Thu - 18.01.2018

Mancx: information that people are willing to pay for

Mancx: information that people are willing to pay for

As news organisations go digital, asking what kind of information people will pay for online is the new industry’s million-dollar question – or indeed multi-billion dollar question. Many in the business say that it is an uphill struggle to get people to pay for information itself, when it flows so freely online. Instead many media outfits focus on selling analysis, packaging and a good user experience.

The big exception is that users and businesses are willing to pay for financial information. As paidContent noted earlier this month, Bloomberg sells financial data to around 300,000 global customers for about $20,000 a year each.

Now GigaOm has profiled a Swedish start-up that is also making big bucks (although not on the same scale as Bloomberg) from selling business information. Mancx describes itself as a platform for “Business answers you can’t get anywhere else”.

As GigaOm describes, “the site works much like any auction site or marketplace: people post questions and suggest the price they’d be willing to pay to get a good answer. Those who think they can provide a solution place their own bids in the auction, and the asker gets to pick the winner (people can also offer answers for free if they want). There’s a money-back guarantee in case the answer is no good, and a reputational system in place to try and prevent people from gaming the service.”

The article notes that in some ways Mancx is similar to other online Q&A services like Quora or Stack Exchange. But there is a major difference: people are willing to pay significant amounts of money for the answers on Mancx. GigaOm writes that the average question on the site is reportedly worth $150, and the price is rising over time. It has over 600,000 users and 10,000 ongoing questions, says the article

Author of the story Bobbie Johnson is sceptical of Mancx’s long-term viability, "purely because the internet drives down the value of information," he says. However, he also notes that the business has been successful so far because it targets a marketing and sales audience that “places a high value on the answers they get.”

Johnson quotes one of the site’s founders Henrik Dillman: “We’re targeting the premium segment of information that people won’t give away for free... Stack Exchange is one of the best Q&A sites out there, but even it has over 600,000 unanswered questions. If five or 10 percent of those people were willing to pay for the answer, that’s big."

Sources: GigaOm, paidContent


Hannah Vinter


2012-06-12 17:10

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