IMPORTANT NOTICE: The content of this article represents the views of the author that do not necessarily correspond with that of Genesis Digital. Furthermore, the following representations are only opinions and no accusations of illegality should be construed.
Great – that should keep the lawyers happy.
I’m now perfectly at liberty to say that you are being 100% taken advantage of by those money-grabbing crooks at <REDACTED>.
And it’s not just <REDACTED>. <REDACTED>, <REDACTED>, and <REDACTED> are also taking you to the cleaner’s by peddling half-baked, feature-free webinar hosting services while still demanding excessive amounts of cash that are better spent on your kid’s college fund or french fries. Lots of french fries. With cheese.
And as for <REDACTED>… trying to claim that WebinarJam is somehow inferior because it offers MORE features for LESS money? Well, you can stick your <REDACTED> right up your <REDACTED> with a <REDACTED> and your mother’s <REDACTED>.
Okay, I feel a little better.
Really, it’s fine. The kids can come back in the room now.
I had a choice between making a reasonable argument and then closing with the inevitable rant. Or starting with the rant, getting it out of my system, and then explaining in more balanced terms why the webinar hosting industry is, in my view, overcharging.
I decided to lose my mind first, because I LOVE getting to the bottom of things, even when people just want me to shut it.
Tech Goes Down… Price… Stays the Same?!?
Actually, I don’t know why I’m saying “my view”.
Talk to ANYONE who’s been using webinars for many years and they’ll tell you exactly how eye-wateringly expensive webinar hosting can be (unless they’re using WebinarJam – natch).
The fact is that the webinar hosting industry is, for want of a more grown-up description, WEIRD…
A lot of webinar suppliers, even the big players, have decidedly old-fashioned tech while maintaining prices that seem as if they only want to target medium or large businesses with sizeable marketing budgets.
Compare that to other modern tech and it gets even stranger.
Computers, memory, bandwidth, and server space have all sunk price wise over the last few years. Anyone starting an online business today can do so for a fraction of the cost of those who started out 10-20 years ago.
So, what is it exactly that’s keeping webinar hosting prices so high?
Is there a valid reason to gouge people for using webinars – a marketing tool that is becoming ever more important for businesses, all over the world, in virtually every sector imaginable?
As much as I would enjoy being dogmatic on this issue, the best I can do is offer some suggestions. Here are just a few of the common reasons why some technologies don’t come down in price.
It’s not unheard of for competitors in a market to make an agreement not to reduce prices below a certain level, in a bid to make profits go up as supplying costs go down. Collusion is illegal in many countries and there’s no evidence I’m aware of that would make this applicable to the webinar industry.
Lack of Competition
If an industry has one large company that dominates the marketplace, this can keep prices artificially high. People can be reluctant to take a punt on a new, smaller business, preferring to pay more for perceived reliability.
A good argument can be made for this applying in this instance because, speaking specifically about the webinar hosting industry, there IS one company that pioneered the technology and is still one of the biggest players in the market.
More and more competitors have appeared over the last few years and this has brought prices down to some degree, although more slowly than might have been expected.
Outdated Tech is Expensive
It’s a quirk of technology that, as it ages, it becomes more expensive to maintain. But since replacing old technology with new is also costly there is a tendency to rely an archaic infrastructure for longer than is sensible (which is why some nuclear weapons systems still run on freakin’ floppy disks!).
Is it possible that some of the older webinar hosts are still running on outdated tech that is expensive to maintain but even more expensive to replace? That would certainly explain the lack of new, innovative features among some of the more expensive providers.
The good news is that we are starting to see new webinar hosting businesses appearing on the market that offer a good range of features for prices that are more within reach of small business (or solopreneur).
Some of the pricing structures still baffle, however. It’s difficult, for instance, to understand why so many providers charge extra for additional hosts, or for even modest feature sets, when these have a relatively negligible effect on costs.
This is something we can speak on with some authority since WebinarJam has been developing and providing new features for some years now, while still keeping prices low (sometimes as little as 10% of the cost of other providers).
Whatever the reason, whether you’re still yet to settle on your choice of webinar provider, or you’re currently being gouged on price by your supplier and contemplating a switch, pay attention to the prices.
Sometimes in life you get what you pay for. Other times you’re just being taken for a ride.
Shop around (I say that in the interests of fair play, but I urge you to at least add WebinarJam to your shortlist. Nobody, in our opinion, gives you more features and bandwidth for a more affordable investment), compare prices and feature sets, and choose wisely.