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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

An update on @DApremium - the world's first paid Twitter channel. Now available with quarterly or annual subscriptions

It's now been six weeks since I announced the launch of @DApremium, my second Twitter stream - one which is available only to paid subscribers. (The original announcement with the background of the disruptive and ground-breaking concept is here).

Since then, I've added 173 tweets to @DApremium, and signed up a couple of dozen followers; a mix of standalone paying Tweet-stream subscribers, and those who have obtained access bundled with purchasing the new Telco-OTT Strategy Report, or various consulting engagements.

Firstly, it has been pretty exciting to see an entirely new business model come to life. I had a number of people express doubt that anyone would pay for Twitter access - and given my normal cynicism about many social media "innovations" (and my historic Twitterphobic stance) I can't really blame them. Nevertheless, it's been very edifying to prove them wrong.

It's also been interesting that other people have been watching the progress closely - my Future of Communications associate Martin Geddes tweeted the other day that he may follow suit, and a couple of my analyst peers have also asked about progress, when I've bumped into them. A few watchers of general social media trends also appear to have taken an interest. I'd love others to follow my lead here, as it would further validate the concept and give encouragement to more people to subscribe as a mainstream alternative to newsletters or other premium analyst content formats.

I've now got a good feel for how the Premium-Tweet concept should work going forward, both in terms of content and sign-up process. I think I've got the balance right between my normal free-to-air @disruptivedean posts, and the paid-for content. The paid tweets include my real "ah-hah!" insights and epiphanies, as well as more company-specific commentary.

This is a selection of recent paid Tweets:

1. Virtualisation of core IP infrastructure may be the answer to wholesale LTE mobile networks - have various network nodes as multi-tenant

2. Cisco's Videoscape + soft client architecture is an enabler for video services (eg telco buys football rights, sells/streams OTT)

3. Bundling SMS plan with data plan may stem short-term SMS rev erosion. But "forced bundles" cause customer resentment if low perceived value

4. Many telcos reporting results soon. Will be embarassing if vendor slides at MWC still show "scissor diagram" if data rev growth > volumes

5. For to be taken seriously as a developer platform, G5 operators need to show it working for own major IT systems eg customer support

6. Microsoft more likely to acquire RIM than Nokia IMO. Easier integration Seattle-Waterloo & US Gov will much prefer NAm buyer for RIM

7. Think about your personal spend on voice/telephony. What % would you ascribe to the utility of true "moving about" element of mobility?

8. If Net Neutrality laws modified to permit "premium" QoS for certain services, strong argument that must be available non-discriminatorily

9. There's a strong argument for 3GPP to be broken up into radio, core & application bodies. Integration was synergistic, now its a liability

10. Discussion on LinkedIn VoLTE group asserts it is an "open" standard. Open? But biz model is closed: subs, SIMs, IMS, roaming etc.

Going forward, I am going to be putting the majority of my "event" tweets on the premium channel - notably from MWC - although I'll be keeping the items that should drive open discussions & debate on @disruptivedean. It's still too early to know how the "community" aspect will evolve on the premium channel - given that there are unlikely to be other analysts or pundits on it, I suspect there won't be as much to-and-fro. But over time, it may shift from a broadcast / newsletter model to one which looks closer to the LinkedIn philosophy. (I might actually set up an LI group anyway).

I'm also closing down the introductory pricing structure, and moving to a new plan. There are now two options: quarterly ($100) or annual ($300) subscriptions. The quarterly option has been added as a way to get a "trial run" for those uncertain about a full year's commitment.

The terms and conditions otherwise remain the same as I'd previously published . One new point though - I'm getting a number of "speculative" follow requests without payment. I'll try to track these down & send a Twitter direct message from @disruptivedean about subscription options, but I will reject the requests after a week if I don't hear anything.

The sign-up process is simple:

1) Pay for 3-month or 12-month subscriptions via credit card or Paypal, below.
2) Access @DApremium on Twitter, and request to follow
3) Send an email to information AT disruptive-analysis.com with relevant VAT details if you opt for the EU VAT-exempt pricing. Also, drop me a note with any particular areas you'd like me to cover when possible.
4) I will authorise the follow-request ASAP, typically within 24 hours of payment, unless I'm travelling somewhere obscure

Many thanks to my original pioneering followers, many of whom have shown an enthusiastic interest in the business model as well as the content. I look forward to having valuable online and offline discussions with a larger community of participants in future. (I'm also interested in discussions about extending the general notion of paid/disruptive social and community models for analysis - get in touch if you've got a neat business idea I might find valuable).

12-month subscription to @DApremium

3-month subscription to @DApremium

If for some reason this doesn't work (sometimes PayPal can be a bit flaky), contact me via information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com and I can issue an invoice or payment email request.

You may want to send me an email anyway, or add me on LinkedIn so I can get to know my community a bit better. If you're an existing Disruptive Analysis client, please let me know and I can give you a complimentary subscription.


Cybersavvy UK said...

I'd like to blog about this on an Internet marketing site if possible Dean. Lessons learnt to date, enthusiasm for wider adoption of the model, software features if someone were to take this forward etc.

I think for consultants it has huge potential, but also on a micropayment level for communities looking to raise funds, news and media freemium etc.

Dean Bubley said...

Sure, go ahead!

Glad you think it's noteworthy


ICT said...

Okay, so why do they need to pay Twitter for a channel when they can use it for free?

Any special privilege to it?

Dean Bubley said...


It's a locked (private) Twitter feed. People pay me, not Twitter, in order to access it. The value is in the content (analytical insights), not the delivery channel.