Ayende @ Rahien

Refunds available at head office

Paying for Hibenrating Rhinos

I have been producing the Hibernating Rhinos screen casts for over a year now, and so far, I have offered them free of charge.

Estimated cost of producing a single screen cast is 3,500$ - 10,000$ each, considering the amount of planning, recording & editing that goes into them.

I am thinking about making the new episodes available for a fee, something in the 10$ - 25$ range.

I would like your opinions in this matter,

~ Ayende

Comments

Mike Breen
04/13/2008 12:59 PM by
Mike Breen

peepcode.com has been successful charging $9 for Rails videos. The site also offers deals on packs of credits and recently added an unlimited subscription.

John Chapman
04/13/2008 01:41 PM by
John Chapman

Ayende,

I really do enjoy your hibernating rhinos series, but honestly I would not pay a fee to download them. I realize that these videos take a lot of work to create and that the storage and bandwidth costs can be very high, but I also think that if you started charging fees your viewers would go way down. I do think that people would still purchase them, but I would guess it would only be 10-25% of the original audience.

This is your content though, and you're free to do what you want. In fact 10% of your current audience would probably net you a pretty nice pay. Financially I bet it would work out for you, but is that what you're really looking for?

Have you investigated potentially finding a sponsor for the series? Perhaps that would be a way to make the series fiscally responsible for yourself, while also reaching as many people as possible.

You have been a huge asset to the entire community. And honestly if you started adding up all of the hours you spend answering peoples questions about different topics, NHibernate, Castle, etc. I'm sure the rest of the time you spend helping the community for free would add up to a far larger number than the amount that these videos cost.

How do you determine what should be free, and what should come with a fee? Maybe the real question is just why do you produce those videos?

hammett
04/13/2008 02:18 PM by
hammett

That's the usual clash of OSS/community and paying the bills, and generally people don't understand this, especially developers.

I'd say go for it, but there are better ways if you read more about OSS and developers mind set.

c.sokun
04/13/2008 02:30 PM by
c.sokun

i agree even i don't make a big some of money but i would like to show my appreciation to all the great works

Nathan
04/13/2008 02:46 PM by
Nathan

Ayende,

There is nothing wrong with charging for screencasts, but I think your price could be much lower if you simply used bittorrent as your distribution channel like on the last hibernating rhinos.

I'd rather pay a bit than have you sell out to sponsors btw.

Benny Thomas
04/13/2008 02:53 PM by
Benny Thomas

The problem tend to be that in a free world, nobody wants to pay, even when you do as good work as you.

I would go for a sponsor, because the video would soon be picked up by the torrentcommunity and your earnings would be minimal.

Cláudio Figueiredo
04/13/2008 03:30 PM by
Cláudio Figueiredo

I've spent sometime thinking of it, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

I'm willing to pay (could I get an yearly subscription for $25?) for the new one's, but you could make some exception. You'll won't need to pay if:

  • If you contribute with code for any Rhino project.

  • If you contribute with code for an related (Castle?) O.S Project

  • If you fix a Bug (Cool!) you get a Ticket to one free download.

  • If your company sponsor some of Rhino projects.

etc.

This could be a fairier model, and even if no cash is received, the payment could be indirectly higher.

Regards,

Dimitar E Dimitrov
04/13/2008 03:33 PM by
Dimitar E Dimitrov

Being the huge fan of everything that comes from Ayende Rahien be it code, blog posts, etc. I have to admit, that I haven't watched any of the videos. I just don't have the time for this - I certainly can't watch them at work and at home I have better things to do.

To me a good article with code samples is a lot more valuable than a video: I can scan quickly through it, read it in detail if I want or just grab a piece of code and add it to my collection. A video doesn't give these possibilities - you have to watch it all to get the value of it.

I would pay for a article, that comes from you, but not for a video - I can afford the money but note the time it takes to watch it.

Adam Wolf
04/13/2008 03:35 PM by
Adam Wolf

Ayende, I can only imagine how much work goes into one of your screen cast, and I for one do enjoy them. I know you and Udi are looking for ways to monetize your work and you do deserve some monetary compensation in addition to the appreciation from the community. Community appreciation does not pay the bills. I might be in the minority, but I would rather you put your effort into large topics like your last screen cast and develop them into secure password protected, traceable , PDF files complete with code. I am guessing most of the work in producing the screen casts is in the recording phase.

You and others should create an Q’Reilly Safari type subscription based content selling site. O’Reilly Safari allows me to download single chapters of the books that I have in my current bookshelf. I pay a subscription for the service and get 5 download credits a month, that I can use at my discretion and I have the ability to purchase more.

Just a thought

Mike Breen
04/13/2008 03:44 PM by
Mike Breen

Benny Thomas: I don't think that's entirely true, that's why I referenced peepcode. People will pay for quality, which Ayende delivers.

Chris Carter
04/13/2008 04:11 PM by
Chris Carter

I recently signed up for peepcode to help in my quest to learn ROR. I vote for that route.

It's funny, the ones who won't pay don't realize how much time(free time or time they're billing to a customer) they waste trying to learn stuff when they could spend a small amount to get everything they need in a VERY short amount of time with a screencast or something similar.

Sometimes I don't have time to hit up google or forums and sometime I don't want to spend time to RTFM. I just want the answer to my problem now, not after a couple of hours of searching.

Which brings up another option. Have you considered offering your services at some hourly rate? Paypal or google checkout or something. Round to the quarter hour. I dunno, lots of options.

Desktop sharing with free tools is pretty good these days, it would be worth it to me as a consulting developer to pay you to show me how to do whatever i'm stuck on in 15 minutes, rather spin my wheels trolling manuals, forums, and blogs to figure out something. Just a thought.

Peter Mounce
04/13/2008 04:31 PM by
Peter Mounce

How about if I set you up an internet TV channel on my company's platform to stream them? I cannot promise that it wouldn't eventually need to charge for them (I'm supposed to be entitled to use the system I help write for no charge...) if bandwidth/storage got past a certain (unspecified!) limit. If it became necessary to charge somehow, then I expect my company would want a cut, at which point we'd need to involve people other than me; give me an idea of traffic and bandwidth requirements?

You'd need to encode the videos to a format we support streaming with - currently WMV, later whatever our chosen Flash player will support.

You'd need to settle for using a standard templated player skin as opposed to a custom build (unless you wanted to make a custom build!).

Drop me a line, if you like. I offered the same to ALT-NET UK, but AFAIK the videos were not filmed. While I'm here, do people think there would be interest in an eduction-channel kind of thing for this sort of thing, conferences recordings, etc?

Vladan Strigo
04/13/2008 04:38 PM by
Vladan Strigo

Bill it!

Come on guys, your not watching his screencasts because they are free, but because they have quality content. If that means that you need to pay some symbolic price for them... why not.

Only one thing in that case... I would like to see more episodes :)

Btw. I am in Seattle on MVP summit, hope we meet here!

--

Vladan

Kevin
04/13/2008 05:54 PM by
Kevin

I value everything from you - blogs, code, videos, etc.

Please arrange a better business model, (free hosting, ad, sponsorship, etc) to

  1. keep content free for fellow developers

  2. get financial rewards for your time and quality work

I believe that money is not your motivation of hard work, and I believe you deserve financial rewards as well.

IMHO, you are a great asset and are rooted in .NET developers community.

Keep the reach and get rich :-) - that's my wish to you.

Kevin

Torkel
04/13/2008 07:44 PM by
Torkel

I think a sponsor is a great idea, like hanselman finances his podcast series.

Philip Løventoft
04/13/2008 08:10 PM by
Philip Løventoft

First I think you are really doing a great job to the community. I have (sadly) not yet gotten around to watching the videos, but I think that paying would realistically be too big a barrier, to people like me, for us to start watching the show. Maybe sponsors would be a better way to go e.g. something like the Hak5 people.

Keep up the good work!

Steve Bohlen
04/13/2008 08:16 PM by
Steve Bohlen

As someone who frequently records screencasts for our own developer's to review on new technologies, techniques, et. al. I have a pretty good understanding of the work that goes into recording such a thing and so am (innherently) sympathetic to your desire to get at least marginal remuneration for your efforts (time) and your costs (bandwidth).

But, do (seriously) consider this...

As soon as you charge for something, the 'quality' bar gets inherently raised (and not insignificantly). When this work is a free screencast hiccups, restarts, and lack of impressive professional polish are all completely acceptable (not that there are MANY in your screencasts, but just as in mine that are largely informal, they are indeed there). For free, I'll accept these, but my threshold for acceptance gets narrower for something I am paying for. Perhaps unfair, but I think its true none-the-less.

As soon as you start to charge for these, they become a PRODUCT rather than a free offereing to the community that it can take or leave as it sees fit. Its unreasonable to expect that this represents a change with no impact on your effort needed to produce a PRODUCT compared to your present efforts to produce a series of informal videos that contain info that would otherwise probably just find their way into more complex blog posts.

I understand the challenges of the bandwidth issue (and your discovery that offering something for free to others often costs the creator actual concrete $$$), but before you make such a change and charge for these, consider that this is a change that will impact YOU as the creator of the content and not just people like me as a CONSUMER of the content.

FWIW, I might pay for the content downloads if you started to charge, but I would sure start to need some way to assess IN ADVANCE whether such a charge would be worth my while on an episode-by-episode basis as some of your content is already old-hat for me while others of it is quite illuminating -- if costs are involved, I would need some way to distinguish the former from the latter BEFORE paying of course.

Nothing is simple, right ....? :)

Joe
04/13/2008 09:12 PM by
Joe

If all other factors such as quality, length, content stay the same, I might go for something in the $5 to $15 range. At the $25 level, I'd be looking for something a little more polished.

However, given the amount that I've learned from you, and the number of my questions you've answered on a dozen message boards I'd probably feel obligated at any level. (would prefer a telerik ad every 5 minutes, though.)

Gauthier Segay
04/13/2008 09:22 PM by
Gauthier Segay

Since then, they became Charging Rhinos ;)

Alex Simkin
04/13/2008 11:23 PM by
Alex Simkin

"... 10,000$ each"

Wow! That is the spirit...!

Brendan
04/13/2008 11:36 PM by
Brendan

Just a thought, maybe you could somehow get sponsors to pay you for advertising at the beginning/end of an episode...

Steven Burman
04/14/2008 12:20 AM by
Steven Burman

I would think that charging for video (whilst merited) would have a couple of issues.

  1. When people pay money their expectation of quality increases. This means a much lower tolerance for mistakes, poor video quality, poor audio production etc. I could see the cost of production going up enormously.

  2. Surely video sharing is too prevalent to ignore. As mentioned earlier it would be surprising if this tech-savvy segment of consumers didn't have a torrent tracker up within hours of a show being released. This would be frustrating for yourself and those who do actually pay.

Could the free silverlight streaming cover the bandwidth of the screencasts? Is silverlight quality good enough for a code based screencast?

I am currently the registered owner of the tutetube.com domain as I always saw a niche for tutorial based screencasts. I have done nothing with the domain in 2 years however and I could happily donate it to this cause if anyone cared.

It could be set up pretty quickly for silverlight hosting (using something like Video.Show from Vertigo).

typeof.net
04/14/2008 01:15 AM by
typeof.net

I agree with Dimitar. I'm simply enjoying each article/code you publish, but I've never seen screencast, because I simply don't have time for this and it's uncomfortable for me.

I'll be glad to pay you for articles/blog series etc, but I doubt I will ever see any of screencast/videos as I don't like 'developers'/code screencasts in general.

For example - for me it would be great to read and pay for some articles/series about Monorail (NVelocity, advanced concepts, Monorail vs MS MVC etc..).

I know I will pay&read them if they will be published as article, but I simply know I will never see them published as video.

Just my personal preference..

Aaron
04/14/2008 03:35 AM by
Aaron

$10,000!!! WOW!

Krzysztof Koźmic
04/14/2008 05:38 AM by
Krzysztof Koźmic

As for storage and bandwidth, you could use screencast hosting service, like freescreencasts.com, or something like that.

On the topic of production, no offence, but isn't that how OSS works, that you do valuable job not to get paid for it, but for the community?

Anyway I understand your points, but there are other ways around it. I would not pay, but it's just me.

jack
04/14/2008 06:08 AM by
jack

well, i do think you are just making the wrong decision...

Darius Damalakas
04/14/2008 06:27 AM by
Darius Damalakas

I would be dissapointed.

My counter-offerings would be to:

1 Try finding some sponsors.

2 As you have a big audience, you could Include sponsor ads ito clips.

3 Make available two choices in the same page, so that people would download and then donate to you.

My personal preference would be third option. This would allow use to wathc your clips freely, and later pay / donate, when we have enough monetary capacity.

joak
04/14/2008 07:05 AM by
joak

It's funny how people think that a sponsor can maintain something free.

Because a sponsor has to make money anyway by uprising the prices of its products... It is indirect but it is real.

If Ayende is sponsored by J.Doe, each product sold by J.Doe over the world will rise a little and every consumer of J.Doe will pay for Ayende even if he doesn't know Ayende, which is not fair.

Advertisment and Sponsoring are indirect rising of prices, and, in another point of view, the one of Ayende, it is always better to be independant

Robert Vukovic
04/14/2008 07:15 AM by
Robert Vukovic

Maybe you should consider donating? Author of the Paint.NET (http://www.getpaint.net/) has some nice blog posts about earning money from a program and web site. I think you could do the same.

Grimace of Despair
04/14/2008 07:28 AM by
Grimace of Despair

I think sponsoring is bad in this respect. In the short term, it will probably generate some money, but in the long run you will no doubt run into the question whether some content is acceptable for your sponsor or not. From the moment that thought passes for even the slightest second, you lose the independence you have now.

I mean: imagine you being extatic about Resharper and make it a big sponsor. Then, sometime in the future, another product becomes much more succesful and Resharper is beginning to suck. Even without Resharper sucking, the audience will always be suspicious whether Resharper related posts report genuine feelings.

To go on-topic: I think it's a pity when you are gonna need to charge for the screencasts and that your audience for them will shrink factor 10. But otoh, economics dictate there's no such thing as free beer. I'll probably convince my employer to buy them.

To conclude: I also agree with Steve Burman that the very moment a charge is involved, there'll also be some minimum quality requirements that might just crank up the production cost.

Henning Kilset
04/14/2008 08:26 AM by
Henning Kilset

I'd go for the pay-route. Simply put, your screencasts are INCREDBLY useful. However, how one of them can cost upwards of $10.000 dollars to produce is a little bit beyond me :)

Distribution pays a big role in this, I guess. As others have said, stick to torrent for distribution, and seed them to begin with on the webserver or something.

I've also enjoyed PeepCode in the past, and I think the price there is what you should aim for. Be careful about going way over $10. Ten bucks is such a small amount that many will just pull out their card without even thinking about it - anything above that and it feels like real money :)

Howard van Rooijen
04/14/2008 08:41 AM by
Howard van Rooijen

I think the sponsorship route could work - but you'd have to carefully pick the sponsor - last week I posted a comment on the JetBrains blog post - http://blogs.jetbrains.com/dotnet/2008/04/feedback-wanted - saying that they should ask Oren to do a series of Resharper based screencasts - he's a total Resharper Jedi Master and I would love to be able to see what Resharper features he's actually doing when he does some of the amazing refactoring you see as part of the Hibernating Rhinos screencasts.

Seriously - there has to be some synergy there?

Also if Scott Hanselman and Carl Franklin manage to get their podcast content hosted on Microsoft Downloads - would it be possible for Microsoft to do the same for community content?

Otherwise what about using Silverlight Streaming? You get 10GB of space and 5TB of bandwidth a month - would that be enough?!?

knocte
04/14/2008 09:00 AM by
knocte

Creating a fee will automatically make the people think the thing they're paying is worth. They don't want to pay for something, see it, and then realise they didn't like it.

Then I agree with Darius Damalakas, you should put a donation page, and remind the people in the video that they have to give support if they liked the video (in order to get more).

If you suspect that even with this type of model, you're cost is not being refunded because many people will download the video and later not pay, then:

  • Consider stop doing the videos or put less effort on them, as you don't get a rewarding audience (or maybe the audience is just not liking the video).

  • Consider again the donation model, but with a download fee which is almost a joke (5$) for anybody to realise that they have thrown the money to the rubbish if they didn't like the video.

Regards.

morcs
04/14/2008 09:08 AM by
morcs

I'd be more than happy to pay for a release version of Rhino Tools, and for that revenue to go towards screencasts etc. That way others would be able to get the screencasts for free which would hopefully encourage them to buy Rhino Tools as well.

I appreciate though that this might not fit in with your ethos.

Bruno
04/14/2008 12:42 PM by
Bruno

I appreciate your blog, your knowledge and your work, but I don´t like technical videos, I´d pay for text, searchable hypertext. When we write the message is more accurate and complete and the reader can imagine in a deeper way, the reader has time to figure out it´s own scenario and think about the subject in his own reality. I believe it´s better, because we have time to think, time to re-read a paragraph and we can search and extract portions that we like from it. Videos can be useful, but they are a monologue.

Bruno
04/14/2008 12:56 PM by
Bruno

Ayende, I´d like to pay a good money for a pragmatic software architecture book written by some developer like you.

Jan Limpens
04/14/2008 01:25 PM by
Jan Limpens

How about make a donation counter with a predefined target amount, show the lacking amount and produce the next part only once that target has been reached?

I think, living in Brazil, asking 25USD, is a quite bit too much, I am sure my European colleges have a different view on this. I'd go for micro payment and hope that many people would pay little, rather than a few pay a lot.

Students and hobbyists might also be interested in your screen casts, but I don't see them paying 10-25USD, as well.

Demis
04/14/2008 03:23 PM by
Demis

As a developer I really appreciate you're style and approach to development and believe I have gained a lot of benefit and insight on just your blog alone. Having said that I still don't think I would pay per download of any one specific digital content. Although I reckon I would purchase a book if you wrote one on pragmatic development. Otherwise I think your most effective model would be to offer a subscription model say ($25-$50 per year) to access premium content like your screencasts - even if I didn't watch your screencasts I would still pay just on the efforts you dedicate to your blog alone.

Slava
04/14/2008 05:03 PM by
Slava

if you're going to charge for videos people would expect certain level of quality...

maybe it's easier to offer videos for free, but offer people to donate on the download page? each viewer can pitch in if they have resources and find the video of value. at the same time there's no pressure.

you can also start make blog / downloads ads-driven (offer premium account for people who don't want ads?), but that's more work.

another option, mentioned previously, is to look for a sponsor.

joe
04/14/2008 06:05 PM by
joe

@joak -- That's a strange interpretation of economics and the fundamental concepts of trade. I'm not sitting in a fancy window office overlooking Madison avenue with my feet propped up on the back of a young intern, but I'm pretty sure that the point of advertising is to increase demand, not to price yourself out of the market.

Alan Buck
04/14/2008 09:36 PM by
Alan Buck

I will gladly pay for the Hibernating Rhinos videos if it will keep the spigot open. I have learned a lot from them.

Ben Scheirman
04/14/2008 09:42 PM by
Ben Scheirman

My thoughts:

  • free (or reduced) version if you use Bit Torrent

  • less than $10 version for direct download

  • no ads

Publish somewhere other than your blog, i.e. setup a site to offer them (a-la peepcode)

Full of it
04/14/2008 10:54 PM by
Full of it

"Estimated cost of producing a single screen cast is 3,500$ - 10,000$ each, ", bull, if it cost this much and you have been doing it in the past, youare either independantly wealthy, or are very close to living in the street.

Chris Bilson
04/14/2008 11:05 PM by
Chris Bilson

Another possibility: Sell your screen casts through itunes or amazon or something. If they were under $5, and it was friction free to download and pay for (like with itunes or amazon) I would buy...and I am very stingy. I think your content is worth money, but the inconvenience of having to register/give credit card/etc. is enough to make me lose interest. Having suggested this, I have no idea how hard it is to get amazon or itunes to sell your video, but am curious to find out.

Damon Wilder Carr
04/15/2008 12:49 AM by
Damon Wilder Carr

dude, you give SO DAMN MUCH to the 'community' or people who give a s**t about never being mediocre (or even approaching it). You represent the level of dedication and passion (not to mention raw gray matter) I wish I could expect from even a fraction of the people I encounter. I have been a silent reader and benificiary of your work for a long time now and in my opinion you deserve this and much, much more.

Of al the people I have 'awareness of' in overlapping interesting of software engineering, my heavy work in DSLs (of which I consider you a global thought leader), 'infrastructure as commodity' (meaning I suppose the elimination of solving the same problems over and over as people insist on doing still), you are by far the most prolific and generous.

If I had my way you would make X a year where X is whatever you needed to be extremely happy and you just doing exactly what you do already.

Thanks,

Damon Wilder Carr, CTO

agilefactor

Daniel Auger
04/15/2008 01:06 AM by
Daniel Auger

Another option would be to work the donation angle a little bit more. You can use psychology to your advantage to increase your donation revenue by doing such simple things as making the link to the torrent file a textbox labeled "Donation" with a submit button that would take the user through a donation process before pushing them the torrent file if they enter in more than $0. You could even list a suggested price. If someone wants it for free, they actually have to type in $0. I know it sounds odd, but a percentage of people will feel too guilty to leave it at $0 and a percentage of people who leave it at $0 will end up donating after they watch the screencast and determine the dollar amount they think it is worth to them. That being the case, you just have to drive more hits to your site to increase the donation stream.

I know that it may sound like a crazy idea, but I've had a little bit of experience with it myself. I was in a band that gave away its album on the band's website, but there was a big fat donate link right by the download link. The percentage of donations to downloads stayed pretty constant while I was tracking it for several months. The actual amount of each donation was all over the map. The moral of the story is that a percentage of people will donate what they consider the product's value to be if you give them a little nudge to do so.

I'm not trying to say that this is the best way to get some money for your efforts, but rather, it is another possible option.

Justin
04/15/2008 02:30 AM by
Justin

I haven't read through all of the comments but I do have a few suggestions (that perhaps have already been mentioned).

Read www.techdirt.com (no i do not work there, just one of my daily reads). The site talks about monetizing on free/easy to distribute content quite a bit.

Some of the better suggestions for monetizing on a non-scarce (once produced) commodity is to add value to said commodity for different groups. For instance keeping the screen casts free, and then making packaged bundles that you would sell for different prices. An example of this would be to sell dvds with your screen casts, iPod format screencasts, bundles of the source-code used in each screen cast, etc.

Another option is to attempt other forms of bundles, i.e. "Sign up through netflix and get access to unlimited Ayende Screencasts!"

There are a lot of different potential business models and I suggest looking to the indy music industry for some examples.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Eli
04/15/2008 03:17 AM by
Eli

Ask and you shall receive.

A lot of these suggestions call for additional labor and therefore completely miss the point...

There is an intrinsic value in watching an architect at work which will never be a part of a computer science degree... that we're willing to pay thousands for.

I, for one, will pay. Hit up JetBrains to sponsor with a splash screen if there's not enough demand for the pay version =)

Michael McCurrey
04/15/2008 01:38 PM by
Michael McCurrey

I could see paying for the download if a few things were done,

  1. Direct Download option (torrent would be fine with there was always a seeder).

  2. Compressed (zip, lzh, 7zip) download of accompanying code samples with the video(s).

  3. Sub 10 dollars a video.

You should honestly look at also OSS friendly advertising; going with a direct sponsor. There are 'non-intrusive' ways of doing it.

Mischa Kroon
04/15/2008 03:36 PM by
Mischa Kroon

I would think that the amount of users who you will reach with the videos will go down which is probably a reason not to go with this option.

At least I take it that with the videos your primary goal is to reach / educate people, charging will have a negative effect.

Sponsoring, embed audio / video ads might be a better alternative.

I'm sure there would be a couple of parties interested in this.

Especially if these videos are a bit more advertised then the amount of viewers could go up so the cost per user would go down which would make advertising more feasible.

Another option would be to place ads on this blog / on the feed for this blog.

Of products you like etc.

Morten Lyhr
04/15/2008 06:59 PM by
Morten Lyhr

Where is the MS money bag when you need it?

Scott Gu please let Ayende continue his work with the .NET platform.

/Morten Lyhr

Bruno
04/15/2008 08:52 PM by
Bruno

I guess they want to build their OWN ORMAPPBlock, their OWN MOCKOBJsAPPBlock, etc. I guess help Ayende in hir current work isn´t an option, hire Ayende to write code inside their offices may be :P.

I like to develop on .NET, but when my JAVA co-workers tell me things like that I have no arguments...

Marcin Seredynski
04/15/2008 09:07 PM by
Marcin Seredynski

Have you considered the "ransomware" approach? Create a screencast, and put a price tag on it. Once the community donates enough to the "ransom pot", the screencast in question would be passed to public domain. I am sure you would easily find people willing to pay the "ransom". Preventing (legit) access to knowledge that some people can't afford is not right in my book, but rewarding people willing to support you is totally OK - I think this could be achieved with "ransomware" approach.

mndatabaseguy
04/15/2008 09:48 PM by
mndatabaseguy

Might take a look at learnvisualstudio.net The model is pretty good. Started at 1/2 the price it is now.

Bunter
04/16/2008 10:19 AM by
Bunter

To be completely honest, the educational value in those few screencasts I have viewed is less than entertainment "watch ayende work" values. For entertainment values I'd pay 5 bucks and for educational values maybe another 5. So 10 would be absolute maximum, not the lowest range. However, I doubt the feasibility of this model to return your investment. U would have to spend additional time messing with paypal yadayda.

Having a sponsor logos popping up in the beginning and the end of videos could be more probable way to make u feel right and just. Jetbrains would be a good candidate to go ask for PR money.

Kirs
04/16/2008 01:02 PM by
Kirs

I'd pay provided the content was relevant and of interest to me. I've paid for a few peep code casts in the past and was happy. If paying, I'd expect that the basic technical issues (audio/video quality, etc.) were in order. You provide a ton of information via your blog and OSS contributions, so I have no problem chipping in a little every now and then for your time (which obviously is your money!)

Christopher Bennage
04/16/2008 01:53 PM by
Christopher Bennage

Subscriptions are good from a business perspective. The revenue is somewhat more predictable, and customer sometimes feel the values is better. (NetFlix). If you start charging, expectations will rise.

I like free stuff, but I also like to eat. I just finished writing a WPF book and the advance only cover 1/3 of the time needed to write and edit. I understand the need to charge.

Bunter
04/16/2008 09:59 PM by
Bunter

Another angle: if you seek support from community, just put "donate" link to your blog. While I guestion the value I've gained from the video series, I cannot deny HUGE amount of ideas, approaches and alternative choices I've picked up both from your blog and projects :) I'm sure many including me would use that button.

Peter
04/17/2008 07:21 AM by
Peter

$10k for a screencast... and you're not joking?

Tuna Toksoz
04/17/2008 08:35 AM by
Tuna Toksoz

this price also includes human capital, i think...

Jay
04/17/2008 05:53 PM by
Jay

I've found this site very helpful, and I'm not against the idea of trading money for your knowledge and experience, but I'm not sure that the videos are what I'd choose, if I got to pick.

I would much rather see a release/stable version of Rhino Tools, and more fleshed out sample applications.

The one that would personally interest me the most would be an MVC (monorail or asp.net MVC, don't really care which), sample web application demonstrating IoC, using things from Rhino like Unit of Work Application, repositories, domain services, validation, different ways/approaches to doing transactions and unit testing including mock objects, in memory embedded databases and generating a schema from the nhibernate model.

I don't know how interested other people would be in this, or how much it would cost you to produce versus the screencasts, but the fleshed out sample and some blog posts talking about the interesting topics/design decisions that come up would be more interesting/helpful/valuable to me than the movie would be.

Bil Simser
04/17/2008 06:07 PM by
Bil Simser

Go for it, I'd sign up for this. You had me at "Hello".

Lee
04/18/2008 04:45 PM by
Lee

I made a (small) donation a while back after watching one of the videos because I was so impressed with the quality and value of the content.

That said, my vote is for:

(1) Finding a sponsor and/or

(2) Making the videos available via Inform IT's Safari site

IMO, the potential drawback with a sale or subscription model is people who pay and then feel that they haven't gotten their money's worth (it's hard to believe with YOUR videos, but "people are crazier than anybody"). As busy as you are, I don't know if you want the hassle of dealing with irate customers.

Tom
04/23/2008 05:20 PM by
Tom

Personally, I hate paying for content ;-)

Apart from that, I've just downloaded the torrents and will continue to share them (I have more or less unlimited bandwith)

KR,

Tom

Tom
04/23/2008 05:20 PM by
Tom

Personally, I hate paying for content ;-)

Apart from that, I've just downloaded the torrents and will continue to share them (I have more or less unlimited bandwith)

KR,

Tom

firefly
04/25/2008 06:19 AM by
firefly

Some of the comments are pretty good, regarding require to enter an amount even $0 or a sponsor model, somes outlines the pros/cons of a subscription models are also valid. Myself I am leaning toward the text content as well. I am much quicker with Ctrl F rather than fast forward a video trying to pinpoint some stuff that I forgot 1 hours later...

Perhaps webcast+sourcecode+text content would be a good subscription model. I also chime in with you writing a book, a couples book even!

Anyway to make a long story short I believe as long as you still being Ayende you'll get plenty of support it doesn't matter what model you choose to follow.

There are also other revenue for income as well like premium support/conference speakers... Whatever you choose to do please don't sell yourself short because you are too great of a person.

MrMan
05/07/2008 01:01 PM by
MrMan

I would definitely pay because I want to support you but I agree with posters who value printed materials over videos. I don't have time to watch a video.

Comments have been closed on this topic.