Jonathan Crossfield

Rock DJ part 2: Free is better than a cover charge

Social media and the web in general is full of debate over pay walls, charges and monetisation strategies. How do we continue to acquire and grow our communities while equally maximising any potential income? This is not a new problem. I first found myself in the middle of such a dilemma back in my nightclub days and it has coloured my opinion on charging for content ever since.

When we first started running The Pit out of DJs Nightspot in Gosford, it was free entry. Thursday nights had always been notoriously quiet in Gosford - crikey, even most weekends resembled a ghost town - so there were no high expectations and we were on a trial.

The club was packed. That first year was the best we ever saw in five years of running The Pit and it became the place to be every Thursday night. We weren't the only free venue, but we were the only one that provided that particular music. Free just helped the new night grow and spread that much quicker.

After a year or so, the manager wanted a change. He had noticed that some were coming every week but weren't buying drinks. He wasn't making any money off some of the crowd that came through the door and they were enjoying dancing to a DJ he still had to pay. Remember, he's never made so much money off Thursday nights before, but the thought of some people getting a free ride was too much.

So the manager added a door charge. Two dollars at first, it had grown to five dollars by the end. It might not seem like much, but it was enough to see the crowd start to drift away. Those who would casually come in on a Thursday for a free bit of fun - cashless students and bear-footed hippies - no longer came. And so their friends who had been buying drinks didn't either. Less people in the club meant less atmosphere and buzz meant less people came back every week and less new people discovered the club.

The difference wasn't huge and it wasn't overnight, but the door charge was the clear before-and-after point that marked the downturn. As the crowd declined the door charge increased to offset the difference and eventually the night was finished.

Placing any obstacle to admission, no matter how trivial, can dramatically reduce numbers. David Meerman Scott talks frequently in books and talks of how Mailer Mailer multiplied downloads of their ebook - The Email Marketing Metrics Report - twenty times, merely by removing the need to enter an email address. That's right, even entering an email address - significantly less hassle than paying two dollars - is enough to prevent people from accessing your content.

The Mailer Mailer website is now listed at number one in Google for the valuable keyword phrase email marketing metrics, their industry. Now, you can't tell me there's no financial return on being the top listing in Google for your industry.

Free is the greatest acquisition tool you can have. Even if you can't convert a return out of every crowd member you acquire this way, chances are you're still making more than if you charged a couple of bucks at the door.

Rock DJ Part 1: You don't build communities


COMMENTS

There are no comments for this article

CHAMPION IN FOCUS

Jonathan Crossfield Jonathan Crossfield
Company: Self Employed
Position: Storyteller, writer and marketer
The name's Crossfield. Jonathan Crossfield. Known widely online as Kimota! Content marketer, digital communications strategist and ruthless word wrangler. Some folk say I rant a lot, but someone's gotta put the rest of you straight!

Latest Articles by Jonathan

December 11 | Rock DJ part 3: The show must always go on
December 4 | Rock DJ Part 1: You don't build communities
August 25 | When ants take over the world!

Article stats

30 Days: 0 articles, 0 views
All time: 0 articles, 0 views


    Twitter
    Follow me on Twitter

    ABOUT JONATHAN'S COMPANY

    Self Employed


     More info & Contact Details



     

    RELATED EVENTS

    Google Analytics Classroom Courses by Loves Data, Sydney Google Analytics Classroom Courses by Loves Data, Sydney

    Love your data! Our two day course will show you how.

    innovationCAFE - Brisbane

    Don�t miss Brisbane's must-attend innovation conference of 2016 at the Stamford Plaza! On August 19th, join industry leaders, Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Jane Thomason and Dr Paul Browning, as they discuss Australia�s transition to an innovatio

    InnovationCAFE - Melbourne

    Donât miss Melbourneâs must-attend innovation conference of 2016 at the Melbourne Convention Centre! On August 26th, join industry leaders, Kathy Connell, Dr Thomas Barlow and Mark Cully, as they discuss Australiaâs transition to an innovation-led e

    InnovationCAFE - Perth

    Donât miss Perthâs must-attend innovation conference of 2016 at the Parmelia Hilton! On August 30th, join industry leaders, Professor Peter Klinken, Anitra Robertson and Rohan McDougall, as they discuss Australiaâs transition to an innovation-led ec

    InnovationCAFE Sydney

    Don't miss Sydney's must-attend innovation conference of 2016 at the Hilton! On August 26th, join industry leaders, Kathy Connell, Dr Thomas Barlow and Mark Cully, as they discuss Australia's transition to an innovation-led economy.

    RELATED COMPANIES

    With Imagination With Imagination

    Providing Strategic Web Solutions. We specialise in website design and website development, web applications and a range of e-marketing services.

    NetReturn Consulting NetReturn Consulting

    NetReturn Consulting is an eBusiness consultancy. We help corporations in Australia with their online strategy, design, delivery and management. We are highly collaborative and have a strong reputation for delivery. Company size; 20 staff

    Netregistry Netregistry

    Australia's favourite domain name provider and webhost, Netregistry provides a complete suite of products and services to assist Australian small businesses online.

    Boardroom Radio Boardroom Radio

    Boardroom Radio is a simple and effective communication tool that lets companies speak directly with investors (webcasting and podcasting)

    Datarati Pty Ltd Datarati Pty Ltd

    Datarati is a marketing automation, analytics and optimisation company, providing actionable data-driven insights which improve campaign performance and ROI.


     

    LATEST DIRECTORY LISTINGS Boost SEO - add your company for free

    MarchexCrushPiccolo PR | Public relations agency SydneyTechZarInfoDigital Resellers Australia - Best SEO Reseller companyBaymediasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.CSSChopperClavax Technologies LLCIf You Build It