How to sell your content?

i'm very confused...how are you (users) selling your storyline 2 content for mobile device (i.e iPAD, Android).  From what I've experienced (and read) the only way to deliver content to the AMP is to provide access to the story.html file from your server.

problem is, clients can direct link to that file for free, and if you try to password protect the file (via .htaccess) you can no longer access on mobile devices.

I need to be able to sell annual membership to the story content, and have some sort of gateway to protect the file from free access!

any help??

10 Replies
Russell Still

After you take their money, send them the link to your content. I've been doing this for a number of years. Works like a champ, although I gave up on AMP/iPad. Customers got too confused about first downloading a third-party player, then accessing the content via their web browser, then going back to the player to use it. I got a lot of complaints so I discontinued doing it that way. I'm still hoping that Articulate may start selling licenses for private labeled versions of the AMP. That would be a big help.

Shawn Lessard

Thanks for the reply Russ!!

That's the way I figured I would have to do it. 2 questions for you though.

1. No problems with non paying customers direct linking to your product?

2. Seeing as how you don't use amp.. Have you had formatting problems for
use on different devices?

Thanks for your help .. Much appreciated

Russell Still

(1) There may be some degree of pilferage, but the URLs are complex and convoluted looking. Someone could cut/paste and send to a friend, but they aren't something that someone will easily remember and pass on from memory. The target pages contain passwords and that is what ultimately gives customers their access.

(2) No significant formatting problems across platforms. I suggest to customers that they'll get their "best experience" with a conventional laptop/desktop (and thus, Flash). But if they want to use an iPad, they can go the HTML5 route. In my market, the iPad is the predominant tablet.

 

Shawn Lessard

Thanks Ashley, 

I must say however, that I am slightly disappointed that Articulate does not have contingencies in place to help facilitate the distribution of published content outside of the Articulate online platform.  There is a growing movement for entrepreneurs developing niche courses and interactive content for their market, and an LMS is not always necessary, or affordable.  From browsing the comments on this site, I am not alone in my frustration.

I must honestly say that Storyline 2 is in my opinion the best software out there for producing such content, however at its premium price it falls short of providing the tools needed for a small business to justify the cost.  The "mobile" aspect of storyline 2 is a big selling point for people, however, from my current experience, it is very difficult to distribute unless you are giving it away for free!  think of it this way, if your clients in the private sector are going to spend $1300+ on your software, they are likely looking to produce PAID content.  Base on my research and conversation with Russ, the only way to protect our courses and interactive content is to employ archaic and non-secure strategies. 

I hope that future updates better reflect the needs of the market outside of the corporate and big education realm. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Shawn,

I may be misunderstanding your post, but we provide methods for you to publish in a number of different formats, but the only hosting solution we have is Articulate Online. Depending on the individual needs, you'd need to look into an LMS, web server, distributing via CD, etc. I'm not sure what other contingencies you'd like to see, although you're always welcome to share your thoughts in the form of a feature request - and you may want to investigate a few of the free server options mentioned in this article. 

Matthew Bibby

Shawn, where are you hosting your content? If you are using Amazon S3, I believe they have an option to protect content (where a unique URL is created for each visitor) - I haven't used this myself, but it may be an idea worth exploring.

There are also numerous ways to set up this kind of thing using Wordpress membership plugins. If you'd like to learn more about the different ways to do this and the pros and cons of various options, I recommend having a look at Chris Lema's site.

Shawn Lessard

Thanks Matthew..
I must say, though the problems i am encountering are frustrating, I cannot
say enough about the amazing community on this site. Thanks for the great
support everyone!

I think the ultimate problem I'm having is trying to figure out an
efficient way to create a memberships site which can distribute paid
content for mobile consumption. WordPress plugins protect content in posts
or pages however in order to distribute html5 content, we must link to the
file's URL. This seems to be more difficult to protect. Ive tried iframes
in posts but formatting is horrible, and you don't get the full screen
effect.

I've created an "app" with storyline 2 for iPAD for my specific niche. I
want to sell monthly or annual subscriptions to it. I am very familiar with
membership plugins for wp, but for the reasons mentioned before, I don't
see it working.

I'm really hoping someone out there has figured out a way to achieve this.

Russell Still

Shawn, you don't have to use Articulate Online. You can set up an account with any ISP and host your course anywhere. 

Membership sites such as amember (I think that's the name) can do the job. But if you need something specialized, it's pretty likely that you'll have to byte the bullet and have something developed for you custom. It's not cheap, but if you have a money-making course, it may be the best alternative. I have quick and dirty password sites as well as full blown databased sites. If you try to nickel and dime the system you may never get what you really want.