Will Consumers Pay To View Issue-Driven Video Stories?

Posted on 6/22/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Since 2005 MediaStorm has produced 30 powerful, issue-driven video stories about real life people and problems. All this work has been available for free on their website. Most of these stories have been viewed a million or more times and they tend to draw large audiences outside the photo industry.

Now MediaStorm has moved to a Pay Per Story model and is charging $1.99 per story. The first two stories available using this model deal with the issue of old-age dementia and are: “A Shadow Remains” by Philip Toledano and “Rite of Passage” by Maggie Steber. Both stories deal with the decline of the photographer’s parents, and their struggle with being their parents’ caregivers.

In each instance there is short free trailer that sets the scene for the Feature Presentation. Those interested in viewing a feature will need to pay $1.99 which will be split 50/50 between the photographer and MediaStorm.

Brian Storm, Founder & Executive Producer of MediaStorm, pointed out in his explanation of why they switched to a Pay Per Story model that, “no company or industry can sustain itself for long without producing a product for which people are willing to pay.”

“At MediaStorm we think it’s time for us, as content producers and publishers, to bring this conversation into the limelight. Frankly, our long-term survival as an industry depends on it,” he continued. “We believe that our industry is in need of a sustainable business model that will allow us to continue to report and produce compelling stories.”

Since the company’s early days MediaStorm has raised revenue by producing training materials for other videographers, starting with our onsite workshops, and branching out to online training series and workflow resources. But the challenge has been to monetize the actual publications.

Storm recognizes that Pay Per Story may not be the “definitive answer” to covering the full cost of producing stories, but “it can be a step to getting us there.”  The key will be in the continued quality of the productions and finding stories for which there is a broad interest.

In the Pay Per Story announcement Storm said that MediaStorm plans to license its Pay Per Story player to other companies in the future “so they can also leverage the business model and functionality that we have developed.”

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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