Research for the Rest of Us: Why Sidecut is Selling Reports for Less Than $5

Pardon the press-release tenor of our previous post, but we did want to put the news out there before explaining some of the inside-baseball decisions that prompted us here at Sidecut to radically reduce the price we charge for our industry reports.

While we’ve received many compliments for our research reports (including many requests to post our views elsewhere on the Internet), finding a pricing model that fits both the economic times affecting our readers and a sensible business model for ourselves has been a work in progress. The tipping point toward what we are calling our new “right-sized, right-priced research” was when we made two of our reports available for free — resulting in hundreds of downloads and a much larger audience for our news reporting and analysis of the U.S. WiMax market, public policy, and the general telecommunications and Internet industries.

The favorable response to our no-price option was just part of a growing realization that the traditional analyst/research business model — where you charge a selected audience a premium of thousands of dollars for timely, focused research in their specific field of interest — may be heading down the same dwindling-returns path as other traditional media businesses. At least for a smaller operation like Sidecut Reports, it seems to make sense to use our speed, agility and low overhead to produce reports that add more value than any typical collection of similar blog posts, while at the same time making our information and analysis available to a much wider audience by pricing it like the kind of information one might purchase for their Kindle bookreader or iPhone.

So welcome to the world of five-buck reports!

To kick off the new pricing we are starting a new series of reports we call the NTK Series, for “Need To Know.” Our Clearwire NTK report for June 2009 is the first in a planned quarterly series of looks at the premier provider of WiMax services in the U.S. market, and it gives readers a thorough snapshot of where the company stands in its market launches, device introductions and business dealings as of June 1, 2009. If you need or want to get a core dump on everything Clearwire, here’s a way of getting ahead of the knowledge curve for less than the price of a ballpark beer.

The new pricing model also allows us to make it easier than ever for readers to find our work, by also making our reports available for the Kindle bookreader (and by way of the free Kindle reader software, for the iPhone and iPod Touch). We are in the process of putting together more “right-sized” chunks of our larger research packages for mobile or price-conscious consumption, so stay tuned for more material that won’t break the bank as it increases your WiMax and Internet broadband business I.Q.

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