If you have been following the theme of Jeff Walkers Product Launch Manager launch, a large chunk of it is that online marketers often have far more knowledge than they think they do – they just have to go out there and sell it.
So my bonus is along those lines and will reveal a lot more of my long term plans, which I even hinted at long ago in a comment on Jeff Walker’s blog when he first launched PLF over 3 years ago.
Best Existing Solution By Far
The other day I felt compelled to write about Quansite because it is the closest service to what I want to achieve.
If you are looking for a perfect “no tech” solution for small product launches, I honestly don’t think there is anything that can beat it.
For bigger launches you might start running into resource problems – you can upgrade to a bigger package (they offer semi-dedicated) but that is a long-term commitment just to cover peak traffic.
Off-loading media files to a CDN is only a partial solution.
Running Your Own Dedicated Servers
I have heard that on some of the biggest launches they run up to 10 dedicated servers in a cluster, though Stompernet squeak through on just 4 beasts. From a reliable service provider you are still looking at possibly $2000+/month for the hardware, plus you have to have the server jockeys to run them.
Then you need some kind of media hosting, as even 4 beefy servers won’t be able to stream videos to 100s of visitors, let alone 1000s.
Most of the “Gurus” currently use Amazon S3 or Cloudfront
United States Edge Locations
$0.170 per GB – first 10 TB / month data transfer out
$0.120 per GB – next 40 TB / month data transfer out
$0.100 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.090 per GB – next 100 TB / month data transfer out
$0.080 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out
$0.070 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out
$0.060 per GB – next 250 TB / month data transfer out
$0.050 per GB – data transfer out / month over 1,000 TB
$0.010 per 10,000 GET requests
I am not going to knock Amazon, as before they came around a few years ago, CDN bandwidth might have set you back 5x as much, but then nowhere near as many people were publishing videos… it was costly.
Even so lets look at a typical (small) product launch
100 MB video per person
2000 GB of data
Not a lot … around $400
But some larger product launches have
500 MB video per person (I am not talking browser killing Stompernet sales pages)
50,000 GB of data
A little bit more … around $6500
Just imagine how much one of the really big launches costs, and then the cost of data delivery for the actual content to members who quite rightly want to consume what they purchased.
Or you could look at a sales page
10 MB Video – Very short low quality
500 visitors per day
5GB per day
1800 GB per year
You are still looking at close to $400 for bandwidth /year
If you do insist on using Amazon S3, do at least use something like Media Stream Guard (not aff) from my friend Craig. So many gurus leave their Amazon content insecure.
SimpleCDN – I have been monitoring them for the last year, and they have changed their offer maybe 5 times, effectively wiping out whatever investment clients have already made in setup time. If you were a very heavy user, maybe you would have still had significant cost savings, but the feature sets have been changing drastically.
Rackspace with their Cloudfiles at $0.22 are actually a contender as the playback is probably better than Amazon.
NetDNA – recently quite popular among many bloggers using WordPress and bandwidth pricing can reach very respectable levels offering a price advantage over Amazon – the negative is that most of their “Edges” are in the USA with just one in Europe.
Edgecast – competitive in volume, fast & reasonably full featured. Notable connectivity in Asia
Highwinds – various resellers strong in both US & Europe – Asia promised.
VPS.net – A reseller of Highwinds and also cloud based VPS – were previously reselling Edgecast but there were problems with flexibility.
With most of these CDNs it is possible to get bandwith cost down to below $0.06/GB – possibly a little cheaper with some negotiation and very high volume.
You would have to be running the equivalent of 20 large product launches with Amazon Cloudfront to achieve these pricing levels, and before you reach that level there is some margin for eith cost saving or profit.
You can always take the free option of using a GPL player such as Flowplayer, though they also have a premium option
JW Player has some viral and data benefits that would require a liitle custom programming to get working on other players, but at the same time are not in themselves perfect. I have seen slightly better implementation, but none that I would consider ideal. The licensing for commercial use isn’t too expensive.
Transparent Player – I haven’t checked out version 3 which was recently launched yet (and it is not even mentioned on the sales page last time I looked), but with the unlimited use plan it is a very viable contender
EZS3 provide players in addition to making it easier to work with Amazon obscuring data, usable on unlimited sites. I have seen this used by Frank Kern.
This isn’t meant to be a conclusive list, I know a ton of other options, both with and without available source code for custom modifications. Boy do I want to do some modifications.
Best Current Solution
I am laying my bets on VPS.net for some serious clustered high-availability hosting and also providing primary CDN, with some alternative backups.
With players the field is open
Why No Video Streaming With Own Players?
I can imagine people running huge launches who are extremely well monetized can afford some of the more expensive solutions, because they are then in a position to negotiate, but that isn’t suitable for most.
For some reason even people supposedly running 8 figure businesses have problems keeping servers running smoothly.
Jeff Walker is using Ooyala – I haven’t quite worked out the pricing, but it will be more than just a CDN.
Brightcove despite the free trial is not cheap
Viddler – if you don’t have their ads then commercial use even as an Enterprise client will cost you $1500 for 4TB of data or 0.375/GB = 5x as much as VSP.net in much smaller volume.
There are many other options with the price range typically $0.30 to $1 per GB.
What I Really Want To Do?
I want to provide hosting for product launches for FREE, including all the bandwidth, high-capacity clustered servers, built in membership software, and many other advanced features.
Is there such an expression “Fat Pipe Sales Funnel” ?
That is only part of the equation, the service has to make money and cover quite considerable costs, but that is where “value add” comes in with all kinds of network effects that add up to more than enough to cover costs and then some.
After all WordPress.com can offer something similar and they are really under-monetized.
One focused goal for 4 years will eventually happen but in hindsight I probably should have just concentrated on clogging up the interwebs with small niche sites, or building a huge list, but something held me back. I would almost certainly have the resources to build this project from cashflow now.
Even the paid link battles from 2007 were very much a part of the “sounding out” process on possibilities.
I have avoided masterminds – they would have persuaded me to pursue more attainable goals.
Product Launch Manager Bonus “Can Be Delivered Now”
CDN = “Content Delivery Network: or alternatively “Can be Delivered Now”
There are tons of huge bonuses being offered by other affiliates for Product Launch Manager, because it is a great product but also the affiliate payout is… generous to say the least.
The wonderful thing about the course is that it will massively boost the number of people running product launches in all walks of industry, but at the same time boost demand for higher performance hosting with significant commercial advantages, so it finally makes my long-term goals infinitely more attractive as an investment opportunity.
Just providing one core component might be enough “proof of concept” to tip the investment balance, and just the benefit of having one major “breaking point” of product launches crossed off, the technical side of preventing launches crashing to a standstill because of server meltdown is probably the most targeted bonus you will hear about today… well other than pure consulting offers from people who have run launches.
I will provide a preconfigured CDN platform where you can just ftp files or they can be pulled using Rsync, along with origin pull to the CDN along with $1000 of bandwidth at cost – the bandwidth will be available as and when you need it and will not expire if not used on a month-month basis like many subscriptions.
Most likely it will be through VPS.net, but I will shop around and provide additional fallback
I will also provide additional remote consulting for both the CDN and other launch issues to the best of my ability. I am a “jack of all trades” and can talk both geek and marketing. I am not going to place silly limits on time – your success is my success.
As and when I scale, I will be able to provide additional human resources to fill my shoes.
When other components become available you will have the option to use them – I have my server techs sorted out now to manage the clusters and VPS.net is ideal to scale this kind of platform, in many ways more than Amazon EC2 and other cloud options because of the nature of product launches.
Until such time as I have the backend monetization and “leverage” to offer all the hosting for free, additional bandwidth and any server use will be at cost – not inflated cost… real cost. For the CDN it will be something like $0.06/GB at current exchange rates and pricing.
If you want to set up your own VPS servers or clusters I can also offer nodes at competitive rates as I will end up with 100s of nodes, and point you in the direction of people who could manage them for you.
I hope you will consider my offer – the PLM offer isn’t cheap, but will be attractive to existing PLF owners, and maybe a few others.
Alternatively go with the big $$$ packages. You know the game – all those leads you send to the big launches that didn’t convert (but which you presold) will now be offered the exact same package (or very similar) as a bonus, with no commission for the original affiliate despite doing a significant chunk of the selling.
Making crashed servers on product launches a thing of the past
I have a cure for respecting the value provided by smaller affiliates in the sales process as well…
Warning: This article contains lots of really useful information that will probably help people but also contains a few affiliate links – not every link is an affiliate link, and not every link should be considered an endorsement
p.s. I know my server crashes occasionally – I personally suck as configuring linux servers, which is why last week I hired a great team to do this stuff for me.
When the sales letter goes live, <<< USE THIS LINK >>> – hopefully the previous links will still lead to some of the more descriptive videos.