At WNST.net, we’ve always had a “free” product. And even though I’ve invested 25,000 words and about three months building and promoting this WNST Save Baltimore Coupon project to inform our community about what we’re doing, somehow the first comments below my blogs have all strangely said the same thing: “When are you going to start charging for access to your website?” The answer (we hope and believe) is: NEVER.
Our business model is changing to SAVE you money, not COST you money. And that’s the inherent difference in how we’re moving forward with our company in the mobile media age. WNST will be going to great lengths to make sure you get great offers from Baltimore businesses – like the ones you get every morning from Groupon, Living Social, etc. — and eventually we’ll be offering a mobile loyalty program that rewards you for supporting the merchants and local industry that powers WNST.net in Baltimore.
The media world has changed right before my eyes over the last decade. We were the first – and are still the very best — to do sports radio in Baltimore and now there are other copy cat radio stations as well as a local publication and various internet interests all trying to find their way into the consciousness of the Baltimore sports media and information landscape.
None of this success can be accomplished without a business model that generates sustainable revenue to keep the doors open and the lights on. Those of you who have ever owned a business understand this implicitly.
And the places that helped birth WNST-AM 1570 Radio in 1998 with their support and sponsorship dollars – awesome local businesses like Squire’s, Della Roses, Looney’s, Claddagh Pub, Nacho Mama’s, Piv’s Pub, The Barn, Amicci’s, Pizza John’s, et. al (all of these practically family members over the years and there are dozens more) – have a hard time justifying buying any traditional old-world advertising because none of it is even remotely measurable circa 2011. So, companies with a new corporate flair and completely internet-based like Groupon and Living Social have brought a discount model to life and have carted millions of dollars out of local communities like Baltimore with group couponing. WNST would like to be a part of changing that by making our Baltimore transactions between local Baltimore business stay in Baltimore. It’s the lifeblood of how our business will grow – selling local merchants’ products to our listeners, readers and audience anywhere we touch sports fans in the area.
In media, we have two options – generate revenue from sponsors or charge subscribers a fee. Think about it. There’s no other model in the world to garner revenue when you’re in the business of distributing words, pictures and information in 2011.
Honestly, this is how Peter Angelos is getting rich on you in 2011. Those empty seats at the ballpark don’t mean anything when everyone in the state is ponying up a couple of bucks every month via their cable bill. You’re “opted in” and being charged whether you want to be or not. And most people have no idea that he’s profiting every month off their home cable bill. That’s a pretty good gig as far as I can tell and I’m still trying to find a way to charge every one of you a few bucks a month without you knowing it but instead I’m going to do it the old-fashioned way – by giving you the best product and the best values in the marketplace and tell you about it and then back it up when you do come and buy something from WNST.net.
Like everything on the internet, it’s experimental and subject to change but in 2011 the best way for us to get sponsorship money for marketing what we do at WNST.net is to deliver guaranteed customers to Baltimore merchants and businesses and that’s what the WNST Save Baltimore Coupons will represent.
In the fall, we’ll be launching a mobile application that will be a state of the art loyalty program that will be almost Maxwell Smart in its ingenuity. It will be the only one of its kind in Baltimore and we’ll be telling you more about it later this summer.
But for now, please help us spread the word about what we’re doing at WNST.net by buying our partners and WNST Save Baltimore Coupons and great deals. And please tell your friends, especially those who love Baltimore sports or who like to save money when we offer up a myriad of fabulous deals and bargains.
We’re loosely calling them our DOUBLE D’s – deals and discounts!
For those of you unfamiliar with the group coupon model or proposition, it’s quite simple. For WNST.net, it will be a one-page “market” where you can buy things at deep discounts (usually 50% off) and then go and patronize these local merchants with your presence and loyalty when they do a great job of earning your business and a repeat visit.
Getting the best Baltimore sports news and views anywhere on the planet AND saving you money!
We’re trying harder than anyone…
We’re building it. And to be honest, you’ve always come before and we really appreciate that!
TOMORROW: The future of sports media in Baltimore is in the palm of your hand and WNST.net is there with the best stuff in town. The finale of the five-part blog series will look into the crystal ball of Baltimore media and life after newspapers and the 5 o’clock news.
And I’m always here for any positive or negative feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Peter Angelos once said: “I’m a very available individual…”