So, you thought the Internet was free, and every video uploadable was available to anyone, anywhere, right? Not so — if you’re familiar with the ‘real’ world, you would know that there is actually a lot of high-quality, premium stuff out there that people actually to pay for — “How to Learn Yoga” videos and what not. And MindBites wants to bring this content on the web and sell it.
If you’re familiar with the iStockPhoto business model, where you top up your account with credits and where one stock photo is worth one credit, etc. Mindset works in a similar way. There is of course some free content, but that’s like looking for apples in a gold basket. Mainly, Mindbites has videos ranging from arts and crafts to digital video and tech, and even health, hobbies, and music, and for each, you get to watch a free preview and if you like it, purchase it with a credit (1 credit = $1.99, cheaper if you buy more).
What’s interesting about Mindbites is that its concept goes right in the face of most content sites out there. While the popular model has always been to enable “user-generated” content to reach as many as possible for free, MindBites is about enabling premium, high quality, professional content to reach those have a need for it and will pay for it — and most equal the cost of a TV show on iTunes!
So, is there an audience here? Are people going to accept this model, or flock to John Doe from St. Paul, Minnesota to teach them how to play guiter? To be honest, while I think for the “must-have”/”get-nowhere-else” content there will be some who would be willing to pay a premium price, a lot of people are going to find that books and free videos on sites like YouTube and Google Video and 5min is enough to fulfill their needs.
Additionally, I think the price is way too high. For a good, professional instructional video, the most I’d expect to pay for it would be $0.50: anything more, and I either want a TV show or movie rental from iTunes or half a cup of a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks topped with cream.