I have always loved Wolfgang’s Vault – great classic music, and more recently loads of video content as well. We have written about the site several times here before, including 2011′s introduction of video content. But as more and more content – requiring more and more bandwidth – came online, I had wondered how the largely ad and merchandise supported site would survive.
The answer: it couldn’t. Ads, merchandise and downloads alone were not enough. Back in early August I got an email from Wolfgang’s Vault that said:
Hey Music Fans, we are thrilled to announce that we’ll be launching a brand new Concert Vault tomorrow. It will be easier than ever to enjoy the breadth and depth of the audio/video archives, and we’ll be re-committed to bringing you the best new releases and curated content the Vault has to offer. We’ve put a lot of work into the new site and can’t wait for you to dig in!
It’s an exciting time, and it coincides with two other landmarks we’ve just reached: we have now streamed over 2 billion songs, and we have recently cataloged the 200,000th recording in our archives. It’s been an amazing five years, and we can’t thank you enough for all your support.
But as we keep growing, we’ve needed to make another change, as well. As of tomorrow, Concert Vault will be a membership-based site. Memberships will be available for less than $3.00 per month, and will come with a slew of fantastic perks that make signing up a no-brainer. Everyone will get a 14-day free trial to explore, so come back, check it out, and decide for yourself. And if you’re already a WVIP, you won’t need to do anything — you’ll continue to enjoy your membership privileges without interruption.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing new concerts from Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, the Allman Brothers, and U2, to name just a few. And all of the amazing shows you’ve come to know and love will still be here, too. So as we get ready to take our next big step forward, we thought it would be fitting to highlight the six most popular Vault recordings of all time: enjoy these featured shows today, and make sure you come back tomorrow to see how we’ve made the Concert Vault even better.
Thanks again for listening, and stay tuned — the best is yet to come!
I didn’t sign up initially as I couldn’t justify even $3 a month as it initially cost (now $50 a year). And while I have used my 14-day trial period when I wanted to check out something a while back, in general I don’t feel I am missing out. And that, combined with the almost daily ‘special deals’ hitting my inbox lately seem to tell me that I am not alone. The latest offer is a free t-shirt, along with these benefits:
Buy or gift a WVIP membership and get this Wolfgang’s Vault retro t-shirt free!
WVIP membership also includes:
10% off all store purchases
$24 store credit towards merchandise
Free Ground shipping on all domestic store purchases
Full access to hundreds of thousands of live performance songs, both audio and video
Unlimited HD streaming to your web browsers and mobile devices
Hourly curated features and playlists for eight different music channels
$5 concert downloads
But as I said, I have not paid, nor do I know anyone who has. In fact, it seems that the only ‘members’ I know were members before – they were the ones who were seeing value, buying stuff and enjoying the discount, downloading the high quality concerts rather than streaming lower quality audio. And to see so many offers piling up tells me that they are not just converting too few members to subscribers – they are also losing people who would buy the occasional concert (which is what I did).
While I can see the need to further monetize, I am not sure that a total members-only approach is the right approach. What about you? Have you used Wolfgang’s Vault since the change? Have you joined? Any plans to join?