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“One Dose of Skepticism Please.” “Certainly! That’ll be 99 Cents.”

by Ryan Johnson, Jul 21 2009

What is knowledge worth? How can we place a value on education, on reason, on being properly informed? More importantly, if there was no monetary value on education and knowledge, would it have significance in our society?

In our fast-paced lives, surrounded by ever-speedier means to send and receive information, entertainment and knowledge, one question that I, as a content producer must grapple with is how much is this information worth to others?

The internet has no doubt revolutionized the way modern societies access and consume information. Right behind information is entertainment. With this paradigm shift is an important issue that people in the entertainment industry are facing, some gladly, others kicking and screaming. A few still have just buried their head in the sand (I submit that’s a start, they might as well keep digging into that sand)

Ryan Johnson and Brian Dunning. Shooting the "Exhaust Note Scene" with a Ferrari Mondial

Ryan Johnson and Brian Dunning. Shooting the Exhaust Note Scene with a Ferrari Mondial


You no doubt have heard of the strikes that have occurred in Hollywood with artists studios and agents all locking horns to determine rights, residuals and royalties. The Writer’s Guild of America strike lasted 100 days and is said to have cost up to 2.1 billion in opportunity costs. These talks included discussions about how rights and royalties would be paid for content that is streamed or downloaded through “New Media” sources, IE the Internet, mobile devices, etc.

How much content do you personally consume on the internet? How much of it if completely free to you, the end user? (Beside the cost for your bandwidth) I would guess that 90% or more is about right for most people. Everyone says they still pay for music too! ..That’s funny.

The issue that drives this home for me is the simple fact that I produce content. I work hard on ideas, assemble groups of talented people and create videos, projects, movies, shows. I do this with the intention of #1 Entertaining, #2 Educating, #3 Making a Living.

L to R Shira Lazar, Ryan Johnson & Brian Dunning in a creepy Meat Locker for Truth Hurts Web Series.

L to R Shira Lazar, Ryan Johnson & Brian Dunning in a creepy Meat Locker for Truth Hurts Web Series.


In increasing levels of difficulty those three precepts make what I do for a living a challenge. It’s relatively easy to entertain someone (especially after you’ve been doing it for some time) It’s not as easy to educate someone; that becomes increasingly more subjective depending on your audience, and #3 making a living at it, is the toughest part most times.

When you sit down at your computer, put on your iPod or turn on the radio, you’re presented with an almost unlimited number of options to entertain you and educate you. So my question is this: What would you pay to get a program that is educational, and entertaining if it was centered around subjects related to Skepticism and critical thinking?

My production team, Brian Dunning, Shira Lazar and I have recently completed the first episode of another skepticism-oriented project called Truth Hurts. We are developing this program as a web series that is accessible and viewed online. These shorter (around 10 minute) entertaining, funny and educational shows will provide a great way to interject thinking with ideas, products and claims that are found in our daily lives. We screened a “director’s cut” during TAM7 in Las Vegas and got some great feedback for it. We are currently completing the edit and tightening it up.

As we plan the distribution and release of this series, we find ourselves engaged in the discussion that so many are grappling with right now: How do you monetize content on the Internet when you are surrounded by content that is free for the taking? Advertising seems to be the way to go, and will most likely be the case for our program as well, (We are looking for sponsors currently) But there are other options, such as pay-per download and subscription based content. The way we stand out and offer a value is by placing a high importance on production quality, uniqueness of the content, and a fun show that is also educational.

My goal is to make the content accessible to the widest audience available, and that means it’s got to be 100% free to view. So we need to have three things: 1. Advertisers that wish to align their brand with the types of people that would watch our show which, right now would mostly be our skeptical community, but would eventually shift to mainstream audiences and even to “believers” in the hocus that we slay. 2: People that are able to donate money directly to the project to support the type of content that we are creating. And 3: A energetic audience that tells their friends about the show and help it hopefully go “viral” so that it’s quickly consumed by the mainstream media audience.

Truth Hurts Web Series Co-Hosts Shira Lazar and Brian Dunning

Truth Hurts Web Series Co-Hosts Shira Lazar and Brian Dunning

So I ask you, wonderful blog-reader bulldogs of critical thinking and punctuation, here’s a little questionnaire for you, would you help us with an impromptu marketing research?

1.What would YOU pay to watch an episode of a skeptical show on the Internet?
2. Would you go to a specific website (IE: www.TruthHurts.tv) at least once a month to watch a new episode.
3. Would you want to be able to download it?
4. Would you sign up for a subscription service that electronically delivered the content to you for a monthly fee?
5. Would you donate money directly to the production entity producing the content? (If so, look below!)





We have plans in place and operations in motion to bring both The Skeptologists and TruthHurts to audiences soon, but having this information will help us to see how our little slice of web visitors to this site feel about these subjects. Your information and comments are very valuable to us!

As my dedicated team and I strive to create new and entertaining way of getting the concepts of Skepticism into the mainstream media, we’re working all the angles possible to bring these ideas to life! Your help and support is going a long way towards making that happen!

Thank you!

Recommended Reading

29 Responses to ““One Dose of Skepticism Please.” “Certainly! That’ll be 99 Cents.””

  1. Lorne Schneider says:

    Hi, I really enjoy the work Brian Dunning has done and I am looking forward to seeing both Truth Hurts and the Skeptologists.

    1. I would not pay to see a web show of any kind because I don’t think it’s an good economical model. A few dollars a month isn’t much for one show but it does add up. Most of us are already paying a substantial monthly fee just to access the internet.

    2. I would definitely visit a web site to view the show but a better way would be to offer it as a video podcast. Contact our friends over at Revision 3.

    3. Yes
    4. No, see 1.
    5. No, see 1.

  2. ejdalise says:

    1) No (maybe)
    Too much free content I’ve yet to go through. Plus, being video, it requires a commitment of time (as opposed to a podcast I can listen to while driving).

    2) Yes, but not regularly
    Same reason as above.

    3) Maybe, depending on content.
    Used to be a time I wanted copies of everything because you never knew when the information would disappear, and because I came from the magazine mentality. These days it would have to be very good, or something I can use as reference. But really, likely no.

    4)Not likely, but still dependent on content.
    Without knowing what I would get, it is not likely. Maybe after some track record has been established, but see answer to #1 for qualifier.

    5) Not likely, but still dependent on content.
    It would also depend on whether the audience consists mostly of general public, or if it ends up being fan boys and girls. If the program really helps convert people to the benefits of critical thinking, I would support it. If it’s mostly watched by other skeptics, then they can support it.

  3. Becca Stareyes says:

    1. Depends on the quality, of course, but currently I’m comfortable with iTunes rates for TV shows ($1 to $2 an episode for unlimited viewings on my computer).

    2. Yes, if reminded. I follow a writing serial (Shadow Unit) and do go to read their ‘episodes’. However, it helps that one of the authors is on my blogroll. Even something as simple as an RSS feed helps — it’s what I do for a weekly video game review (Zero Punctuation).

    3. Depends. I don’t mind viewing streaming stuff online, but downloads could help in sharing with friends. (Along the lines of ‘you need to check this out’.) Also, if it was coming down, I’d want copies if it was good and worth rewatching.

    4. As long as I was getting content. I like the iTunes model where I pay per file or bundle of files. Paying for access is not something I’m willing to do.

    5. I’m more likely to donate if I already like the project and want to see more, than for production of an unknown quantity.

  4. Brian M says:

    You have to think of this like a consumer’s (people like me) perspective. And I think you have to a point.

    To answer the questions directly:
    1. No. Never. Not in a million years. There is too much to compete with, and even a sample is not enough to make me want to buy something. There are too many content producers that are selling snake oil. They have a few good clips, and the rest is garbage. Few are willing to take a chance on a sample, even a full episode sample.
    2. No. Never. Not in a million years. HOWEVER, if the clips had a 10 or 20 second trailer, posted on youtube (or other popular sites, perhaps with RSS feeds), with a _direct_ link to the video, then yes, I would. I would not create an account, nor would I really use much of that site’s features or watch any of its advertising unless embedded with the content. Everyone uses adblock now, so the ads need to be embedded.
    3. Probably not. However, if the content is excellent, I may want to buy a well build DVD for distribution to friends, or pay for high def versions individually or at a full season discount for playback for friends. Obviously, the price would need to be fairly cheap.
    4. Nope. I wouldn’t. That doesn’t mean others wouldn’t though. Perhaps, as I said before, if a high def version was available at a cost, but a standard/low def version was free, that would be an incentive to get the higher version. I already do this for internet radio. Mainly because the freebie version is so littered with advertising (and annoying advertising) that it makes me want a clean version that sounds better.
    5. Perhaps. I don’t generally donate though. If there was some funny t-shirts, with humorous skeptical sayings, with a discreet logo of the production, then I may buy those types of things, related to the show. That also makes good “word of mouth” advertising, as people ask the wearer “hah, thats funny, where did you get that”. “Oh, its part of this awesome show from Ryan Johnson and Brian Dunning about … blah blah blah”. Inside jokes are OK, but stand alone jokes are better, even if only targeted at skeptics.

    Basically, what I am suggesting, is to offer a free, low def, scattered with ads version. Something that can really demonstrate the show, but annoying enough that people would be hesitant to show to a crowded room for fear of a viagra commercial showing up half way. Then offer a high def version at a relatively small fee, perhaps with added content, and devoid of ads. That way you are taking advantage of both worlds. The cheap bastard who just wants the content, and doesn’t care about the added hassle. And the rich bastard who will pay for decent or excellent content to get rid of the hassle.

    I like the iTunes model, where you can pre-buy a season, or buy certain episodes. If you buy the bundle, you get even more “extra” content.

  5. Hi there!

    I’m also comfortable with the iTunes model. Something where it would send me an update to let me know that there’s a new episode out, and allow me to buy/not buy it as I choose. But for a few dollars, I can’t imagine me NOT buying it.

    Although, if this show is anything close to what I’m expecting, the format that I’d REALLY like to see it in is prime time network TV, since … we really need that sort of thing in this day and age. :)

    But yeah, if this were a regular podcast, I suspect that I’d add it to my iTunes folder. a dollar or two is not a lot to ask, as long as I’d get choose when to spend it. I’m really looking forward to this show. I think that I might have just fallen madly in love with one of the two co-hosts. ;)

  6. 1) I think Lorne and ejdalise covered it nicely.

    2 & 3) While I’d prefer to download episodes of a show vod-cast style, I wouldn’t mind high quality streaming episodes on the site. Either way, definitely needs an RSS feed to remind me to visit the site for new content to stream or download as it gets posted.

    4) Very unlikely for the reasons addressed above.

    5) Totally depends on if I enjoy the content. I don’t know if the donate model is really viable as the only solution, but it can’t hurt as a supplementary stream of revenue for the show. I know that I have, at least, donated to shows I enjoy in the past and see no reason not to in the future.

    As a modification of the donation model, and I’m not sure how well it would translate to a show with decent production values, let alone to earning a living from it, I’m intrigued by a method a podcaster I listen to uses. He produces 2 weekly free podcasts on the donation model with a twist, for donors who make a kind of monthly subscription donation he also produces a 3rd private podcast just for them, as a kind of bonus gift for donating. I’m not sure how that could translate for a show, maybe some sort of directors cuts or behind the scenes videos or commentary track or some combination, but its an interesting format that at least pays for his bandwidth. Just a rambling thought.

  7. Matt Navarre says:

    I would pay $.99 for each 20-30 minute episode on iTunes, and would more likely buy a season subscription.

    If episodes are shorter, then maybe $12.99 for a season of 20 episodes. I think the iTunes model will prevail over commercials, or at least I hope so. Skeptics are IT types. We have TiVo and don’t watch commercials.

  8. Blake says:

    1. Generally I wouldn’t pay anything (the amount of money available for content purchases/amount of content viewed is a very small number). If the content were really spectacular, and I could download it for repeated viewing, and the overall cost wasn’t too high (maybe $5-10 for a season worth of episodes) then I’d consider it.

    2. Possibly. The content would have to be good to draw me in regularly, and the website will need to avoid common problems (I’d need to be able to pause, buffer, and such). I’d be more likely to watch if it were on Hulu.

    3. See #1 – a download option is a prerequisite for purchase.

    4. No

    5. No

  9. Bevin Aguero says:

    1. I would pay nothing. As has already been repeated, there is an abundance of free content out there that I will refer to instead.
    2. Requiring that I visit a website separately every time I want to watch a new video (and/or want to check to see if a new one is even available) makes it MUCH less likely that I will continue to watch. RSS feeds are how I consume most of my internet content these days, and if one isn’t provided you either need to have excellent content or a really reliable schedule for video releases that I can recall.
    3. No, I do not need to be able to download it, assuming that there will be a DVD release or something tangible that I could purchase later if I decided that I very much wanted to keep episodes.
    4. No. I much more prefer that the core content is free, but there are other “extras” that I might be interested in (which I could then purchase). Make your core product free but provide many other “reasons to buy” through extras.
    5. Yes I would, if I greatly enjoyed the content and there was no other way to support the show (other than the ads that I would already be watching).

  10. JonA says:

    Would I donate? For you guys, sure! But I doubt many others would.

    Your best bet, I think, is to get some ad support, join some kind of ‘network’ (like revision3), and make your shows available for free on your site, youtube, and itunes. Talk to Brian Brushwood about it, he was at TAM7 and has a successful internet show called Scam School.

  11. davery says:

    1. Nothing (probably). In a perfect world, you could create content and have it paid for by the millions of people that feel it’s necessary in their lives. This is not going to happen (initially). I would love to say that I will give money for your show, but I would be lying. You’re competing with free, and that’s a tough sell. If, however, there was a signficant buzz about it on teh intertubes, I might check it out to see if it was worth my time.
    2. Absolutely, especially if it had an RSS feed to remind me.
    3. Doesn’t particularly matter if the eps are short.
    4. Probably not, see 1.
    5. Probably not, see 1. The way I see this, you’re not a charity or a “cause” so to speak (yes I know there is a greater cause of education here, but it’s not quite the same) and thus are really doing this as a personal goal or for personal satisfaction. In that light, it’s really your perogative to create a demand, not mine to help you with a pet project.

    I totally applaud your motives here and am just trying to be as honest as possible with the answers. I believe most people would agree with me that trolling the internet for seed/production money for your idea is a waste of time. Demand must be created before anyone is going to pay for content on a level that “monetizes” sufficiently.

    I would completely evangelize your show if I found it entertaining and useful, as I have for many of the podcasts, blogs, and websites I visit.

  12. Brian says:

    1) No
    2) Frequently – but better if it is part of a larger website with articles or other video content so I have other reasons to visit.
    3) Yes
    4) No
    5) Maybe

    I believe the best long term model for shows on the internet is to embed commercials in them. This eliminates many issues with piracy (who would bother to reedit a show just to remove commercials) or use a model similar to hulu.com (which is a method of delivery that was inevitable).

    On that note, what does it take to get your show onto hulu?

  13. aaron says:

    1. 0
    2. with an rss feed…
    3. no
    4. no
    5. no
    (sorry!)

    Hulu or somesuch would be great, such a model as this (and southparkstudios.com and adultswim.com) works fine, i accept the commercials and hopefully someone is getting paid… far better than itunes (i don’t use) or cable (i don’t have)

  14. LovleAnjel says:

    1. Nothing…why buy the cow…?

    2. ‘twer free, yes.

    3. Absolutely…I download things to the Zune to watch on the plane.

    4. Unlikely, unless it was nominal. I’d prefer a per-episode download fee.

    5. Possibly…perhaps if I get a bonus.

  15. MadScientist says:

    1. So many sites just don’t work with my computer; I’d be too paranoid to pay out then claim a refund if I can’t get at the material.

    2. Sure – how many new episodes will there be per month?

    3. Of course; sometimes my connection is too flaky to view things live.

    4. No

    5. Not unless I really liked the show.

    Folks are accustomed to buying season DVDs for commercial shows for about $25 and they’d probably expect about the same even for small independently produced shows, so I think it’ll be tough getting any more than $30 per year out of people for subscriptions. You have a lot of advertising to do to bring in the dough. How about talking to people to get some sort of idea by running polls here, on JREF, CSICOP and maybe a few other sites to see how many people would be willing to fork out a little to at least produce a few shows. If you can bank such pledges perhaps you can at least do a small run without running too much risk of starvation and see how many people pick up and subscribe then.

    Then of course there are the usual questions: how long can a series go for before people get bored? You might have to look into offering a number of shows rather than one at a time. :)

  16. JPCAetano says:

    Look into the concept of “Freemium”, and what Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine has to say about it.
    I mean this seriously, DO look into it, it could be a model that you could end up using.

  17. Astrotreen says:

    1.I would if I enjoyed it, a dollar or so at most per episode.
    2. I think I would, the ability to put it into an RSS feed to remind me would be helpful!
    3. Definently, I wouldn’t pay for it if a download option wasn’t available.
    4. I’d prefer the option of downloading each episode based on the content of the show.
    5. I would indeed

    Another important pre-requisite would be to make it available to viewers in countries other than the US! (ie not Hulu etc)

  18. Rabbitpirate says:

    1. The honest answer is no, I wouldn’t pay just to be able to watch a show on the internet.

    2. Sure, and if you included some kind of blog about the show and maybe a forum to discuss the subjects covered in the show I would probably check it every day as I do this website. Having a show to look forward to once a month would be a bonus. A good RSS feed is a must as well.

    3. Yes, and that would be something I might be willing to pay for. Watch it online for free and download, maybe in some higher quality format, for a small cost.

    4. I think this would be the best idea that brings the other questions together. I currently subscribe to skeptoid, even though I don’t need to pay to get the episodes, because I think it is a great show and I want to support it. With regards to this new show I think that the subscription idea is a great way to offer extra things beyond just watching the show. Anyone can watch the show for free but subscribers can download a high quality version, get access to making of programs and interviews with the presenters, that sort of thing. I would definately subscribe to that. I know that would be extra work but it would make subscribing a more tempting offer.

    5. I think I would need to see at least an episode of the show first, but otherwise yeah I probably would as I have enjoyed everything I have seen Brian do before.

    Oh and yeah I wish to echo Astrotreen with regards to the content being fully available outside of the US. I live in England and want my monthly bit of skepticism as well.

  19. Ranson says:

    1. Unlikely, though the probability is raised if I get a DRM-free #3
    2. I do that now, so yeah.
    3. I want to be able to put content on multiple devices or machines, and I often don’t get to content immediately after delivery (such as letting podcasts pile up)so a download is highly desired.
    4. Very unlikely
    5. I’ve done that before, for incentives…right before the content provider changed to a new model and eliminated the benefits. So, unlikely.

  20. 1. Nothing. The one or two skeptics I’d pay to read or view are long dead.

    2. Yes, assuming, of course, it’s worth a damn.

    3. No.

    4. No.

    5. No.

    It is inevitable that the commercialization of skepticism will corrupt.

  21. Robert says:

    1.What would YOU pay to watch an episode of a skeptical show on the Internet?

    Nothing, most likely. The Internet is based on the free distribution of information. TV, the medium from which “an episode of a … show” inherits is based on free-to-watch entertainment/education.

    Keep reading, though.

    2. Would you go to a specific website (IE: http://www.TruthHurts.tv) at least once a month to watch a new episode.

    Possibly, but there had better be an RSS feed to which I can subscribe, lest I forget. One update per month is far too infrequent an update schedule to stay fresh in the minds of your viewers/readers. That doesn’t mean that you need a new episode with every update, but something needs to be broadcast daily or so (eg. raw footage for upcoming episodes, bloopers, behind-the-scenes tidbits, etc; not all updates even need to be video).

    3. Would you want to be able to download it?

    Yes. Here’s where you can save some costs, too: provide an RSS feed simply of links to torrents of the show. Many people have an RSS reader feeding a torrent downloader. If you provide the feed, those people can easily get the new episode, and might actually watch it. :)

    Downloading would also let me watch on my iPhone, or save it for next week, when I have more time…

    4. Would you sign up for a subscription service that electronically delivered the content to you for a monthly fee?

    No. I already pay a for subscription service that electronically delivers content to me for a monthly fee. It’s called DSL.

    5. Would you donate money directly to the production entity producing the content? (If so, look below!)

    If the content is good, I might. I’d be more likely, though, to buy “stuff”. Sell something quasi-tangible – a DVD of the season (with all the delicious extras that aren’t available on the site – maybe bloopers aren’t posted as updates), hats, t-shirts, pins, or even supplemental downloads (transcripts of the show?).

    Look at the web-comic model: provide the core content (ie. the comic/series) for free. Then, once you’ve got people coming to your site, ask for a little bit of money (tip jar), possibly in exchange for some small incentive (a really spiffy desktop wallpaper, or a transcript of the current episode). Ask for a little bit more money in exchange for more valuable “stuff” – DVDs, printed-and-bound transcripts (signed by key production personnel), etc. Include the “tip jar” incentive, too.

    Advertising is fine, so long as it doesn’t annoy your target audience. Remember that you’ll have to decide where you want to be on a spectrum from “I’m making this site for viewers of my series, and ads help pay for hosting” to “I’m making this site so I can run ads, and viewers increase what I can charge per impression/click/…)”. Put an interstitial ad in the show if you must (and, here’s a place to get money from your viewers: sell the ad-free version), but keep it short and (as much as possible) relevant to the episode.

  22. Ranson says:

    I want to echo some of what robert says above; the webcomic model can be good. Looking at one of the big guns, Penny Arcade, they do advertising right by vetting individual sponsors rather than running through a service or GoogleAds. It’s more work and can be limiting, yes, but they guarantee that their audience is unlikely to be annoyed by the ads, and are more likely to get clickthroughs. I’m never afraid of an ad there, because I know the company and the ad passed muster before I ever saw it. I can’t emphasize that enough — I know it’s hard to get real sponsors, especially when starting out, but not having to wade through alt-med crap text ads to get to the skeptical content (like at some other sites) would be a big bonus. The ability of consumers to trust that you trust the sponsors is a big deal. Being choosy on advertising also means that, when you’re successful, you’ll get better advertisers, because they understand the cachet of making it through the process. You can become something they want to be associated with, rather than the other way around.

    Also, the “Hulu” model (one ad “up front” then we won’t bug you again, or regular ad breaks with shorter ads) is quite popular in my household. It doesn’t annoy nearly as much as some other attempts I’ve seen online. Ad-free versions at a small cost would then also be a great incentive to pay for the content, if the content is worth it.

  23. cwitty says:

    It may also be worth considering the Linux Weekly News (lwn.net) model. They are subscriber-supported; some of the content is subscriber-only for its first week of publication, but after a week, everyone can read it. For your show, maybe the most recent two episodes could be subscriber-only, and the older ones could be available to everyone. (I’m not sure how well this would work. For lwn.net, some of their subscriber-only information is time-sensitive, so there’s a real incentive to subscribe; your show would probably not be time-sensitive. But I think I’d be more likely to subscribe if the front page of your web site had episode summaries of the most recent five episodes, and the first one said “Available only to subscribers until August 17″.)

  24. I’d be happy to pay a fee, but I don’t want to pay per-download. A yearly subscription is more to my taste. It should include a discount over the individual purchase (on the order of 30-70%). To entice me, I would need free or low-cost entry to at least a few representative shows to convince me that the production quality and especially the intellectual value is worthy of justifying the cost. It only took me a few episodes of Skeptoid before I realized the incredible educational value of the podcast.

    Perhaps consider giving out older episodes (perhaps older than 6 months) for free and charging a subscription fee for current episodes. This would give the low-cost entry and entice viewers, will keep your viewership up with the cheapskates who would never care to pay, but would bring in a substantial revenue from those interested in the most current content (or just _more_ than they can get for free on any given week).

    Just some suggestions. I look forward to whatever you produce.

  25. Me, in post #20: “1. Nothing. The one or two skeptics I’d pay to read or view are long dead.”

    That’s an error, on second thought. I’ve voiced before how I’d love to see Dr. Novella write a skeptical book. Clarity, focus, readily accessible, can write for laypersons or specialists, and with humility.

  26. Boredagain says:

    1.What would YOU pay to watch an episode of a skeptical show on the Internet?
    I have not previously, if I pay for something I prefer to have something tangible like a DVD. There is a lot out there on youtube that is free and offered on dvd. Sometimes I watch it for free and then buy the DVD to support the organization. ex. Richard Dawkins

    2. Would you go to a specific website (IE: http://www.TruthHurts.tv) at least once a month to watch a new episode.
    Depending on how good the material is. I would more likely subscribe on you tube, which announces new episodes as they come out.

    3. Would you want to be able to download it?
    No

    4. Would you sign up for a subscription service that electronically delivered the content to you for a monthly fee?
    No, see above

    5. Would you donate money directly to the production entity producing the content? (If so, look below!)
    I may, but I would more likely buy a DVD or tshirt that gave me something tangible and supported the endeavor

  27. Keith Williams says:

    4. I would pay for a subscription service. I would be much more likely to pay for a subscription service if I was able to sample the product and liked it a lot. For instance, I would not have subscribed to the SGU podcast until I had heard about 10 episodes. A podcast doesn’t exactly relate to quality video content, but at this point I would easily pay for the SGU were it not free. HBO used to do this when I was a kid – there would be a whole two (heavily advertised) weeks of free HBO to try to suck people in.

  28. Matthew Francis says:

    1. Maximum of $1 per episode if the quality is good, hopefully closer to 50 cents if you buy a season pass.
    2. Yes but I’d want a reminder email about new shows.
    3. Yes, because my download speed is too inconsistent to watch streaming video.
    4. Yes, as long as the price was right.
    5. Yes if the show was offered for free and I liked it, I’d donate some money now and then.

  29. Nathan M. says:

    1.What would YOU pay to watch an episode of a skeptical show on the Internet?

    99c maybe. But I know most people wouldn’t. We’re too used to getting less-than-perfect quality from youtube and other places. I know I watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and South Park all free online. If you can get the ad support for it, I would think that would be the best model to reach people.

    2. Would you go to a specific website (IE: http://www.TruthHurts.tv) at least once a month to watch a new episode.

    I’d check it every time it’s updated. I check Skepticblog everyday.

    3. Would you want to be able to download it?

    If you could supply the bandwidth I’d love to download it. But considering #1 there could be complications.

    4. Would you sign up for a subscription service that electronically delivered the content to you for a monthly fee?

    No.

    5. Would you donate money directly to the production entity producing the content? (If so, look below!)

    <– College student. I think people like myself would be the best targets to promote the show to, but the worst targets to get money from.