In today’s modern Internet world we’re all used to expecting readily available free content and it seems that goes for the kitesurfing community too. So why then are our instructional videos not free of charge?
Despite it being the season where many of you are shelling out big bucks for new kit, we’re still receiving the odd email from kiters that think our videos should be drastically cheaper or even free and that they don’t see why we charge what we do. We understand it may confuse those that are used to not paying, so we want to explain why. Here are the kind of questions & statements we hear:
- $6 is too much for a video when I can get them for free online but I’d pay $0.99
- I buy DVDs for $15 so why do you charge twice that for your DVDs and collections?
- The digital versions should be cheaper than the DVDs because you don’t have to make a physical product and ship it
- I downloaded the free app and then I had to pay for the videos!
- Just add some ads and then you can make the videos free
- So after spending all that money on my kites and boards and travelling to go holiday I have to spend more money on your videos?!
We’re a really small and transparent company whose main focus is to empower the wider kitesurfing community to develop their kitesurfing skills. We want you to enjoy the sport to the full potential without compromising your experience. I thought it might actually help you understand the ethos of Progression Sports if I shared with you a typical response from Founder, Rob Claisse, to a recent customer email…
Thanks for getting in touch regarding the pricing of our videos and collections.
I understand your concerns about pricing and as much as we’d love to charge less, the economics would just not make it possible for us to run a business and keep making more videos if we price the videos at a lower price. Our DVDs (which are effectively the same content as the digital collections) sell for €25 ($30/£20) and we wanted the digital collections to be inline with this – though you may think the digital goods should be cheaper because there is no physical item to produce or ship, the cost of making and maintain both an iOS and Android app is quite substantial. We actually make far less selling our videos through the apps due to the large percentages that both Apple and Google take – though it is worth it for the platforms they offer.
Unfortunately it’s just not fair to compare an instructional collection/DVD for a niche market like kiteboarding to a mass market DVD for a movie or even other more popular sports. The economics are completely different and we charge the lowest we can to try and make it so the company at least breaks even. We are not some massive company with big offices or high overheads. I am the only full time employee and I write all the scripts, film, edit, do all the motion graphics. I build our website and all the web programming. I have a part time marketing manager, and a contractor who does the core development for the iOS and Android apps. So I run a very lean company and everything is put back into making more videos (the next release will be a series on how to ride a surfboard with a kite).
One final point – We do get a lot of feedback from people who say they though the cost was quite high but tried one of the videos or bought the collection anyway and have then gone on to buy several collections after that. They found the videos so helpful, and it made the speed at which they could master new skills so much quicker that they realised the pricing is not that expensive for what we offer. Maybe kiters think buying a new kite or board or harness or fins or bar will make them a better kitesurfer or make the sport more enjoyable, but all those things cost 10-80x the cost of one of our collections. If you’ve struggled with a specific trick for several months then that €5/$6/£4 for the Progression video could be the difference between having a good session or another frustrating one. For most people the cost of one video is less than the cost of the petrol to get down the beach.
Sorry for going on for so long but I just wanted to explain our rationale for the pricing, hopefully you can see why they are priced as they are and maybe even now think that it’s a “cheap” way to have more fun kitesurfing :-)
If you have any further questions then please do get in touch.
All the best
I think it’s quite clear that Rob’s response comes from the heart, and I hope that you’ll continue to support us as we continue to support others.
One area he didn’t cover in that response was:
Why we don’t just have ads, allowing the content to be free?
There are two reasons for this, the first is that we think we would struggle to make enough money to cover our costs. Kiteboarding is a relatively small sport and then the people who are interesting in instructional content is a further smaller subset. The second reason is that we don’t want to compromise our products, to fit advertising into the model. Not only with adverts be a distraction from the viewing of out videos but we would inevitably end up with conflicts between the content we create and the advertisers. Our goal is to create the best instructional videos and we don’t want anything to get in the way of that.
Where you can save though is by taking advantage of the discounts we offer when you buy a Collection of videos – and don’t worry, if you have already bought one or more single videos we’ll still apply a ‘Complete My Collection’ discount taking account of what you’ve already spent. We’ll always try to make your purchases as economical as possible for you!
Don’t forget that we DO provide a lot of valuable FREE content too for you – Make sure that you check out our YouTube videos as well as other articles on our Blog! :-)