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Better than free

A few months ago, I was offered two types of tickets for the same series of online events.

The first type of ticket costs 100$ for access and video recordings.

The second type included that, but I had to be present, with my camera on, for at least 80% of sessions. Its price, however, was 0$.

As I browsed the options, it became clear that I wanted access to that material, and that I would rather pay money than pay attention.

The scheduled events were a mixed bag, some were important for me to hear, some sounded interesting, and many did not. In addition, they were mostly scheduled in the afternoon, clashing with my reserved family time. The “expensive” ticket allowed me to schedule the content to a more convenient time, and listen to the less-than-interesting bits of it at 165% speed.

The full deal (money+convenience+risk+ego) of the 100 option worked out in my head as a better deal than the 0$+mandatory attendance.

The truth is, this was a masterful case of pricing toward multiple types of audience members, which allowed the time-rich cash-poor audience to show up and be subsidized by the time-poor crowd, who would, in turn, get a richer experience because the sessions were well attended and active. Everyone had a place, and got a good deal, even (at first glance) with getting a completely “unfair” choice.

True story.

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