create CD or DVD programs to sell, do web and physical seminars. By speaking to so many people you are an expert. Offering all the interviews for free will build you a bigger following.

    I would purchase CDs or DVD or books Andrew, especially books. Monthly subscription I'm not so sure but I love your stuff.

  • Nancy

    I didn't get a chance to read these entire comments, but if you'd like to get more hits on your older interviews, how about bringing them back as a “rerun” or “flashback” entry, with a new comment on it explaining why you brought it back or what makes it relevant or why you liked the interview so much. I think the older interviews don't get much hits because they're just way in the back. If you bring it back to the front of the page, with a new up-to-date comment, that's bound to get hits. Or put a flashback interview on the side with some highlights or arrows pointing to it so people will click on it after they see all the other interviews on the homepage.

    I concur that you have a fabulous website and are doing a tremendous service to your entrepreneurial audience. Maybe you can add a regular blog section to your website, in addition to the interviews, and add more ads? Or go a-la-itunes and charge $.99 per interview. I don't think I'd mind paying that per interview. Maybe you should take a few different polls/surveys while you're tweaking it out. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and thank you for all the work you've done on this site and sharing all that you've learned.

  • Nancy

    Egad, i'm embarrassed, you do have a regular blog section here! I must have just quickly perused it and went back to your interviews. =T

  • Melvin Ram

    Food for thought: Jason Freid said in a keynote or interview somewhere that sales of the PDF tanked to almost zero after they made the free one available.

  • anonymous

    The idea of charging only for older content is interesting, but what if you only charged for older content that had a certain amount of views. You would know it was good enough to charge for.

    Whatever you do, don't charge only for new content. People are cheap and will wait. Also, with new content, your viewers really aren't sure how informative and compelling the interview will be. They would only be buying it because they are new. You want to charge for interviews that have been established as good by hitting a certain view count. That way you have a mix of free/paid content in your older interviews.

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  • awarenessmogul

    Andrew, I think this is a bold and in many ways inspirational move. There are a lot of studies out there about how the majority of people won't pay for content and will go where it is free. This experiment allows you to tap into both of these audiences. As well, no one can begrudge you for making money- you talk about business on your site- it's logical for you to be entrepreneurial in your approach. Besides all of this, you provide value for your visitors either way. Please keep us posted on your results with this experiment.

  • Chris

    I would pay for edited content.
    E.g. “The 20 best examples how startups got the first few customers”.
    “10 examples how startups changed their direction to get to profitability.”

    This could save me a lot of time, and therefor I would consider paying for it. I'd love to hear ALL interviews, but I only have time for 1-2 hrs per week. So I try to choose the “best” ones from the comments I see. But still it sometimes can be a waste of my valuable time, if I don't hear in an interview what is most interesting for me.

    And additional thoughts: create a TV-channel (on iTunes, because it allows for “micropayments”…) about startups and entrepreneurship. With the best content on specific topics. From the best sources like Mixergy, Stanford, and so on…

  • Kevin Chiu

    I would go with ala-carte pricing. Maybe $1.99 per episode. You could also list on iTunes to broaden your audience.

  • monocat

    A change is always detrimental in any aspect, a backlash always expected. I wrote an essay about the changes that Andrew is implementing, and also wrote and edited a parody….

  • jb

    Do something like he did about 100 shows on skype then he started charging $5.95 a month as a subscription fee, then you could go and look at his previous interviews but he usually kept his last 2 or 3 free and then as the new ones came out those went into the paid subscription section .. try that no?

  • Chris

    A community (discussion-platform, library, reviews, pointers to interesting content on the web,….) for entrepreneurs is really needed, and mixergy could be it.
    Additional ideas:
    – only paying members may ask questions during interviews
    – sure there is much free content on the web, but: its very time-consuming to find. AND there is much specific content in mixergy interviews, which CANNOT be found elsewhere.

    People would pay for info, that is unique and helps.

    Mixergy could become a consulting+teaching (think MBA, Accenture,…) platform for entrepreneurs. Andrew just has to do the interviews and provide the material in a structured way, and provide the infrastructure (forums, lists of best books for specific topics, etc.).

  • Andrew Warner

    Are you still buying CD's and DVD's? I thought we all moved from atoms to bits.

  • Andrew Warner

    Antonio, what if I created blogger accounts? Anyone who regularly blogs about my work is like a reporter and could have access?

  • Andrew Warner

    To be honest, I've had the same concern. Things are growing fast hear, not just traffic, but reputation and audience support. I have to take a risk or else I'm nothing. But I have to keep being aware of your point because it's everything.

  • Andrew Warner

    People who run paid sites keep telling me that's the number. To be honest, I don't think my work deserves that now. I'll have to improve it.

  • TheZenofJen

    Hey Andrew, I only had a brief sec to read through this, but I did see one section that said that the old content always under performs the new content. I remember a Tim Ferris Interview where he stated that because of people's desires for “freshest, newest, etc.” that he did split tests and he took off the dates of his posts. In fact, if you visit his site right now, you still can't find dates. I remember being irritated by it at first, and then I heard his interview and thought, Tim you crafty bastard ;) All that being said, I certainly think there are creative ways for you to monetize this website, and rightfully so. If a stroke of genius occurs to me, I will certainly share my insights. But there is at least one way to reposition(?) your content to eliminate the “freshness” factor. I also think that having a skilled copywriter think Copyblogger who can write “magnetic headlines” might help drive more views to certain interviews. I for one will always be back for the priceless (truly at this point on many levels ;) info you provide here. You definitely have kharma coming back at you brother that's for sure!

  • Jing Liu

    I don't but for your stuff I would!!! J/K, like someone else said giving people physical stuff creates a sense of value. A lot of online software still show picture of digital image of a software box when showing their product.

  • Aaron Wulf


    I think you provide something unique and incredibly valuable on your site. There's no doubt about it. And I know that some people may overlook your older content, but I love it. I often don't go for the NEW stuff because I know it's new; there's so much to catch up on with the older stuff.

    But I did mention to you a few weeks ago that you deserve to make money off your hard work. I think it's going to obviously require some testing – and input from your viewers (with regards to what people will pay for). But whatever way you go, go strong. The right people will follow. You're a great leader with content that's second to none.

    Take care,

  • kulpreet singh

    I think the best monetization strategies for Mixergy are:
    – Business / Tech school course lesson plans
    – Edit all of the transcripts, organize them in chapters and make it into a book, or two
    – Members pay for access to 1) extra 5-10 minutes post-interview with a core “action plan” summary of the interview, 2) a members-only section of the forum you're creating, 3) free member-only giveaways of books, videos, course by your interviewees, 4) member-only discounts to events hosted by your interviewees

  • Andrew Warner

    Thanks. Tim said that on Mixergy? Great observation. I forgot.

    And I really do need to work on better headlines.

    Sent from my mobile

    El Feb 26, 2010, a las 12:25 AM, “Disqus” <
    > escribió:

  • Matthew Closson

    For anyone who is going to take the information provided seriously and make an effort to go out and apply it to their own business ideas, the $25 per month is well worth the information provided. I would also seriously enjoy any future kind of in depth coaching type of premium services. Your interviews are of great value and I will continue to recommend mixergy to all of my enterprising friends, regardless of it being a paid site or not. Also the stats on your content views are appreciated. I just signed up for premium.

  • dennisgorelik

    1) I don't think that strategy of teasing with free promotions would work good in the long run.
    2) Currently you are trying to charge not only for access to old interviews, but also for access to 1-2 weeks old interviews, which are not old at all…
    That would inevitably slow down Mixergy growth.
    3) It's ok to charge for some services, but charging for basic access to your interviews would not work out well. Newspapers proved it over and over again.

  • Jeez!

    The fact that you've compared Mixergy to WSJ & Netflix tells me all the knowledge you have on simple business concepts. Do you really want to compare the audience on Netflix & WSJ to Mixergy?

  • billflowers

    Andrew, giving away full interviews for a week while they're fresh completely defeats the purpose of charging. If, as you say, people don't value old content and they prefer free to paid, they have no motivation to subscribe to the “old” stuff when the new, “better” stuff is free.

    Also, instituting a free access grace period for new interviews incents people to download them whether they intend to watch them or not, for risk of losing access to a potentially great one. The net result will be increased downloads as all your viewers grab everything you release rather than browsing and watching just the ones that capture their interest. Your bandwidth-per-visitor ratio will go way up and you lose the ability to track actual views since all you will see is downloads (and everything will be automatically downloaded). Your proposed system presents zero friction to slow this down.

    I know you're trying to do the “right” thing and not piss off the people who have been your loyal viewers and evangelizers. Let me suggest something that's sure to draw some fire: Pick a half-dozen or so “starter pack” interviews that give new listeners/watchers a sense of the quality and value. Charge a subscription for everything without the grace period of free access. Instead, give away 10-minute excerpts of all interviews and only give subscribers to access the full length versions.

    If you want to keep the current viewers happy, have everyone create a member account right now. Grandfather them in for a year of free access. Let them invite new members in for a free one-month trial.

    As for pricing, I value your content, but not yet at $300/year. I'm feeling like about $99/year is what I want to pay. Also, I prefer an annual–manual–payment over a monthly payment even if (especially if) my credit card info is kept on file and automatically charged.

    For a value comparison, if I give an extra $16/month (about $200/year) to Dish Network I gain access to many more hours of original content in the form of HBO (or Starz or Cinemax or Showtime…). People can argue that it's not a fair comparison, but it's the decision I face balancing the family budget. HBO or Mixergy? NY Times or Mixergy? Technology Review or Mixergy?

    Thanks for what you do. Sure there's stuff out there on the web, but you have a gift for asking great questions and not letting people gloss over issues.

  • Giang Biscan

    It has taken a while for me to leave a comment on this topic. It's because I feel that my opinion may be seen as biased and subjective – Andrew is a good friend and I am a huge fan of his work. Nevertheless, here it is: I absolutely believe that he creates so much value and that he should pursue his plan to directly monetize the content.

    There is so much of information today on the internet, and much of it is noise, not so much signal. Advertising revenue model rewards traffic, which is a result of SEO, promotion, spamming, refuting someone else's work, using ghost writers, etc. Direct revenue, on the other hand, is a true measure of the content quality. So there is no better validation for his work than having good direct revenue from the content.

    It costs easily $10 for a day of parking, $300+ for a speeding ticket, $2 for a bottle of water, yet $25 is too much for 20+ hours worth of in depth interviews of 20+ legendary people in business? This is why I think the majority of the objecting comments here do not make sense.

    Some people suggested that Andrew organize events, do consulting, sell books, CDs etc. then charge for those instead. They may not know that Andrew spent years in LA, organizing events. Andrew and I organized events together and separately, so we both know this: Events are not scalable and events are really more about networking than about generating revenue. Even when you do charge for events, the majority of it goes into venue, food, logistics. It is a brick & mortal business.

    Aren't we all in online business because it is capital efficient and scalable? Doing events, consulting, sell books, CDs… would be moving in the opposite direction than what Andrew is trying to pursue. Yes, he could/should do events, books, CDs… but only if they are a part of his marketing/branding campaign, enhancing community engagement, etc. but not so much for revenue generation.

  • Antonio Centeno

    Andrew – that sounds like a reasonable solution. Although some may feel they can’t be totally objective about what they say as that technically they are being sponsored, but you are providing a way to have premium access for time & effort instead of dollars. As you know, you can't please everyone.

    Thanks for responding!

  • Antonio Centeno

    Tim – I know you meant this as a joke, but why not?

    Yea, I’m sure your 100,000 person mortgage company probably couldn’t authorize or wouldn’t try to value the power of your links, but there is a value there and if you could work out a three way deal (your mortgage 1K, perceived value of your link 2K by third party) you could have the third party handle your mortgage for a win-win situation in which value was created.

  • nikiscevak

    You might also want to check out MarketingSherpa (a kind of similar site) that does exactly this.

  • Tim Bourquin –

    Because the world doesn't run on attention Antonio. It runs on real currency. At some point real dollars need to change hands – that's how real bills get paid.

    Let me know when you open up a mortgage company that gets paid in links and attention – I'll be the first to apply. Until then, I don't think anyone has figured out how to make the numbers work. They tried back in the late 90's when everyone wanted eyeballs for their startups and said they would figure out how to make money later.

    We all know how that ended.

    This entire discussion reminds me of a joke that came out of that era. “We're losing a buck a sale, but we're going to make it up on volume!”

  • Tim Bourquin –

    Actually Antonio, I'm surprised you're suggesting Andrew's hard work be paid with links. You have an excellent custom clothing suit website. Would you be able to make living if popular bloggers paid for clothing with links? Even if it did bring you extra traffic, at some point buyers need to pay for your materials and tailoring with real dollars.

    Content does have overhead costs, even if it isn't in the same type of raw materials manufacturers need to buy to produce the products they sell.

  • Mister Mo

    Two ideas that could help clarify your biz model:

    1) It's difficult to get people to pay for something once it was originally given away as free.

    It's far easier to charge and get people to pay for a new section / function to your website — like an eBook, XML data feed, job board catering to start-ups, or an events submission section catering to start-up-related events (in flat-fee or auction-based fee format — See how SocialOomph makes auction-based money from their Twitter service:

    2) I personally respect websites that advertise — as long as it doesn't cripple the website, my browser, or my computer (no pop-ups, adware, etc).

    It shows they are not afraid to make money (especially if they're not already selling a product on-site) and have a long-term plan for their site. I think I would respect Wikipedia even more than I do now if they just advertised instead of surviving off of donations, but they must have their reasons (probably since it's community-powered), thus, can't knock them for that

  • Antonio Centeno

    Guest & Tim – I see your points. And you are right that some real currency needs to be exchanged. My point was only that there should be another avenue to pay for the service for thise not living in a wealthy country or for a person who has more time than money. As to paying for clothing with links…..I do this every time I give away a garment for a review. So far these have been good exchanges… goods and efforts for their links and helping spread the word concerning my company!

    Thank you gentlemen for the stimulating conversation and feel free to call me to continue it!

    Best regards – Antonio

  • Jayce Broda

    I am proof that your point is not entirely true. I found you through Yaro, but then watched dozens of archived interviews that applied to me and what I do.

    I would happily pay for selective interviews. Allow me to control where I can consume it of-course, so iTunes alone is not enough. Weather current or archived I would pay a couple of dollars to listen to Seth Godin, Gary V, etc. Keep improving the production value, (which you are) and keep the quality focused question and I will not only will I pay, I will bring others.

    Thanks for all you do Andrew!

  • Jayce Broda

    Quality interviews have a longer shelf life than blog post. Online video is it's own beast.

    These comments/dialogue is as valuable/if not more than your videos. Great stuff!

  • Daniel Meade

    Tim, that response was a little rude don't you think? The title of this post clearly asks the question “What do you think?” to the readers of Mixergy, and so Patrick was merely giving his opinion (as asked for) and was not wasting time, nor was he “telling” Andrew what he should or shouldn't be doing.

    I see that you have recently been interviewed on Mixergy yourself, and so that must mean you are someone that should be listened to because the sites readers could benefit from what you have to say. Don't you think therefore, that you should be doing what you can to build and avoid damaging your personal brand? Comments like the one above suggest otherwise.

  • Tim Bourquin –

    When someone suggests Andrew's content and hard work isn't worth anymore than everything else online – that's rude. I'm simply pointing out he's wrong.

  • Ryan

    Andrew, my team has run into a very similar problem with out site where we offer tons of free content with tremendous value. Not saying this solution will work for you but this is what we are in the process of launching.

    We found a streaming partner and are offering more of a school type streaming service which is paid for with a monthly subscription or one off per lesson charge. We now have a tiered freemium model with a ton of great free content, and new gated paid content for those who are more serious about the subject and willing to invest into their development.

    We plan to continue to roll out free content on our regular schedule (which is much less intense than your schedule).

    I can see a similar thing working out for you where you keep the interviews free, and offer seminar and Q&A live streams (which are recorded and archived in a gated paid section) with your top guests. Essentially creating a FOWA conference type service online. Your guests will get paid either a percentage or flat rate so they win, you win because you get paid as well and have a scalable business model for live video, your audience wins because they get to a more in depth lessons with Q&A and interaction time with these speakers.

    We haven't launched our service yet so I can't say for sure this will work, but I will let you know if it does. I can tell you that I would pay for that service if you offered it.

    Just my $.02

  • Melvin Ram

    Oops, didn't mean to like this. I was trying to hit reply.

    I don't understand why everyone keeps suggesting creating additional stuff and then they'll buy. Why not pay for that Andrew is already offering? Isn't it worth it?

    In the 20 or so interviews that Andrew publishes per month, don't you think you think you'll get at least 3 solid ideas that will make you at least $100 – $1000?

  • Ryan

    lol, I'll take the 'like it' Melvin. I agree, if Andrew were to start charging for access to archives, I would have no problem with it. I was just giving a suggestion that may generate more takers than a subscription to archive service.

    Monetizing content is always tricky. There are some drawbacks from the concept of paying for stuff you could once get for free. It's a much harder sell. If the goal is to generate as much income as possible, I think (and will find out soon enough for my own website) that there is more potential revenue in the freemium model as opposed to gated access to previously free content.

    My comment was in no way meant to devalue Andrews content. We all know its awesome and people should be paying for it.

  • lxmorj

    I think there is a revenue model outside of advertising that will work for you, the problem is finding one that doesn't alienate the massive following you have. I think cutting the services you offer for free to basic video, and having a premium subscription service is the way to go. The premium group can have access to things like HD video, high quality audio downloads, transcripts, occasional exclusive content, and perhaps access to weekly uStream Q&A where people can ask you specific questions about previous interviews, or ask your advice. This will allow everyone to access your interviews, but provide some convenience and value-add for the premium users. I am new to your site (2 hrs) but would certainly consider $10 a month for added access, more for access to group Q&A's depending on the size and quality of the group. Throw in a $150 (or something higher, idk) level for 30 minutes a month 1-on-1 time and you've got yourself a decent plan.

  • Casey Allen

    Tim discussed it in this 20 minute presentation at WordCamp (not on his Mixergy interview):

    It's a phenomenal presentation for any content creator.

  • prashantsachdev

    Andrew, good to see that you are trying some ways to charge for this awesome repository of content you create on daily basis!

    As videos on mixergy are not like typical educational courses that people are firm to enroll into and learn (as found on,, nor they are like typical premium entertainment content, the subscription model might not work as-is.

    I like the concept of keeping the newer videos free for a week – this ensure you don't harm your current free model (supported with advertisements) and charging for the older ones – you get a chance to earn nor are you loosing much on views for those content.

    It would be good for you to add following things –

    – Keep the particular video available for free for all those who watch it completely – “Live” or within 24 hours. This will ensure more traffic for your latest videos

    – For older videos, have some part of video or clips to be played for free and charge only for watching full videos.

  • Andrew Warner

    Thanks. I've been using your suggestions.

  • Andrew Warner

    Thanks. I've been using your suggestions.