Monday, 24 November 2008

Monty Python's flying DVD sales

I've been watching this story since it bro
ke a couple of weeks ago (or at least when I wasn't watching the Monty Python archive on YouTube itself). Obviously this has generated a huge spike in python-related chat online:
(Posts that contain Monty Python per day for the last 30 days.)
Technorati Chart
But it is also important because this is a high profile example of a Freemium business model that is not just put out there to see if it works. Freemium? The business model of the Long Tail. Free content for everyone who wants it builds reputation and is easy to share. Assets that are easy to share are also more likely to be remixed, rebuilt, incorporated into other good stuff with even wider appeal. So although there may not be many people that need to buy the really exclusive content that has a premium price attached, the content will reach them, and will create more of them. This isn't an ad campaign that a few milllion people [might] see: this is freely available to everyone with a computer. If 0.00001% of them buy a DVD, that's some profit margin.

And how do we know that this wasn't a test, it was guaranteed to work? Because it launched in the run up to Xmas shopping, when DVD box sets are at their most appealing. And becuase the brilliant video above directs people to pythonline to buy rather than Amazon (presumably Cleese & co.'s profits are higher on their own site).

And why did I wait till now to talk about it? Because I wanted to see some sales figures, to show that the 0.00001% is a fairly pessimistic rate. Thanks to Jemima Kiss in the Guardian for actually finding them out - Monty Python sales on Amazon since 12th November? over 1000% up.


Amelia said...

love the fact that there is actually hard data to back up a hypothesis! ta for sharing.

Graeme Wood said...

Saw this story again in a Google sales pitch for YouTube last week and they reckoned the DVD sales are now up by 2300% - would be more useful if we know the actual sales

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