THE RIGHT WAY TO PAY
Over at his CinemaTech blog, Scott Kirsner receives an email from Dovetail CEO Jason Holloway about the current debate over just how content creators should be compensated for the online viewing of their work. Holloway discusses the pros and cons of the paid subscription model, the pay-per-download model, and the ad-supported model, and provides an opinion as to which types of content are most appropriate for each model.
I’m with Kirsner in believing that there is considerable untapped promise in the pay-per-download model (essentially, this is the model of the iTunes Store), but Holloway makes some points about the value of brand recognition that independent filmmakers should consider.
Here’s the way I see it. For simplicity there are two segments: high end (stuff that people readily recognize on its own merit) and the rest. For the rest, my theory applies. People won’t pay to experiment, so you have to have ads or subscription (once the platform ITSELF is a brand worth recognizing, people will pay for the platform, even if they won’t pay for each piece of content). People wanting content free or [as] part of a subscription would apply to the high end stuff too, except that the high end stuff (“Darn, I missed Entourage last night”) commands more value and people aren’t experimenting with buying it, so consumers are willing to pay for it.