Charging for content may seem counter-intuitive in today’s blogging free-for-all market, but the trick is investing in the right delivery mechanism.
Social Cord is a service that offers premium content and subscription services via text message. Not a bad idea, but how about adding Twitter to the mix? That’s right, you can use Twitter – more specifically, Social Cord’s Twitter TipCup plugin – to distribute and monetize your content.
Here’s how it works: Create a FanClub on Social Cord. There is a pre-approval process, and you must agree to deliver a minimum of 3 premium content messages a month. Since Social Cord is actually the mobile SMS offering, you can offer both text messages and Twitter tweets to your customers. As long as you deliver the minimum content, you’re golden either way.
Once you’re FanClub is established, you need to signup for TipCup and send a promotional tweet to your followers. They will be directed to a custom landing page where they choose their delivery mechanism and subscribe for $5.95/month.
Probably one of the biggest selling features of Social Cord and/or TipCup is the fact subscribers don’t have to enter any credit cards or account information. All charges are billed directly to the member’s mobile account. Social Card supports all major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Nextel, etc. The phone carrier makes off with a good chunk of the profit, and after Social Cord takes their cut, you end up with $1.80/month for every subscription. Even if you only amass one hundred subscriptions, that’s $180 a month for three (140 character or less) tweets.
Twitter has proven to be an effective venue for music sales and promotion. A service like Social Cord makes sense for a band trying to publicize an upcoming show or offer their fans exclusive material. It will be interesting to see how businesses and bloggers use Social Cord to promote their content. Would you be willing to pay $5.95/month for some insider tips from the feed growth! staff?