Published Jan 8. 2016 - 3 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 8. 2016

Pay-per-view tying

I'm not planning on making paid tying videos, but have seen more and more of them online. My small survey says that it's not good business.

I go through a large number of videos during a week. I publish maybe 10 or 20 a week, and for each of those I have probably watched 2 or 3 others that didn't make the cut. My quality barrier is fairly high, and I have a few issues that will rule out a video literally within seconds, so I don't see them all to the end.
But some I don't see at all.
These are the ones requiring me to pay. And they are growing in numbers. For some reason the number of PPV (Pay-Per-View) fly tying videos have increased significantly during the last couple of months, and some of those who used to show their videos for free have started charging money to see them, which means that I won't see them.
Now, don't get me wrong. I think it's fair enough to charge people for valuable content, and most of the videos only cost a buck or two to see, which can be considered fair enough. But my account would soon be empty if the 40-50 or more videos I watch a week to screen them were even a buck each. So I'm not paying.
Out of curiosity I did a very small unscientific survey on Facebook and asked if anybody does pay. I got about 20 replies and all were negative. No one pays, and most of the replies were along the line: “Why pay when there's so much free stuff?”.
That's the argument all web content providers who want money will meet: papers, magazines, musicians, authors, magazines... and video producers.
Why pay...?

Pay-per-view
Pay-per-view
Martin Joergensen

Well, the argument is that it costs to produce web content. It costs time first of all, and time is money according to the old saying. It also requires gear (computers, video cameras) and other resources like a video provider account, server space and more. I have personally ventured down that row of arguments many times in connection with the Global FlyFisher, which has cost a number of persons a lot of money to make and keep running over the years. I haven't given up on recouping that money, but all my attempts have been futile until now, and GFF is still a cost and not a source of income – or even neutral for that matter.
The business model of putting up a payment wall doesn't really seem to work it seems. Some media have a fair success doing it: large an resourceful papers (NYT), well organized music distributors (Apple) and maybe a few video producers who make longer productions usually only available on DVD. Providing a paid online alternative to DVDs is possible as Netflix and HBO have clearly shown. A few fishing video producers have done the same. Danish Niels Vestergaard's excellent videos spring to mind.

But for short tying videos the people in my network and myself have to say that it won't work. I have no idea whether the producers make any money, but going from free to paid in a market where everything else is not only free, but also very good, is probably not going to make you rich.
I have always said (true!): “I'm giving away my knowledge for free, because it's my body they want!”. With that I mean that I can calmly let people have my writings for nothing, because when they really need what I know, they will call me. That has worked well in connection with my paid work as a web developer, where I have lots of freely available articles online, enabling people to read how I do my things and eventually doing it themselves. The essence is that they don't. Some maybe, but enough pick up the phone and call me to ask me to do it for them to actually enable me to pay the rent.
Maybe it's the same in fly tying? The Davie McPhails, Richard Strolises, Hopper Juans of this world can give away their tying instructions for free, because people will call and ask them to tie their flies for them...?
I don't know if it is like that, but I think it might be the case.

“I'm giving away my knowledge for free, because it's my body they want!”

Comments

Hi Martin, think you are...

Hi Martin, think you are right that it will be quite difficult to get money for ppv tying videos. In this line I just checked two of your listed videos and have to say they are quality wise quite nice.

Rgds,
Ole

Since you're so busy with the...

Since you're so busy with the 'new' GF why not make a donation button? I for example donate $5 each year to Wikipedia, not much but it helps them going.

Martin Joergensen's picture

Ted,...

Ted,

Thanks for your suggestion!

The donation button has been on my mind and I have even set it up on PayPal, but never got around to implement it. I have different ideas on how to activate the site and its users, and the option to donate might be one of the thing that will appear.

Martin

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Since you got this far …

The GFF money box
The GFF money box
Martin Joergensen

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.