Re: cost Posted by Administrator 4/4/2012 10:30:00 PM
I appreciate your concern over the cost of premium membership. Allow me to explain a few things that might help you understand.
We spent nearly $25,000 (yes, twenty-five thousand dollars) during the course of our last two film shoots. In the 6 months since we first debuted premium membership, we have only just now broken even, and only for those two sessions. In the 10 years leading up to that, we probably spent double that amount on material that we posted to the website completely free of charge. So it will probably take another year or more to make up production costs completely.
It would be nice if everything on the web were free, but the fact of the matter is, not everything can be. There's plenty of free stuff on YouTube, much of which cost very little to produce. But as they say, you get what you pay for. We aim to produce high quality content, which includes everything from dancers and teachers of an extremely high standard, to high quality video, staging, lighting, and eventually, music. This is all very expensive, but is well worth the cost for many of our users. And you should be grateful for them, because it is their generous support that enables us to provide a portion of that content for free to you.
I'm always a little surprised when someone expects it all to be free. The cost of production is nearly identical to that of producing instructional DVD's. And yet, who would even think to complain that we're not giving away free DVD's to anyone who asks for them?
You mentioned that it's not the same as having a private lesson. Of course not, but then neither is learning by DVD, and people still find value in that. I'll spare you the bullet-point discussion about the benefits of privates vs groups vs web/DVD video, but I think we can all agree that each has value, and each can provide things that the other cannot (at least, not efficiently). If you didn't find value in our video content, you wouldn't have taken the time to write your critique.
It's up to each individual to decide whether premium membership is worth the cost. The vast majority of people do not, and that's perfectly ok. I personally would consider it quite a good value -- you get the entire bronze and silver syllabus in 22 dances for about the same cost as two DVD's (which equals ONE dance in two levels), or about one private lesson with a high-quality coach.
And just FYI, this has been the plan since our inception in 1997. I am, in fact, about 10 years late with respect to my original business plan, but hey, better late than never. If we hadn't planned to do it this way, Ballroomdancers.com would never have existed. So as I said, you should appreciate the paying users, who are supporting the free content.
Oh and one more thing to remember... When we debuted premium membership, we didn't take anything away from the free content. Everything that was free last year is still free this year. We are simply adding more content. And we can only afford to do that if somebody pays for it.
Regards, Jonathan Atkinson www.ballroomdancers.com