- May 7, 2013
- Posted by: Murali Sankar
- Category: Articles, Blog
If you haven’t already done so, you might want to read – 45 Types Of Membership Sites And Subscription Offers – Part 1
23. Fan Clubs:
Fan clubs are not a new invention. They have been around for a very long time now. The new online fan clubs can be even better than the old ones in terms of what they offer.
Online fan clubs or virtual fan clubs can either be online versions of existing offline fan clubs, or fan clubs started from scratch purely online.
Mostly fan clubs or groups out there are free to join. However, it is possible to charge a fee if there are enough benefits for joining one. It can either be a one-time or a recurring membership fee.
Some of the benefits of joining might be:
- Invitations to related events
- Chance to meet some of the people involved (could be players in a sports team, crew of a movie, etc)
- Signed or autographed merchandise
- Meetups with other fans and like minded people
- Products that are not available to the public
- Early bird offers (Getting a chance to buy before anyone else and discounts)
- Tickets to conventions and other events
24. Physical products:
This is a subscription where physical products are shipped to your home for a recurring fee. When you become a member, you can choose which products you want delivered from a given selection.
Pay a monthly fee and you can pick and choose up to a certain quantity from their database or catalogue. The products are then delivered to your shipping address.
You go to the website, and put in your shipping details, pay through your credit card and you would be automatically billed each month. However, you would have to choose the products each month.
Usually there are no physical stores (brick and mortar stores) but only a virtual or online storefront. This is either a complete online operation or an online extension of a business where products are sold through direct mail or phone, etc.
Ofcourse, there is real inventory, storage, shipping and handling, returns, processing of orders and other processes that you would see in any business.
However, if it is an online business then a lot of these functions would be removed or made easier and cheaper.
There are different features depending on what subscription plan you are choosing.
This is similar to other memberships like “wine of the month” clubs. However, this is just about physical products, and it is different from them because the shipping and product selection are not automatic. You would have to do that each month. This type of subscription gives subscribers more options, control, flexibility and choice.
Netflix – monthly subscription for DVDs (movies)
ProActive – Acne Treatment
There are also weight loss products, fitness products and cosmetic products sold like this.
Sometimes the monthly subscription is just for the shipping, handling and packaging of the products.
If you are ordering a lot from a certain vendor and the costs for shipping, handling and packaging are high, then you can pay a small one-time or recurring flat fee and get free shipping for any quantity of products you buy from that vendor.
Example: Amazon has a variation of this called Amazon prime.
Pro Web Design Course
This is a membership type where you pay a subscription fee to get access to a collection of tutorials on any topic.
There are plenty of people who want to learn something new online everyday. It is true that most information they are looking for is already available online for free.
One of the reasons that it might be difficult to charge money for tutorials is that there are several well organized and high quality tutorials out there for free.
However, it is still possible to charge a fee for tutorials.
The ways to create premium tutorials:
- The content has to be highly specialized and not too generic like most of the free content available elsewhere.
- The tutorials would be complete project(s) (from start to finish) or parts of certain projects.
- The format of the content must be unique or different from what is offered elsewhere.
- The presentation of the content must be different from what is offered elsewhere.
- The content must have a unique spin on it.
- You need to have a unique perspective (that is your own or hire other experts who have it) on the content that is sought after. Something like that is valued and not available for free elsewhere.
- The method of teaching has to be different from all the other tutorial content out there.
- The examples provided for the tutorials (course material) must be exceptionally good and must not be available in other free tutorials.
- The premium content providers must provide some kind of customer support or technical support.
- They must also be willing to help students with any questions that they might have.
- The tutorials must be created by an extremely qualified set of teachers or instructors that have the relevant experience and expertise.
- Joining the premium tutorials site must save a lot of time for the customers (students).
- The series of tutorials must be constantly updated.
- Sometimes, just having a strong active community on the tutorials site is an enormous benefit. There are several benefits that such a community can provide for a user.
There is a collection of tutorials on any topic that you can subscribe to. The website is usually in a blog format or their own custom CMS or a content base.
In such memberships, either all content is premium (paid access) or there are just a few premium posts or sections.
You just pay the subscription fee and can access all the material that is available to the level that you signed up for.
Examples: Photoshop, web design, graphics design, etc.
Web design tutorials – Pro Web Design Course
Photoshop tutorials – PSD Tuts
Other learning sites from the Envato learning network.
26. Digital products:
(Like Graphics , Stock Photos, Music And Videos)
In this subscription type, digital products are sold online through a subscription fee. This could either be stock photos, music, videos or digital files like Photoshop files and vector files.
These websites are like marketplaces for digital files. There are marketplaces for different kinds of digital products.
There are two ways in which this can work:
- The company that owns the marketplace has just made the platform available where sellers/vendors put up their products for sale. The company might put up their own products as well.
- The company that owns the marketplace is only using the platform for their own products (might include JV partner’s products as well).
The buyers can either pay a monthly fee and get free downloads (unlimited or a limited number of downloads) or a discount on all the products that are being sold.
Alternatively the buyers can also just pay per file or download. In this case, the owners of the platform get paid a commission on each and every sale.
Envato marketplaces are an example. Stock photos, stock videos, etc are a few more examples.
Stock photography – istockPhoto
Web site themes – ThemeForest
Other marketplaces from Envato
This is a membership where people pay a monthly fee just to get a discount.
This would only make sense if the buyers are buying frequently or in large quantities from the vendor.
They pay either a one-time fee or an ongoing subscription fee to get a discount on the vendor’s products and/or their JV partner’s products.
This could either be a discount aggregator where they put together JVs with multiple vendors or done by a single vendor for their own products.
The way a 3rd party would make this work is, they can obtain discounts or deals from different vendors, and they aggregate them and put them on the same catalogue. If you sign up through the membership, you can get discounts that people not on the list, cannot get.
This is a fantastic way for businesses to get new customers. If they offer discounts, then new prospects would consider them and possibly continue with them as customers.
This is also a way to increase customer loyalty.
28. First Notice Advantage:
This type of membership is where members pay a one-time fee or an ongoing recurring fee to get on an early bird or notification list.
This type of subscription only works in situations (or niches or businesses) in which getting a first mover advantage is particularly valuable.
This could be:
- Getting certain news first hand before anyone else
- Getting notifications about a new product release
- About a new deal that is coming up
- Discounts to new or existing products and services
- Changes to the products or services
- New products or services
- Updates to the existing products
- Changes to the company management
- Changes in strategy
- Any bugs or errors in the products
- Any fixes or solutions for bugs
- Updates about R&D
- New concepts and ideas that the company is working on
- Hiring or recruitment
- New targets
- New budgets or budget cuts
- Any information that would be useful to the recipient
Normally, you could just sign up to newsletters or get on a notification list on the company’s website and you get most of the information that is mentioned above. However, these lists are open to everyone.
Another way of implementing this is to add your customers to this premium list when after they make a purchase. So, getting added to this first notice list is one of the perks of being a customer. Therefore, it could be clubbed together with the price of the product / main subscription.
This is like selling spots on an exceedingly limited waiting list where people on the waiting list are giving first notice and priority over other people.
First come first serve is not always preferred by a lot of buyers, and in such instances, this option would allow vendors to make some money.
They are paying to jump ahead of the queue and to get an unfair advantage.
This is normal, but it is done by 3rd party vendors who are more like data providers. You can however, incorporate this into your own business.
29. Inner Clubs:
Inner clubs are something like VIP clubs or insider clubs. There are both similar and different to some of the other clubs that are mentioned here.
They are very exclusive in nature. Usually, you would have to be invited to such a club and cannot buy you way in. Although the price would be (outrageously) high in most cases, being able and willing to pay the fee is often not good enough.
You should meet a long list of criteria to be able to even qualify for membership. Few of things might be:
- You should already have a history with the vendor
- Like be one of their longest customers who has bought one of their other products and therefore qualify for this
- Must have spent a lot of money (or a certain amount) with them
- Size of the customer’s account
- Or something else
You might have to be referred by another member.
These could also be like mastermind groups that you can only be part of through invitation.
30. Consulting / Coaching / Mentoring:
If you are offering some kind of coaching, consulting or mentoring, you can offer a subscription service.
Coaching or mentoring is a service that takes time and is not offered as a onetime thing. It is a service that goes on an ongoing basis (with regular frequency). The contact sessions might be weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, bi-annual or when you have completed an assignment.
This is a preferred way to offer services than the one time session, where the participants are forced to take in more information than they can and are expected to follow through on everything. Following through and executing the plan does not happen on most cases because it is overwhelming.
The best results have always been when there is continuous coaching (teaching) with feedback and support. There is monitoring and someone to hold you accountable for getting results.
There are several people who would prefer this method since it has been proven to be more effective.
Group coaching, mentoring or consulting is also a good way to provide services. This is where you are coaching a group of people at the same time. This is better because you are able to teach several people at the same time saving time and effort. This would translate to higher profitability and a higher dollar value on your time.
It makes sense because at the early stages or in certain modules for the duration of the coaching/mentoring, the material/content to be delivered would be the same for everyone.
It helps the participants because results seem to be better when they work in a group. The group dynamics make it difficult for them to flake out. They are forced to produce results.
Usually, when the common content is delivered, then the assignments and worksheets are assessed individually. If their progress is different, they can either accelerate or slow down from the rest of the group.
Their training can also be modified based on their progress or their requirements later on. When something like this is done, less time is spent on delivering common content and more time is spent on focusing on the individual. This works out as a benefit to participants.
31. Tech Support:
Tech support can be provided on a monthly subscription fee. Not just tech support, but any kind of support service can be provided on a monthly subscription fee.
It could be “Remote desktop support”, where technicians sitting anywhere around the world can get access to your computer, diagnose and fix the errors in your computer.
The company could be providing general tech support where they could fix any problems that come up in your PC or it could be specialized. Specialized tech support would focus on something like security problems, data management, certain application software, etc.
The company that is offering this subscription service might be just offering dedicated tech support and nothing else. It could also be a software or hardware vendor that is offering premium tech support for a fee.
It could be recurring payment or a one-time fee.
There could be several levels of premium tech support offered to subscribers, and they would have different features and benefits.
Some of them might be:
- More minutes or time of support service that is available
- Number of incidents or problems that are fixed is higher
- Being just guided by technicians Vs technicians fixing the problem themselves
- Documentation of diagnosis and fixing
- Guaranteed fixing of errors
- Installing new software
- 24/7 support Vs support during a certain time frame
- Dedicated technicians or account managers
- Dashboard or console where users could just log in and check vital information
- Diagnostic history that is available online
- If a problem repeats then it is fixed for free
Sometimes support can be expensive, and the basic support is provided for free by the software vendors. This would include help manual, FAQs, support forum, live chat, user community support, support content base (like videos, screenshots, etc).
If this is not enough, then users have the option of paying a fee and getting premium support.
Sometimes a certain amount of premium support is included with the purchase of the product.
There are companies that have subscriptions for just updates and nothing else. If you buy a wordpress theme, then that theme would be constantly updated (mostly) for free.
For some themes, you would have to pay the developers a small monthly fee and receive updates on a regular basis.
Here are a few ways it could work:
- You could charge for the product upfront and not charge for the updates.
- You could have a low cost subscription (for updates) that would justify the support costs.
- Some companies provide free updates for the current version after you pay for the product. Once there is a new version you would have to pay for the updates/upgrades.
- The product itself is a subscription and updates are included in the plan. So there is no additional cost for the updates. However, the price is lower than that of the cost of the product.
- The product is a subscription but updates are a feature in a higher level of subscription.
- Make you pay the full cost of the product since it would be released as a new version.
- You can have a periodical renewal fee for the license (either 6 months or annual) which would include updates.
If you are going to charge for updates, then the update must be worth the cost. If not, then your customers are not going to be happy. Make sure you can justify the price.
Adobe Photoshop software – Photoshop
Website themes – Woothemes
Thesis WordPress theme – Diythemes
This is an opportunity that is missed by most businesses. Service businesses can easily incorporate a subscription service into their business.
As an example, this can be seen abundantly in the digital marketing industry. SEO services or PPC management services are billed on a monthly basis.
You could pretty much charge any service on a monthly fee if you are creative enough. If you service does not naturally lend itself to a recurring billing cycle, then you would have to restructure your offer.
Services that are best suited for this type of subscription are:
- Services which require constant updating or maintenance
- Services that are required to be performed on an ongoing basis
- Services that require the same work on a recurring basis
The benefits for the sellers are:
- This would bring in higher revenue
- This would increase your conversion rates (converting visitors and prospects into buyers)
- You would get more customers to stay with you
- The work flow is more predictable
The benefits for the buyers are:
- There is no giant upfront capital that has to be spent
- The costs are small recurring payments
- There is a low risk in projects
- The vendors will have to stay on top of their toes since they are being paid each month and not upfront
- Buyers can cancel anytime easily
34. Paid Discussion Boards:
These are premium discussion boards or forums that charge either a one-time fee or sometimes a subscription (recurring) fee for access or full access.
These premium forums are extremely well moderated, and unlike most free discussion boards, the signal to noise ratio is very high (which means, the content is of high quality). The backlinks that got from them is of high quality and tremendously useful in SEO.
The traffic that you would get from them is highly targeted and therefore, converts exceptionally well.
These premium forums have truly knowledgeable or experienced contributors (apart from employees or hired experts) who are compensated one way or another.
- Mostly, they help out other members in the forum because they like to.
- They want to share their knowledge.
- They want to establish their expertise and build an online presence, especially on that platform.
- They might get paid. Google answers had a model where people with the best answers got paid.
- They might be appointed moderators.
- They might get titles in that forum. They might get points or some other way or recognition (Gamification).
The content is generally excellent.
The subscription usually includes other perks, like:
- Free trial
- Other content
- Access to other premium content
The entire board could be premium access. Alternatively, like most premium forms, there are free access areas and there are premium access areas/sections in the forum which you have to pay to get access.
Vbulletin is the default software that is used in most cases. It is the leading premium forum/discussion board software. There are plenty of other options too.
Oxford Reference Online
In this type of subscription, you pay a recurring fee to get access to a digital library.
Here are some of the ways it might work:
- Digital versions of real life libraries where the content is digital versions of the print material in the library
- Just purely digital libraries where the content was created digital and remains that way
- Just an extensions of print libraries where you could just login into your admin panel and browse the titles, reserve, borrow and return books
- You could just borrow or access the digital versions of the books instead of the print versions
The membership would have different levels and the different levels would have different features like:
- More books can be borrowed at the same time
- Allowed to keep the books for a longer time before returning them
- You get access to all the different sections in the library
- You can borrow new books (you request would have a higher priority over non premium members)
- Can reserve ahead of other non-premium members
- Lower fees for borrowing
- You can borrow magazines
- You can borrow journals and scientific/technical publications
- You can get the books delivered to your home
- You can get videos and other DVDs
Several functions would be moved online, and that would have huge benefits. Some of them are:
- Lower costs
- Needs less resources at the library
- Easy management
In this type of subscription, you would send out exclusive or reviewed business opportunities to the subscribers. This has a sleazy reputation, but if you take a few precautions, things should be fine.
The people who are running these opportunities want candidates that are qualified.
Business opportunities could be things like:
- Home based business
- Direct mail business
- Direct selling
- Marketing business
- Affiliate marketing or commission based sales
There have been plenty of scams related to business opportunities which has given them a particularly bad reputation. Although it is true that there are plenty of scammers, there are also some legitimate ones that are worth looking into.
If you are the vendor who is selling this subscription, then just make sure that the opportunities that you mention are not fakes but legitimate ones.
Just do some basic verification of the essentials and background checking for these opportunities. Maybe even test them so that you would know whether they are legit.
You could maintain a list, catalogue or a database of these business opportunities and give subscribers access to them or send them out in emails and newsletters.
If you are the user, then be cautious about using the opportunities listed or mentioned. Have your own checklist for verification to make sure they are legit and worth spending your time, money and effort on.
Have a checklist for this purpose where you would crosscheck things like:
- Checking their date of creation
- 3rd party verification
- Location of the business
- Terms and condition
- Success stories
- Track record
You can charge a subscription fee to buyers and can also get paid on a per lead basis or a commission basis by the vendors that you listed. So, there are two main revenue streams here.
In this type of subscription, you are paying a one-time fee or a recurring fee to enter and stay in a contest.
Here, are a few ways it could work:
- You pay an initial fee to enter the contest. You pay a recurring fee (monthly) to stay in the contest.
- There is no one time initial fee to enter. However, there is a recurring fee to enter and stay in the contest. You keep playing as long as you are paying.
- You pay a fee for each stage (in a way, this is recurring).
- You pay a fee to enter the contest and play. You would have to pay again for the next edition.
- It is free to join and play, however, if you want more feature or benefits, then you would have to start paying. This gives you a better chance of winning.
When the contest is over, the contestants either get some sort of consolation prize or nothing at all (unless they win). The winners are rewarded well.
38. QA Sites:
QA sites are hugely popular these days, but most of them are free. However, it is possible to have premium QA platforms.
It is a platform where anybody could post a question and get it answered by several people from around the world.
The people who answer could be:
- Other users who might have had a similar experience
- Topic/subject experts
- People who work in that industry and know something relevant to the question
- People who have or are acquiring a formal education in that field
- People who would research the answers to your question
- People who just want to help out
If you are in a line of work where you would need a lot of questions answered on a regular basis and want the answers quickly, then such a platform would be a huge boon.
The price of the subscription is extremely small and insignificant, but the benefits are vast.
The people who answer are either looking to get established as experts or will receive a share of the money or just do it because they love doing it.
Google answers used to be one of them.
The model here was that each question was worth a certain dollar amount and the contributor with the best solution would be awarded the money after the solution is accepted.
Quora is a free QA site.
Interviews are a terrific way to create content if you are a publisher. There are several shows on television that just focus on interviews.
+There are also several TV shows which have interviews as an important part of their content and depend on them heavily.
There are several ways you can do this:
- You can choose a certain industry or a niche and then, get people within that industry to do interviews just about topics that are relevant to that particular industry
- You can also get people from different industries to talk about a certain topic or a particular aspect of their work, like how they got started, how they do project management or how they build and manage teams, etc
- The interviews can either be done live or it can be recorded and put up on the website for others to download
- The paid subscribers might get a chance to interview or question the guest and get answers to certain questions they might have
- The subscribers would also have the ability to suggest guests or pick guests from a list that is provided to them by the host
There are plenty of online publications that use interviews remarkably well to launch themselves and also to promote themselves.
Interviews give an opportunity for your audience to learn more about celebrities and experts in their relevant industry and understand how they do what they do.
It gives them answers to their questions from a unique perspective.
Interviews are timeless classic for content. They have always been popular and always will be. You will never run out of content if you choose this method.
Xbox Live Plan
There are plenty of online games that are single, multiplayer or role playing and that work on a subscription basis.
Most of these games are incredibly addictive and once you are hooked, it is very difficult to turn back.
The games could be one of five types:
- PC based games where you would have to buy the boxed retail version or purchase it online and download it. You would then have to install the game on your PC to play it
- Server based games where you would have to install something on your PC to play the game. However, you would also be connected to the game’s web server
- Web based games where you do not have to install the game on your PC. You could just play the game using your web browser like a web app
- Mobile app games where you could just buy the game app from an app store, install it on your mobile device and start playing
- Console based games where you would have to buy a gaming console like Xbox or Playstation and buy the games for those consoles
In all of the above types, it is possible to have either one-time fee or recurring fee for the games.
When the games that you installed on your PC are connected to the game servers, it would give you updates and help you play real time multiplayer games.
There are several ways to make this subscription work:
- Full on paid games where you have a straight model of paying a subscription fee to get full access to the game
However, mostly, the games are free for the basic version and there are other ways to generate revenue.
Subscribers have to pay to get:
- Updates or newer versions of the game
- Upgrades required in the game like weapons, health, armor, vehicles, etc.
- Higher levels or stages in the game
- Certain features or functions in the game
- Multiplayer games
- Virtual goods
- Move from free trial to full version
Subscribers can also get other benefits for signing up for the membership like getting access to a premium member’s zone or fan club.
41. Associations And Organizations:
New York Chamber Of Commerce
Every industry has an association or some kind of member organization. They usually charge an annual fee for the membership.
These can be:
- Trade organizations
- Regional organizations
- National organizations
- International organizations
- Statewide organizations
- Industry associations
- Chamber of commerce
- Business organizations
- Networking organizations
There several benefits obtained by joining such organizations:
- Networking with other industry professionals
- Getting access to the directory of members
- Being included in the directory of members
- Getting some sort of accreditation or approval
- Verification of your business
- You will be invited to seminars
- You will be invited to conferences
- Leads that come to the association might be directed to you
- References from the association or its members
- Research reports that are prepared by the association or acquired by them
- You are updated on the industry news
- You might get a chance to be part of a delegation to another country or get to meet an overseas delegation that comes to your country
- You might get help with your business or trade or profession
- You will receive assistance in dealing with other institutions (like banks or other associations)
- Credibility to your business
- Certification from the association
- You will receive help to promote yourself to other members and associations and for your events
- You can get help with marketing your business or yourself
- Advocacy – Your opinion or voice would be heard through the association
It usually requires an annually recurring subscription to become a member of such an association. There might be different membership levels with different benefits at each level.
Most of the memberships in this category are just online extensions of associations that were already in existence and pretty well established offline.
However, it is possible to construct something like this entirely online.
You could just put up a website, solicit members, use online marketing, send out newsletters, reports, charge them online, etc.
The events however could be offline so that members would get an opportunity to meet other members.
42. Product With Support:
(Maintenance, Warranty, Insurance)
In this type of subscription, you would either pay a one-time or recurring fee for getting support with your product purchase.
The support might include:
- Extended warranty
When you buy a product or service these “support” subscriptions are offered as an add-on or upsell or backend sale.
A surprisingly high percentage of people buy this when they purchase the product. The biggest reason that people buy these subscriptions is to get peace of mind and a sense of safety and security.
WordPress themes – Woothemes
Photoshop software – Adobe Photoshop
43. Market Research And Competitive Intelligence:
Market research is a massive industry and many businesses are willing to pay astronomical sums of money to get reliable, accurate and timely market research information.
These are usually customized services that cannot be standardized like other subscriptions mentioned here. The market research projects fees and competitive intelligence projects fees are usually project based flat fees.
However, this is another content niche where there is scope for standardized subscription services.
Market research and competitive intelligence information or data can be standardized and sold as content packages for either a one-time fee or a subscription fee.
Market research that is performed for one business is standardized and sold to others/everyone (with permission).
It is also possible to sell newsletter subscriptions that have information on the latest news, trends and changes happening in the industry. It would be a condensed version of all the market research and competitive intelligence that businesses in the industry need to know. To get more, they would have to buy the reports.
There is a lot of standardized information you can sell, like:
- Market research reports of buyers, demographics, industry trends, sales figures, new opportunities, new players, changes in the industry
- Reports that provide general market research about the industry on a regular basis
- Quarterly analysis reports of financial results of various companies
- Reports that are compiled by following and analyzing certain companies, trends, topics or products
- Quarterly, biannual or annual reports of various aspects of the industry
- Updates to existing reports
- Competitive intelligence on companies, competitors, products
- Constant monitoring
Market research and competitive intelligence information keeps changing, and there are people willing to pay on a recurring basis for constantly updating them.
44. Online Universities:
Online universities are becoming quite popular due to a variety of reasons.
Some of those reasons are:
- The cost of course from an online university is much lower
- The time that a student has to spend on completing the course is generally reduced
- The course is extremely flexible
- Being able to study from any location in the world is a huge advantage
- More choice in courses offered
- Cost of living and other expenses low since you can stay at home when taking the course and do not have to travel
- You can get a degree from a top tier school at lower costs
- Work at your own pace and you can complete the course faster
- You would get some of the best teachers available
- Easy credit transfer
- The courseware is digital, and you can access it anytime from anywhere
The online universities that provide real degree courses must have accreditation or a license to do so. Alternatively, they could also offer just certification courses that show the student has completed the course and has passed the tests with a certain grade.
The tests could either be conducted by the university or it could be 3rd party testing services and certification services.
If you are setting up an online university, the advantages that you would have are:
- Your costs are lower
- You can provide more courses
- Creation of courses and teaching is easier and faster
- You can get the best teachers at lower costs
- Can easily and cheaply achieve bigger scale since it is entirely digital
- It is much easier to accommodate an exceptionally high number of students
- The location becomes irrelevant
People can start learning from anywhere they want, and learn at their own pace. There are several courses to choose from within several disciplines.
The payment is more complicated than other subscription types. It might be run like a real university where students have to pay per semester or year.
Alternatively, there are other ways to charge students for the courses. It could be monthly, bi-annual or annual subscription. In such cases, the duration could be fixed and decided in advance, or it could go on for as long as it takes for the student to complete the course.
It could also be pay per course where the students have to pay a flat fee for the course.
45. Virtual Reality / Virtual Worlds / Virtual Goods:
This is something that is brand new and did not exist more than a decade ago but is taking the internet world by storm.
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment, through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments.
Virtual goods are non-physical objects purchased for use in online communities or online games. Digital goods, on the other hand, may be a broader category including digital books, music, and movies. Virtual goods have no intrinsic value and are intangible by definition.
The overall market for virtual goods in the US is headed towards $2.9 billion for 2012, according to the Inside Virtual Goods report. That is up from $2.2 billion this year, and $1.6 billion in 2010.
Virtual goods are one of the most rapidly growing segments on the internet.
There are plenty of places where virtual goods are sold and bought, like:
- Online games
- Virtual worlds
- Fantasy environments
- Social media networks
Mostly these are one-time expenses or sales, but they can be subscriptions as well:
- Digital gifts
- Clothing for avatars
- Extra lives or health for characters
- Digital money
- Digital real estate
- Farm animals and equipment
- Food and drinks
- Trophies and badges
If it is a subscription, then for a low monthly recurring fee, you would get a certain quantity of digital goods. It could also be a barter system where for a certain amount of goods (or virtual currency), you could get a certain amount of other goods and services based on the online exchange rate.
You could also buy some of these virtual currencies, goods and services using real money.
All games by Zynga
Games on Facebook like Farmville and mafiawars
We have covered all of the 45 different types of membership sites and subscription offers. You can follow any one of these models or just adapt and modify any of the models to create your model.
Incase you missed the first part, here it is: