Zondervan MasterLectures vs. Logos Mobile Ed.

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Ted Weis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 26 2019 1:44 PM

Zondervan's MasterLectures is the result of a gradual marketing metamorphosis. Originally, these lectures were sold as DVDs, then as video downloads, for the goal of supplementing Zondervan books. So if you bought a book, like The Basics of Biblical Greek by Bill Mounce, you also can buy the series of lectures to aid or expand your study. So basically, each lecture is based on a book's chapter. I own several of these. Some of the lectures basically review or summarize the chapter. Others add new material by clarifying or answering common questions that arise from the chapter.

In my opinion, MasterLectures (ML) is like, but really not like MobileEd (ME). The similarity is they're both theological, educational videos. After that, they are different. ML is always based on a Zondervan book. ME is not based on a book (although many of its teachers probably organize their material around books they've written or seminary lecture courses they've taught). As others have already stated, ME provides full transcripts (which I follow along with the video; I find it increases my comprehension), videos, plus test banks and/or chances for reflection. ME has a larger catalog to select from than ML.The videos in ME are all talking heads. Some ML have cinematic value; here I'm thinking of the Ray VanderLaan series, are filmed in Israel and are beautiful.

This is the biggest difference maker (IMHO): ME is a completely self-contained course. But in order to get the full value of ML, you should buy and read the textbook as you watch. ME was created first as oral presentations. ML are oral presentations, but as afterthoughts to a textbook already written. When Faithlife conceived the MobileEd project, they took an existing concept in the marketplace (The Great Courses video series) and improved upon it. Zondervan, as a book publishing company, created videos to support their books.

Personally, I think $14.99 mo.-$180 yr. is too much. While I don't have Nexflix (isn't $15 the monthly rate?), watching video to be entertained is much different than watching it for education. I do watch my MobileEd courses (Waltke's OT 300 is awesome), but rarely and not systematically.

Should MobileEd courses be available on a subscription? It could work, either within Logos, or as a Roku channel, or dedicated website.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 26 2019 2:39 PM

Kolen Cheung:
If there’s 49 of us forming an online church, that‘d be a great deal.

Bob said that was possible, but it's probably too much administrative headache on the online church's part (to regularly collect payments from members to cover the cost of the subscription).

I really find the most value in the Mobile Ed readings that come with the course, so a video-only offering is less appealing to me.

Kolen Cheung:
A better model might be like a library, only a certain no of courses can be checkout at a time, but as long as one is returned another one can be redeemed.

FL already lets customers choose one or more courses a year as part of a Faithlife Connect subscription. I can't see them coming up with a competing product which would minimize a Connect benefit.

The closest alternative that FL has is the Mobile Ed subscription, where the offered courses change each quarter.

Posts 2041
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 26 2019 2:47 PM

What I like about FL is the curated readings from my library.  I have never found the lectures compelling or deep.   Most of the meat, for me, comes from reflecting while reading.  On the other hand, my wife really enjoys the lectures and doesn't do much of the reading. So, variety provides value for us all.

Posts 210
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 26 2019 11:48 PM

Quick question:  I assume that someone could just pay the $180 for an entire years access to the Zondervan courses, right?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 12:30 AM

Puddin’:

Quick question:  I assume that someone could just pay the $180 for an entire years access to the Zondervan courses, right?

Huh? Shouldn't that be asked on the Zondervan site? Just saying why should Logos know?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 210
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 12:37 AM

MJ. Smith:

Puddin’:

Quick question:  I assume that someone could just pay the $180 for an entire years access to the Zondervan courses, right?

Huh? Shouldn't that be asked on the Zondervan site? Just saying why should Logos know?

Above, Ted said, “Personally, I think $14.99 mo.-$180 yr. is too much.” - referring to Zondervan (I think).

He said this on a Logos site, not Zondervan.  Since this thread includes the Zondervan pricing...I asked where it was posted.

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 12:51 AM

PetahChristian:
it's probably too much administrative headache on the online church's part

Faithlife sites already provided such mechanism: Giving. Also remember that Faithlife TV Church subscription is annual.

So then e.g. one can set up a church, raise funding for a year of subscription, only when the cost covering a year worth of subscription is collected, subscribe. Think of it as a community pricing like scheme.

The real remaining issue is how to come up with someone reputable enough to make individuals willing to pay for that down payment (804.99, about $16.43 per person before tax/whatever charge Faithlife is collecting.)

And as if any offering to Church, this is free will offering and individual can pay more, now the problem is how to make sure there's no free rider. And as the Church size grows, more free will offering and can increase the plan to the next tier, etc.

There's a certain financial risk here for sure, but we are talking about a bunch of "Christ chasing individuals", so may be its not all that risky.

PetahChristian:
FL already lets customers choose one or more courses a year as part of a Faithlife Connect subscription. I can't see them coming up with a competing product which would minimize a Connect benefit.

Yes, I was referring to that, but instead of having 1 course per quarter/half-year/year, it should be 4/2/1 courses checked out simultaneously, just like how the original Netflix DVD does it. They can even weight courses by different units, to take price differences between courses into account (say a very long course is 4 units, short ones 1 unit, and then those subscriptions give you 1/2/4 units of simultaneous checkout. Then either you checkout 1 4 unit course, or 1+1+2 unit courses at a time, for example.

PetahChristian:
The closest alternative that FL has is the Mobile Ed subscription, where the offered courses change each quarter.

One question I often have when reading description in pages like that is if I'm going to own the resources or not. Wording like "subscription" makes you think the license should be temporary but wording like "When you purchase Mobile Ed Subscription, you'll get 7 new resources that would cost $1,240.63 if purchased individually." sounds like you're going to own. They should have make it plain like "license: temporary" or something.

So do you know if it is for own or for rent?

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 12:55 AM

Puddin’:
He said this on a Logos site, not Zondervan.  Since this thread includes the Zondervan pricing...I asked where it was posted.

I think things like this are bound to happen soon or later. So I think the relevant boundary of this thread in this Logos forum is like how does Logos' offering stand against that and how can that be improved in a way to stay competitive. Another answer that mention the difference between MobileEd and MasterLectures are useful too in differentiating what Logos' offering has and its value at.

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 1:10 AM

Ted Weis:
Personally, I think $14.99 mo.-$180 yr. is too much. While I don't have Nexflix (isn't $15 the monthly rate?), watching video to be entertained is much different than watching it for education. I do watch my MobileEd courses (Waltke's OT 300 is awesome), but rarely and not systematically.

Netflix's has quite a few offerings some more and less expensive than $15, so they are in the same order of magnitude.

Are you implying Netflix is better deal or vice versa?

To me, education is much more valuable than entertainment so isn't this argument supporting the pricing is ok?

And rationally one would just ask for cost effectiveness then in Zondervan's case if one buy a few textbooks and courses from them that it might justify the annual fee.

I think in Logos' case it is very different, to me the price to own is simply too high and even their current subscription models make much more sense. I wish the MobileEd from their Faithlife Connect Premiere is to-own rather than just 180-days. I really hope they can find a right model that's good both to themselves and us. Otherwise I don't think I'd ever own any Mobile Ed except those freely given away.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 2:12 AM

Kolen Cheung:
So do you know if it is for own or for rent?

The Mobile Ed subscription, like the Faithlife Connect subscription, is temporary. You'd lose access to the current quarter's courses when your Mobile Ed subscription expires.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 2:47 AM

Puddin’:
...I asked where it was posted.

Ah, I didn't see it as a request for a link in which case I might have said:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Please abide by the following guidelines as you interact on our forums.

  1. Please keep your discussions focused on Logos Bible Software: our software, products, websites, company, tools, etc. . . .
  2. Please do not use our forums to
    • sell or give away anything or link to anything you’re selling or giving away—including Logos products
    • promote or link to competitors
    • point people to other places that sell Logos-compatible products
    • advertise yourself, your business, your ministry, your website, etc. (a tasteful link in your forum signature is acceptable)
    • post Logos Coupon Codes. If you are aware of a special promotion Logos is running online, you are welcome to link directly to the promotion. . . . 
  3. Please help others follow these guidelines. If the problems continue after you’ve given a gentle reminder of these expectations, please click “Report Abuse” under “More” or send an email to forums@logos.com.

Thank you for your cooperation. Enjoy discussing and learning about Logos Bible Software.

Or maybe I would have ignored it. You now caught me after I've been advised where not to shop - not Logos related either - so I'm more inclined to go to the guidelines. Do I care one way or the other? not really.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 3:03 AM
MJ. Smith:
Ah, I didn't see it as a request for a link in which case I might have said:
I think you misunderstand that statement. I don't think he's referring to a link. Read again. And if anyone is unhappy to any others' post, there's an abuse button to report that. If indeed it is found inappropriate I believe it would be removed.
Posts 210
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 3:06 AM

It was a simple question about courses that had already been brought up 😏.

Back to lurking mode...Carry on.

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 3:10 AM

Just in case people don't feel comfortable continuing this discussion because it is about its competitor, try doing so in faithlife.com. I'd also want to see more off-topic kind of discussion in faithlife.com since that one as a social network should not have such restriction.

If anyone want to discuss over there you could post the link here. Often time situation like this in online support community often allow redirecting traffic to a more relevant site (and in this case it is faithlife.com we're talking about so I think it is acceptable.)

Posts 1418
Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 27 2019 11:42 AM

PetahChristian:

Kolen Cheung:
If there’s 49 of us forming an online church, that‘d be a great deal.

Bob said that was possible, but it's probably too much administrative headache on the online church's part (to regularly collect payments from members to cover the cost of the subscription).

Why wouldn't Faithlife provide something like this to individuals? Faithlife could benefit on suggested books and attracting new people to market, it would be win win to everyone. Why would we have to gather 49 people, if Logos could simply charge $20 per person and make much more money out of it? It would take 3-4 people only to cover the first level of church package. 

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

Posts 881
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 28 2019 2:29 AM

Wild Eagle:
Why wouldn't Faithlife provide something like this to individuals? Faithlife could benefit on suggested books and attracting new people to market, it would be win win to everyone. Why would we have to gather 49 people, if Logos could simply charge $20 per person and make much more money out of it? It would take 3-4 people only to cover the first level of church package. 

I guess that's not their intention to form a "church" like that, but ya, technically one can do that.

So their intended use is for personal to subscribe to Faithlife Connect with 1/2/4 courses per year, with transcripts. And Faithlife TV Church for Church, where the inclusion of the Mobile Ed is to make the deal more attractive, and lure people enjoying it to actually buy the courses. (Of course it's just my guess.)

But I'm not a big fan of subscriptions, personally I'd like to have something like a base package that include a lot of unnecessary stuffs but the total package is a massive 90~95% off thing.

But I don't that'll make economical sense for them. That's why I said I really hope them to be able to find a sweet spot that's win-win. The dilemma is that it is cost prohibitive to own all (or n, an arbitrary large no.) Mobile Ed, but let's say someone indeed subscribe to Faithlife Connect Premiere and go through all (n) courses, they'd still want to keep the transcripts with their notes for future references, but the current Faithlife Connect subscription model doesn't allow that. (I don't know if Logos can relax the renting condition on Mobile Ed such that the course will expires in 180 days but we can keep the transcript?)

Posts 943
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 7 2019 8:30 AM

There are plenty of places on the internet to find classes online, for free.  Plenty.  I cannot see the transcripts being worth what Logos charges for them.  

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