This week marked the debut of “Pond Life,” a short series of internet-exlusive lead-in episodes for the new season of Doctor Who (Season 7 and/or 32, if memory serves.)  The series isn’t complete as of this writing, but, as the title implies, it focuses on the Ponds, Amy and Rory, and what their life is like when The Doctor isn’t around.  I’m a big fan of value-added content, and I’m extra-happy to find these episodes available on BBC’s website rather than having to pay a premium for ’em.  Of course, as Rodrigo will tell you, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and even PBS will run pledge breaks to keep the lights burning…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced “Gah-Lee-Fray”) is sorry…  So, so sorry, asking: Do you think it’s better that this kind of additional content be provided for free or should it be monetized to support the parent program (or programme?)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. August 31, 2012 at 11:57 am — Reply

    I think some of the free stuff is a pretty good way to bring in more people or bring back people who haven’t paid much attention in a while. If it generates enough new interest or makes people interested again, then they will make more money in the long run as more people buy the other items (DVDs, books, toys, etc).

  2. Russ Catt
    August 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    I think this campaign was a success from a marketing viewpoint.
    They obviously had the budget for it and chose this route instead of straight up television or print ads.
    I think this gives them two major benefits.
    Firstly, the amount of free advertising they are getting from this provides a great offset from the cost of production.
    Secondly, they can reuse this footage as part of the special features for the inevitable box set.

    Good job for the Who crew and BBC!

  3. August 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    I love when this kind of stuff gets made. I support the idea of put it out for time for free, say until after season 7, then package it on the season dvd. Sure it may ha available on the internet somewhere but they can make money off of it at the same time. I could see this working for movies as well, put the blooper reel or bonus scenes online but also on your DVD, even a “special edition” and the fams will pay for it.

  4. Slappy
    August 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm — Reply

    Free, this is the kind of program to keep someone interested during the break from the usual airing.
    A few years back, Lost had some viral campaigns running during the summer that tied in directly with the show, but was not mandatory to the understanding of the production. That is something that helped keep me hooked on the show.

  5. August 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm — Reply

    While I’m all for spending some money to support my favorite programs, a lot of the additional content I’ve seen usually isn’t worth paying for, simply because they work better as extras on the DVD rather than standalone content. As has been pointed out, I think this kind of additional content works better as a viral means of attracting more viewers, rather making more money directly.

  6. Shush
    August 31, 2012 at 8:57 pm — Reply

    Free, of course. If it’s free, then you have no compunctions about sharing this really cool thing you’ve found.

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