Variable pricing for media: How big is your audience?
Apple have had their success with iTunes partially because the pricing model is so simple: 79p per track, £7.99 per album. They delayed launching video because they wanted something as simple for movies and TV shows.
People don’t want to have to remember more than one price for a TV show or a movie. When they are about to choose which to buy, they want to be sure how much they’ll be paying.
To those owning the films and programmes, they want to charge more if they think they’ll get people to pay. Recent releases are worth more than catalogue titles. Recent releases need to be paid for too.
However I think there will be a market for pricing based on the size of the potential audience of the video. A video kept for reference and watched every once in a while by an individual could be priced lower than one shown to over 200 people at a private club.
If that is so, why not charge based on screen size instead of resolution. Imagine paying less for a video than can only be shown on an iPod Touch or iPhone than one that that those devices output to TV.
The tradeoff between the content owners and consumers could be based on the implied audience size associated with a screen size. It would be uncomfortable for many more than one person at a time to watch an iPod movie. Not more than 30 would want to watch a consumer-based HD display at the same time…
I vote for cheap movies for people with no friends, they deserve something to make up for the loneliness!
But what if I’ve no friends but an HD projector? [true] =)