TED Launches Paid Membership Site to Watch Live Talks
Here’s another story I didn’t see coming. TED has just launched TED Live, a paid membership site for subscribers interested in viewing their annual conference and global talks live.
The subscriptions are pretty high-priced:
- $995 for home use (with 10 seats)
- $995 for primary and secondary schools (with 50 seats)
- $2,500 for universities and business (with 50 seats)
- Custom quotes for a membership with more than 50 seats.
While it makes sense that TED would price their offers for primary and secondary schools differently from universities and small businesses, it’s curious that the home plan is also $995 with fewer seats. It’s also a rather high-price for a B2C sale (as opposed to the B2B or B2O — business-to-organization — pricing of the other plans).
But overall it’s a brilliant idea. TED has already generated name-brand recognition and passionate enthusiasts by making their recorded talks free. And live streaming is definitely gaining traction for paid content sites (just read about Twitch – a paid subscription site for live streaming of video game competitions).
The other thing TED is smart to do is offer an iPad Mini with membership. While we usually advise against iPad or gadget sweepstakes (even if they generate opt-ins, these bargain hunters aren’t your most qualified prospects), including it in with a high-priced membership may be a great onboarding tactic. And we all know retention starts at sign-up!
(Interesting side note — A percentage of the membership price is tax-deductible, according to TED: “As TED is owned by the Sapling Foundation, a private 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation registered in the State of New York, $650 of the TED Live membership fee for home and school and $2,150 of the TED Live membership fee for college and small business may be tax-deductible.”)
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