Deciding what to charge for your work is tricky. Luckily, we’ve got a bunch of data about what works and what doesn’t for digital video. The great thing about selling online is that you can be flexible — always try out new strategies, experiment, and see what works best for you. Here are some pointers to get you started:
Find a starting point
Let’s look at some averages: Across Vimeo OTT, 90 minutes worth of video is priced at about $7.50, with the price increasing by 10 cents for every additional minute. So if you're looking to price higher, consider adding more video content! Selling a short? Keep the price low.
Short form vs long form
What we've found:
Episodic content does well around the $3.00 mark.
That said, you can price short content as low as a buck, and if you use the "Pay What You Want" sliding payment scale feature, ask your fans to pay what they want, from $1.00 up. Check out how our friends at " Hello Cupid" charge $3.00 per episode (and their fans love them for it). Visit STRIPPED's website to see how they sell individual clips of bonus content for $2.99 each.
Feature-length content does well between $4.99 and $9.99.
Chalk it up to our mysterious brains: When people see a film for below $4.99, transactions don't increase. Why undercharge for no reason? On the other end of the spectrum, films exceeding $20 drastically underperform, so it's best to stay away from that territory.
Don't offer your film for $1 or less. Vimeo OTT titles at this price point haven't sold well, plus transaction fees cut too much of your already small profit. We've found people are unlikely to take out their credit cards for a buck.
Selling live/pay-per-view content
There isn't any data on pay-per-view events at large, since they can vary so much by length — consider pricing alongside some of your other content, and experiment to find what works best for your community of viewers. For some general best practices around selling your live/pay-per-view content, please see this article.
Be conscious of content
Some types of content can get away with being priced higher than the average. Educational, instructional, and fitness content indexes at a higher price point than a feature film. Short films and web series are typically priced lower than average.
Bonus Content is Powerful
Bonus content could come from anywhere — deleted scenes, cast interviews, rehearsal footage, director’s commentary, and more. Get creative by packaging all of these unused minutes into several options for your fans, at different price points. A very invested audience is willing to pay a little extra for a bunch of videos.
Superfans want more
One great packaging idea: Make a super-sized bonus version with way too many hours of video and price it accordingly. The documentary Stripped made a “Super Awesome Deluxe Bonus Edition” and stuffed it with content. That package made up 25% of their sales…and 50% of their total revenue.
Bonus content adds value
Separate bonus packages allow you to create a deal for your audience. If you charge $6 for the regular content, $6 for the bonus content, and $10 for a package of both, you just gave everyone a reason to upgrade to the deluxe edition!
Options, options, more options
Your audience all have different preferences for how they buy and watch video. Just like any store, it helps to have a diverse offering.
Rentals double conversion
When Vimeo OTT sites started including a rental option, their conversion rate more than doubled, from 1.2% to 2.6%. That’s huge! Even more interesting? The same amount of people still bought a full-priced copy, so the new customers were almost completely from rentals. That means sales grew when customers had access to the (less expensive) rental option. Make sure you’re appealing to this group that’s more price-sensitive by offering a cheaper price point.
Pre-orders help predict sales
Try offering pre-orders! It can be a great indication of how your content will perform once you start selling, and a perfect time to try out prices. On average, every pre-order predicts about 3.5 sales once the content is released.
Experiment with Pay What You Want
One way to grow your audience and increase your conversion rate at the same time is to offer a Pay What You Want option. Platform-wide, we see that a third of customers choose to pay more than the base price, which leads to nearly 20% in additional revenue.
When we were still beta testing this feature, we did some experimenting. Across the 13 titles that used the beta version of Pay What You Want, 34% of customers who paid full price (not including redemptions, coupons, etc.) chose to pay more than the base price. Most people gave over of 40% of the asking price.
Be smart about discounts
One of the best ways to create immediate buzz around your videos is to offer a limited-time deal to your audience. Using steep sale pricing PLUS a time limit can increase sales by a factor of 6x.
Make your coupon count
Coupons are a great way to boost sales and appeal to new fans. What discount amount works best? Here’s what we found from Vimeo OTT publishers: The best-performing coupon is 33% off the asking price, followed by 50% off and then 25% off.
When they’re substantial (we’re talking 50% or more) and last a short time (a few days or less), coupons have a proven record of increasing sales – and not only by a little. On average, offering steep, short-term, “flash sale”-style discounts on Vimeo OTT resulted in 4x higher conversion rates and 6x more sales week-over-week.
Timing is everything
Holidays are the perfect time to offer a discount. Your fans are looking for easy gifts to give loved ones, or are ready to treat themselves. So be smart about promoting around the holidays that coincide with better sales!