Welcome to episode #28 of the SubscribeMe show from SubscribeMe.fm.
I’m your host Ravi Jayagopal. This is the podcast to listen to, if you want to learn about creating digital content, marketing it, selling it, and then delivering it.
I am the co-founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com, easily the best membership plugin in the industry, fondly known as DAP.
In the last 2 episodes, I talked about Membership models 1 through 4.
Membership Model #5: Magazine Model
This is one of the most interesting membership models, and back in 2009, I gave it this name because back in the day, we used to get people asking how they can set up content access similar to a real-world magazine subscription.
So if you are old enough to have ever subscribed to physical magazines – I say that because the funny thing is, I don’t know if my kids have ever seen a magazine in my house – well, we did buy a sports illustrated a few years ago when Lebron James won his first championship. And then the People magazine issue with Steve Jobs on the cover when he passed away – Rest in peace, Steve! Now, I remember, as a kid, I used to wait every week for this magazine delivery guy, who charged a fixed fee every month – I think it was like 20 rupees or something – which in today’s exchange rate would be 30 cents. He brought this massive travel bag full of magazines, and you could pick out any 5 you wanted. And you could keep any of them for as long as you wanted, but you could only ever check out 5 magazines. So if you returned 5 magazines, you could pick out 5 more. If you kept 2 and returned 3, then you could pick out 3 new ones for the week. Ring a bell? That’s actually how the DVD portion of Netflix works. The crazy thing is, while I’m talking about outdated paper magazines, even DVD subscriptions are well on their way to becoming extinct! So, with Netflix, you can check out a maximum of 3 or 4 DVD’s, depending on which plan you are on. And then when you return one, you get the next one in your queue automatically mailed to you.
So I was thinking about this guy in India, this was back in the early 80’s. He had a couple of these gym duffel bags, and he hung them from the handlebars of his bicycle, he wore slippers, his bicycle was all beat up and his clothes had seen better days. And YET, he had the entrepreneurial mindset and the passion and the determination to sign up for a bunch of magazine subscriptions himself, and then he basically lent them out to others. Sure, it would be a gross copyright violation today – you can’t buy a DVD for personal use and then turn around and lend it to someone else for money. So just put that aside for a second, and you’ll realize what an impressive thing this guy did. So I guess that was probably my earliest recollection of a membership model. I was really inspired by this man when I remembered him when writing notes for today’s episode, and I hope it inspires you too.
Anyway, back to the Magazine model. Think about how a real world magazine subscription works: You subscribe to a magazine – let’s use the example of the famous “Star” magazine, which, by the way, my wife Veena used to love to read many years ago. So once you subscribe to a physical magazine, you get a new edition mailed to you every week. And if you cancel your subscription, you will not get any newer editions, but you can keep the ones you already got in the mail, because obviously, you’ve already paid for those. And most importantly, you only get access to the magazine editions from the time you subscribe, and if you wanted older editions from the archives from before you subscribed, then you have to buy them separately.
So in the early years of DAP, one of the requests we got was to be able to duplicate this content model, where you deliver digital content as if it were a monthly magazine.
Only those who are currently subscribed during a month, get access to that month’s content, and keep access to that content going forward.
So, for example… (Listen to the show for the rest of the content.)
Hey, don’t forget to join other SubscribeMe listeners and a network of folks all interested in the same thing: Membership sites and online courses. Join the group by going to subscribeme.fm/group/ and that will take you to my Facebook group.
Thanks again for listening. I’ll talk to you soon.
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– Ravi Jayagopal
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