We just finished producing the first seminar in a six part series called Finance for Media Professionals.
We invited 15 people into our NYC studio @ $50 per person. We filmed the event with the intention of packaging the seminar as an online video course with online access to the professor, an American Management Association finance instructor.
We’re more interested in selling the online product than putting butts in seats in our studio. The purpose of the in-studio audience was to give the seminar a sense of interaction between the instructor and real people.
Now it’s time to figure out how to price the product.
Our mission is to help people learn topics that have concrete value that they can immediately apply to their job. This applies to the Naked Media WebTV series we produce (interviews with thought leaders on a variety of media industry topics), and to the courses we produce.
We pick topics that we believe would be of value to people and are currently not served by what is currently out there.
Obviously, we have to price the course at a level that allows us to recoup our costs and make some money. The goal is to turn the online video courses into a sustainable business.
Below are some rough numbers. Our per course costs are about $15,000 when you add up production, marketing and distribution costs.
We’re creating content of real value that is costing us real money to produce, market and distribute.
So now the question is, “what to charge?”
To determine pricing, we asked the in-studio audience to fill out a survey, which included questions such as:
- How much would you pay for a video of this seminar?
- How much would you pay to subscribe to a series of 6 videos (5 additional seminars)?
- Would you like to attend or buy a video of subsequent sessions on finance?
The general consensus was that people enjoyed the seminar, found it extremely valuable, would pay between $149 – $179 to purchase a video and about $500 to purchase a series of 6 three hour videos.
I just did a search and actually found a similar course from IME (The US arm of IESE) for $4,300. It is a 3 day, in-person course, which adds up to about 18-21 course hours. Our six part series will run about 18 hours.
So the value we provide, no matter what the price point we’re considering, is enormous. The cost to those who purchase the course is well below comparable courses.
One issue we’re grappling with is the argument that if you price something low, people perceive it as having minimal value and if you price it high they perceive it as being of high value.
How do we price it at a level that is consistent with our mission to bring quality, valuable content to people at an affordable price without them perceiving it as being of minimal value?
One solution is to create a promotional video that includes teaser footage from the event, an interview with the instructor on the challenges media professionals face when trying to win budget approval for their projects, and testimonials from the in-studio audience, which was composed of film & television producers, Advertising agency professionals and publishing executives, among others.
Our current consensus is to charge $99 for an individual course and $295 for the six pack.
We will create a companion social media site for the course where students can interact with each other and the instructor and participate in monthly live video webcast office hours with the instructor.
So we’re most interested in selling at a lower price so we have a larger community on the social media site.
I’d love to hear from others. How would you price this product?