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 User Conference - Sydney 2014 Google Analytics User Conference - Sydney 2014

    Google Analytics User Conference - Sydney 2014 Join Loves Data for Google Analytics User Conference 2014! Engage with Google's own and other leading Google Analytics experts. Don't miss the analytics event of the year! Visit the official site: www.

    Google Analytics User Conference - Melbourne 2014 Google Analytics User Conference - Melbourne 2014

    Google Analytics User Conference - Melbourne 2014 Join Loves Data for Google Analytics User Conference 2014! Engage with Google's own and other leading Google Analytics experts. Don't miss the analytics event of the year! Visit the official site: w

    AIMIA VIC: The Future of Digital Retail AIMIA VIC: The Future of Digital Retail

    Future of Digital Retail comes to Melbourne! Following the success of our NSW edition we�re bringing the event to Melbourne for our Victorian audience. Join us on the 21st August to discover how digital and physical retail is no longer an either-or

    AIMIA: Business Clinic Workshop AIMIA: Business Clinic Workshop

    Join us on the 28th August for a hands-on, practical workshop which will provide functional strategies on running a successful agency, be it digital, creative or full-service. Whether running a successful agency looking to go to the next level or an agenc

    RELATED COMPANIES

    FIRST FIRST

    A leading full service digital marketing agency with hubs in Auckland and Sydney. Marrying digital design, technology and marketing, as a multi-disciplinary digital agency we deliver campaigns and creative that targets, captures, engages, convinces

    Reactive Reactive

    Reactive is an award-winning digital agency that provides digital strategy, user experience, web design and development services, offering creative excellence and technical innovation in the online space.

    ZapMe Mobile ZapMe Mobile

    ZapMe Mobile lets Brands Advertisers and Publishers easily distribute interactive mobile content using traditional advertising media, we are the glue that integrates creative ideas with complimentary technology.

    GTS Interactive GTS Interactive

    Leaders in international mobile applications ....Travel, Loyalty, Advertising, Marketing, Location, content rendering.

    Platform Interactive Limited Platform Interactive Limited

    Platform Interactive has an extensive and successful history with respects to Internet software development and project delivery. Since 2003 Platform Interactive has come to the forefront as an internet marketing and web software vendor.


     

    LATEST DIRECTORY LISTINGS Boost SEO - add your company for free

    KINSHIP DigitalH.A.Reed LocksmithsBeserkWhiteblack DigitalEcoCleaning Services TownsvilleShopprice AustraliaDiscount Dog FenceTalk AustraliaMelbourne Mail Management