Guitar World has been producing instructional content for years, but how those products get bought and sold has had to evolve.
The latest iteration is Guitar World Lessons, an app and webstore launched last week that puts the distribution of instructional content in line with the consumer demands for its consumption. Users can now get those premium guitar lessons on their laptops or iOS devices, instead of by DVD.
"DVDs as a medium are winding down," says Denise Robbins, vice president of audience development for NewBay Media, owners of Guitar World. "We felt we were missing a big audience."
Guitar World had only gone the traditional route for monetization—the newsstand—until 2008 when it launched an ecommerce platform for selling those videos online. The project has generated more than $1 million in sales since.
"Like any magazine, when they came off the newsstand they kind of just went into the abyss," says Crystal Hudson, marketing manager for Guitar World. "These were great products that could be used at any time, so we decided to make a store out of them."
Swapping one platform for another may not be revolutionary (though you can still buy DVDs through the ecommerce store) but it offers alternatives aside from which screen you're going to watch it on.
Based on the iTunes model, Guitar World is allowing users to make micro-purchases, picking out single tracks to buy instead of an entire 60- or 90-minute lesson. At 99 cents instead of $14.99, it opens them up to a new consumer.
"On iTunes, you can buy an episode or a season, a song or an album," Robbins says. "We wanted to make sure that people didn't come in, see a $15 price-point, and say ‘forget it.'"
Aside from price-points, they're hoping the product will allow them to reach more international-the physical obstacle of overseas mailing is gone-and domestic players that hadn't been exposed to the brand before.
"We do an excellent job of monetizing the customers we already have, but finding new customers through Apple's storefront is something we're really interested in," Robbins says. "It's something that happened with our magazine on the [Apple] Newsstand—some of our core readers got it there, but a majority of them were people who hadn't subscribed to the print edition."