New Online Teaching Format, Opinions?

shiradotnet

Well-known member
However, just last week RaqsTv also released Zoe Jakes' Workshop "Train Like a Pro." The rental period is longer — your choice of 1, 2 or 3 months — however the price is steeper, $30, $40 and $45 respectively. It is only available as a video stream, and it will not be made available as a DVD or download.
I remember a couple of years ago when a lot of people were saying that they would rather buy Cheeky Girls or World Dance New York instructional videos due to the prices being much more "reasonable" than IAMED's $45-ish price. Many people felt that CG and WDNY offered equal value (though admittedly different instructors), but for more affordable prices. At least once you buy an IAMED video, you can keep it forever and work with it as long as you want.
 

Sirène

New member
Thank you Darshiva. As a consumer, I really don't see the benefit at all. It seems a much poorer model so I won't be buying into it.
This still doesn't explain why there is no download-to-own option, other than they want people to continuously pay for the content. :mad:

I remember a couple of years ago when a lot of people were saying that they would rather buy Cheeky Girls or World Dance New York instructional videos due to the prices being much more "reasonable" than IAMED's $45-ish price. Many people felt that CG and WDNY offered equal value (though admittedly different instructors), but for more affordable prices. At least once you buy an IAMED video, you can keep it forever and work with it as long as you want.
I think WDNY gets the business model right. They also do online delivery, though it's through Amazon and iTunes. On Amazon it is $2 for a 7-day rental, and there is an option to purchase a downloadable version for about the cost of a DVD ($16). On iTunes WDNY offers apps for about $8 each. Either way, the content is yours to access indefinitely if you choose to pay for that option.

With RaqsTV, you're spending a minimum of $8 (for a 7-day rental, Zoe's workshop is a $30 minimum), and you have no choice except to keep paying if you want to access the content in the future.
 

Aniseteph

New member
Assuming I was the type who would remember to do online classes I'd paid for (which I am not):

I could see myself paying for a weekly on-line class where each class was only there for a week if it felt comparable to a "real" class where the value was in the progression over the weeks. There'd be no need to go back to lesson 1 because that material would be being built on in the rest of the course.

It'd need to tick a lot of boxes though:
a) I'd have to like the teacher/ material/ presentation
b) the level would have to be right
c) it'd have to be priced right because
b) the lack of feedback would be the big missing piece compared to a real class. With a drill type DVD if they don't explain something well or are doing a move completely differently to how I do it, I can take a deep breath and ignore it and do my own thing. Not so much in an on-line class where it might get built on next week and NO I STILL DON'T GET IT WTH ARE YOU DOING THERE?!!! :mad:

OTOH online DVD rental - :clap: :cool: - great idea to try before you buy, or don't.
 

Amulya

Moderator
I have a feeling that music rights might have to do with it too:
putting music on a DVD is very complicated with rights and costs money, but using music in a class is different, in some countries you can do that for free, so maybe those online lessons don't need music licencing?
 

Sirène

New member
I have a feeling that music rights might have to do with it too:
putting music on a DVD is very complicated with rights and costs money, but using music in a class is different, in some countries you can do that for free, so maybe those online lessons don't need music licencing?
Actually, in the US you can be sued for using music in a class without a license. ASCAP and/or BMI is more than happy to sic their corporate lawyers on tiny local businesses if they get wind of unlicensed use. :mad:

Obtaining music rights for DVDs can be difficult, however it is usually the case that permission granted for use of music in a workshop, would not extend to online streaming anyway. If you're going to bother negotiating permission to stream, why on earth wouldn't you also negotiate permission to download?

In the case of Zoe Jakes' workshop, I doubt permission is even an issue. She uses Beats Antique music almost exclusively, and she's in the band. I don't think anyone is going to tell her "no."
 

Amulya

Moderator
I don't know the laws in the USA, it seems very restrictive to small studios :( I never understood why teachers/shop owners/restaurants have to pay a licence to pay music not in all countries though). The record labels should be happy we purchase and promote it! This could for some people put them out of business, especially belly dancers :(

Zoe is lucky to be part of a band, makes it all so much easier!
 

Outi

New member
This has been very interesting!

I totally agree as a customer that dvd is my choice. During my tour in USA though there was a lot people who don't want to have physical discs (music, movies etc.) any more. I don't agree with that as the infromation is safe in cd or dvd, but that's how the world is chancing. I think that it also depends of the area - some places people are inclined to doawnload more some places not.

I prefer dvd both as a customer and a producer. There was several reasons why my Egyptianize ended up as streaming, but I don't think that would be my main way of distributing things in the future.

I think that with streaming (especially with time limit) the price has to be low enough. Also some content work ok with a time limit, so others not. If you think it as a workshop or lession and compare the price, streaming can be good way to try something from your own home.
 
Last edited:

Darshiva

Moderator
Thanks for giving us the business perspective on it, Outi. I'm still firm in my belief as stated above, but it is interesting to note that this model came directly out of market want for it. I had not anticipated that at all and I'm sure many others in this thread hadn't either.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I prefer dvd both as a customer and a producer. There was several reasons why my Egyptianize ended up as streaming, but I don't think that would be my main way of distributing things in the future.
Outi, I was finally able to watch your streaming video and I really enjoyed it, but I think a great deal of your market segment is going to be put off by the fact that it's streaming only.

Streaming is great if you have high-high-speed internet, but for many of us (and Shira has commented on this before) our internet connections aren't fast enough to make streaming an effective way of actually WORKING with video content.

As for Zoe's Train like a Pro workshop, I bought it and can't really use it effectively since my connection stutters and pauses. This is supposed to be (according to Zoe) a 3-hour workout that she does every day. NOT making this available as a purchasable dvd is just stupid. I understand that it was a workshop. I understand that the workshop participants didn't get to film it. Maybe this was a bad idea for a workshop, then? Maybe it should have been released as a workout dvd. I don't know. The content seems really good, but I honestly can't see people paying $15 a month or whatever it is to re-rent it just so they can do the daily workout.
 

Mahin

New member
Thanks for starting this thread! I've had some people ask for Skype privates, but I'm a little put off by the technology to do it. I've done Skype video calls, but managing an effective private lesson.... I don't know. I've never been on the receiving end of one either.

For those of you that have taken or give Skype privates - what has your experience been? Good, bad, indifferent?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts - thanks,
Mahin
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
Mahin, different people have different experiences with Skype. For my part, I was somewhat unsatisfied with the way the video seemed to stutter and the sound wasn't quite in synch with the video. We kept interrupting each other. But my friend's husband uses it to call his family in New Zealand all the time and is quite happy with it.

I still use Skype for private lessons, even though my connection is less than ideal. It is by far the best way to connect with a teacher long-distance. There is a new service called powhow (Powhow - Live Webcam Classes™) that a few people are talking about. I have not used it yet.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
They take a cut (unspecified in the TOU Agreement) of your profits. I don't trust anything that isn't explicitly open about how much of a cut they are taking. With ebay & paypal at least they are open about how much they are taking.

As a both a teacher & a student I think I'll stick to the skype model.
 

Daimona

Moderator
Is there an alternative technology to Skype? Like FaceTime for iphones, but for computer?
Once upon a time there was something called NetMeeting, but I haven't used it in >10 years and have no idea if it still exists.

I am sure there are other alternatives for video transmitting as well, but I don't use any of them myself.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
netmeeting still exists. I had the fun of using it for a union meeting a few weeks ago. (in other news, Australia is getting a bellydance union!)
 

nigma

New member
Personally, I like the streaming option. I get bored very quickly with instructional dvd's and rarely watch them more than a few times which I can easily do with a one week rental. If I don't like it I'm not stuck with the hard copy to fob off.
As someone who learns visually by following it's a bonus.
I've downloaded several now and there are only two which made me think meh!
I got a lot out of Outi's Egyptianize your dance (my favourite) and Tamalyn Dalahls as well as Ruby Bey's, all really good Raqstv streams. All very different with the exception of engaging your core strength.
I also really enjoyed Hannan Sultans Veil workshop but that's because my veil work needed improving.
Okay so one week isn't very long which is why I time my purchases with my days off and as someone who already has a good foundation in middle eastern dance it pays off.
I would not recommend most of them for the complete beginner.
I expect we'll see more of them in the future.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Thanks for your detailed reply, nigma. That's a position I didn't consider in my opposition. I like having a hard copy I can work on over time. I'll recommend the live streaming to any students with good internet access who are visual learners.
 

Aziyade

Well-known member
I want to make it perfectly clear here that I am NOT advocating taking or repurposing online content (in any form) that is against the TOU.
 
Last edited:
Top