, But for How Long? Part 3: The Forgotten, The Lifetime Subscribers

Once again, special thanks to @bucknerslegs for doing the work that even Greg Bedard is too lazy to undertake. Today we focus on the castaways, lost and adrift. Otherwise known as the Wicked Diehard Level subscribers of

BSJ: Wicked Diehard with a Vengeance

Now that we’ve taken a look at the subscriber numbers at BSJ, let’s dig into those brave (?) souls who bought a lifetime subscription because they thought it was worth the money (Narrator: it isn’t).  A “Wicked Diehard Level” is $299.99 and never expires until you do.  With a three year “Diehard Level” subscription costing $74.99, the lifetime subscription would be worth it if BSJ lasts at least 12 years, or the year 2029. Anyone think that’s going to happen? 

So, what BSJ subscription level works best for you (Monthly is $4.99/month, annual is $34.99/year)?  Let’s examine the total revenue for a subscriber over this hypothetical 20 year window. Besides the obvious answer of not subscribing, if you are interested in 6 months or less of BSJ, the monthly plan is best.  If you want just two years, then the annual plan is best.  For 3 years to 12 years, the Diehard Level three year subscription is best.  For more than 12 years, the Wicked Diehard Plan is best for you.  So, how long you think BSJ will be around should help you make your decision on which plan to choose. 

However, what’s best for BSJ for their first five years is if you sign up for a lifetime plan.  After 5 years, the monthly plan gives the most revenue to BSJ.   The lifetime plan gives BSJ the most upfront cash, and only costs revenue after 5 years vs. the monthly plan, after 8 years for the annual plan and after 12 years for the three-year plan.

Who signed up when?

As of February 9, 2019, BSJ had 106 lifetime subscribers, or about $32,000 in one-time revenue.  Let’s break these subscriptions down by when and how many.

Initial Week:  Anticipation is a great motivator for business.  There was a buzz for the BSJ as it promised to be something special and different.  As part of this excitement, 42 subscribers signed up for a Wicked Diehard lifetime subscription in the first 7 days.  Will they be rewarded for this commitment?  Tune in July 2029 to see if they break even.  That’s 39.6% of the total subscriptions in only 1.2% of the time BSJ has been in business.  Very impressive!

 Rest of First Month:  Now the word of mouth begins.  “Hey, I just got my BSJ Wicked Diehard subscription, don’t be a lose-ah!”.  22 more people bought this argument over the next 22 days.  Another 20.75% of subscriptions in another 3.9% of the lifetime.  The running total is now 60% of total lifetime subscriptions in the first 29 days. 

Second Month:  I think at this point the excitement had mostly died out.  Only another 10 (9.4%) subscriptions over 28 days.  Now 70% of the total subscriptions have been signed up in 10% of the time.

Guerrero – January 2018:  Lifetime growth was slow until the Brady-Belichick-Guerrero story came to a head.  BSJ seemed to have some inside info, and 8 (7.5%) people over three days committed to a lifetime of Bedard to get the scoop. A one month subscribe/cancel would have sufficed here, but it’s not my money.  Running tally: 77% in 10.5% of the time.

First Annual Renewal:  July 2018 – time for the annual subscriptions to fish or cut bait.  I don’t know how many annual subscriptions there were, but, over a 7 day period at renewal time, 11 (10.4%) people sentenced themselves to life on death row with the BSJ.  This means that 0.13% of all subscribers probably converted to a lifetime membership (11 out of 8570).   Running tally: 87% in 12% of time

September 2018:  Between the Patriots season starting and the Red Sox driving towards a pennant, 3 (2.8%) more brave souls over the course of a week jumped on the BSJ bandwagon.  Running total: 90.5% in 13% of time.

All the remaining time:  Outside of these 6 events, the Red Sox have won a World Series, the Patriots have been in 2 Super Bowls, winning 1, the Celtics almost made the NBA Finals and the Bruins had a showing in the playoffs.  Yet only 10 additional people thought the BSJ coverage worth a lifetime subscription.  Amazing!  The biggest story for the BSJ was Brady-Belichick-Guerrero.  Nothing else.

These 6 events account for 90.5% of all lifetime subscriptions over just 13% of the time.  This means that the remaining 10 lifetime memberships have occurred over 492 days, or 87% of the time of BSJ’s existence.  That amounts to 1 new subscriber every 50 days.  In the next year, that means about 7 to 8 more people will become Wicked Diehards.  From earlier, we know that over the lifetime of BSJ, 17.6 subscribers per day have signed up.  However, that is heavily weighted by early success.  Over the most recent 7 day period (ending February 6, 2019), only 2.67 subscribers have been signing up per day.

In the graphical below, the events discussed above are represented graphically.  Basically, tall and skinny is significantly better than short and wide.  Think Kevin Garnett vs. Glenn Ordway.  Which would you choose?

TL;DR: Live Free or Die Hard

Barring any breaking news, there is no incentive to sign up for a lifetime membership unless you think BSJ will be around for more than 12 years.  For single stories you’ve got to read, do a monthly and cancel.  BSJ is not adding Wicked Diehard Level subscriptions at the rate needed to provide the cash infusion to deliver the content you want. No Boston sporting events stories in the BSJ since July 2017 have created a buzz worthy of a lifetime commitment.  At All. 

The Data Behind the Story

In the table below, the first column lists the event that resulted in a substantial number of subscriptions, for example, the first week of business.  The second column shows the number of subscriptions with this event, and the third column the number of days over which these subscriptions were added.  For example, in the second month, 10 subscriptions were added over 28 days.  The fourth column show, on average, how many subscriptions per day were added during this event.   This is interesting because it can be used to project how many lifetime subscriptions might be added in the future.  We’ll dig into this further down below.  The fifth column shows what percent of the 106 subscriptions were added during this event.  Finally, the last column shows what percent of time for the existence of BSJ this occurred over.  BSJ has been available for 566 days as of February 9, 2019, and these numbers are based on that number.

Lifetime Subscription Breakdown For BSJ

Event Subscriptions Number of Days Lifetime Subs/day Percent of Total Subscriptions Percent of Time
Initial Week 42 7 6.000 39.6% 1.2%
Rest of First Month 22 22 1.000 20.8% 3.9%
Second Month 10 28 0.357 9.4% 4.9%
Guerrero story – January 2018 8 3 2.667 7.5% 0.5%
First year renewal 11 7 1.571 10.4% 1.2%
September 2018 3 7 0.429 2.8% 1.2%
Remaining 15 Months 10 492 0.020 9.4% 86.9%

Author: deedsybjbsj

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