The average price for annual access to the research reports at Forrester or Gartner is over $100,000. Not a big deal for a coporate account, but pricey for a young start-up, angel investor or micro-VC. The typical solution has been to chase the same level of detail by following dozens of blogs, some of which rehash the material from these big firms. “We think it’s time somebody went after the middle of the pyramid,” says GigaOm CEO Paul Walborsky.
GigaOm Pro, which launched in May, is $299 a year for access to a thousands of detailed reports on everything from cloud computing to viral media. The writing comes from GigaOm’s full time staff and a team of freelancers who are vetted by the editors. “Despite being an expert network, we are not a content farm,” says Mr. Walborsky. “But not carrying the cost of a full time analyst is what allows us to offer such a low price point.”
GigaOm is looking to leverage its 4 million monthly unique visitors, many of whom are tech exes and founders. “If we can get just 15% of those readers to go Pro, we would be very happy.” Like many large tech blogs, GigaOm relies on events to provide an additional revenue stream, and Pro accounts will let them get even further away from the CPM model. “We think purely ad supported media is a tough play.”
Bartek Ringwelski, founder of SkillSlate, used to work at Canaan Partners, and says that even at a big venture firm, the reports from Gartner and Forrester were considered an expensive luxury. “As a start-up we are always looking for the best answers on how to run our business.” Recently SkillSlate was looking for a good video conferencing tool to coordinate with its remote staff. “I found a great article on GigaOm, then reached out to the freelancer who wrote it for a deeper dive by email. Totally worth the $300 bucks.”
No word yet on whether GigaOm’s research into pivoting has impacted SkillSlate’s party plans.