Shocker — People Would Rather Not Pay For TV

from the free-as-in-beer dept

Just 17 percent of people would rather pay $1.99 for TV shows than get them for free with commercials, a new study says, throwing some cold water on the networks’ rush to sell downloads of their shows. Unbundling the shows from channels is the right idea, but clearly some tinkering with the price is in order — $2 per episode adds up pretty quickly, especially when people are used to getting the shows essentially for free. But the sniff of dollars to be made is clouding things for the TV networks. They have far more to make from advertising than from selling individual episodes of shows, and can’t seriously believe that everybody that watches programs now will pay to watch episodes. So, then, if the idea is to get ads in front of as many people as possible, why not make downloads — that include commercials — freely available? As Broadband Reports points out, people are already downloading the shows for free, without the networks being involved, and that’s not going to change. Ignoring the issue, rather than adapting to it, merely ensures the networks will miss out on any benefits from it.


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Comments on “Shocker — People Would Rather Not Pay For TV”

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13 Comments
thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Ads v Userpays

2$ an episode?

Hmmmmmm.

What are the best selling DVDs out there these days?

Many reports say…wait for it….Televised Series DVD packages!!!

So, lets take say Friends, which is selling like hotcakes (I prefer CSI and MASH myself…but what the heck)…that’s 22 (or is it 23?) episodes for 40 bucks canadian. Hmmm…that’s a bit cheaper, but close to 2 bucks an episode…and people are buying this stuff off the shelves. Take a look at something like the Sopranos (90 bucks Canadian per season) and its more like 7.50 an episode..

From personal experience, I can say that I *LOVE* not having cable anymore, not watching TV anymore and simply buying the seasons of the shows I like. CSI, for example, is a favorite of my wife’s and myself…recently, I tried watching one on TV and I couldn’t take it…too many commercials. On dvd tho? I could watch 2 or 3 in a row and enjoy!

Its worth the price IF there are NO commercials…if I have to start paying per episode AND watch that crap that marketters think is “cool” to push? I’ll give up TV altogether.

acrid says:

Re: Re: Re: Ads v Userpays

I agree with you except for one minor thing.

My wife and I just bought the first 4 seasons of Alias for about $40 a season (or roughly $2 an episode), but we also got special features (outtakes, deleted scenes, featurettes), commentary, and hard copies.

When you fork over $2 to download an episode, you don’t get any of the extras that you do with the DVDs.
Also, it doesn’t cost the content companies anything to make another copy of a video file for download, so they’re charging you the same price for a simple file as they are for getting a DVD pressed, packaged, and distributed.

Those companies just need to find the right price. I think $40 for a season is pushing it (I won’t pay the $50 that Lost is currently running at), and I think that $2 for a download is excessive.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ads v Userpays

I agree, personally 2$ for a download, is totally excessive…

However, as we’ve both shown, 2$ per episode, isn’t far fetched since you admit yourself that’s what you paid…

The only difference is what you mentionned, additional content, outakes etc..

I’ll go so far as to add the packaging (perhaps also the artwork). I MUCH prefer a nice box than a DVD-R know what I mean?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Ads v Userpays

Um, TV is not free. You pay for cable.

Dumb article.

All it does is show that people don’t care about “owning” shows like they do “owning” music- they’d rather pay a monthly fee to get all of them, commercials or no.

It also shows how much TV people watch. Most people watch so much TV that it quickly would become VERY expensive if they had to buy every single show.

Ron says:

No

I would not pay a dime for the content.

Why? Because it’s uninteresting. Network TV tries to be all things to everyone.. and satisfies no one. If anything, they should be paying ME the $1.99 to watch it; my time is valuable, and so are my eyeballs.

The other reason I won’t pay is because the moment I agree to, they’ll just sneak the ads back in to milk more money from it, so I’ll be PAYING TO WATCH ADS!

No.

Dave says:

No Subject Given

I personally don’t have time for TV (a few years back a Tivo helped me overcome the addiction by focusing my demand for TV content). I don’t even have cable, and rarely turn the TV on.

Since this fall, I have enjoyed Lost, The Office, and the new Galactica series for significantly less than what I would have paid for access (cable) and flexibility (a DVR).
I can’t wait to be able to download for an extra dollar the shows before they are broadcast.

Amanda says:

Um, TV is not free. You pay for cable.

Dumb article.

All it does is show that people don’t care about “owning” shows like they do “owning” music- they’d rather pay a monthly fee to get all of them, commercials or no.

It also shows how much TV people watch. Most people watch so much TV that it quickly would become VERY expensive if they had to buy every single show.

TV has never been free really. Because the so called free tv comes at the expense of having to have commericals. It also shows that maybe us wanting everything for free is what’s killing it. Frankly if people start leaving cable/sat all that’s going to happen is the same thing online.

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