Real goes subscription.
August 15, 2000 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Real goes subscription. A decent business model, IMHO. But with two lacking elements: 1) Too expensive ($3-5/month is better), 2) More compelling content (needs more name brands). I think a flat rate type content model could work well for video/multimedia content (the porn industry does well with it).
posted by owillis (8 comments total)
Dr. Drew is working on a content for cash deal. But I think you need to have exclusive content for this to work (and I don't think text will work).
posted by owillis at 3:28 PM on August 15, 2000

I won't have thier crapware on my computer, much less pay them for brain dead, ad filled, targeted content! The spyware incident reveals the mentality behind Real, I will not be doing business with them.
posted by quonsar at 3:59 PM on August 15, 2000

The last time I was forced to upgrade my real player I tried to figure out what the difference between the for pay, and the free versions were. The only difference I could find in their marketing was that the for pay version came with a "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit" video.

posted by captaincursor at 4:14 PM on August 15, 2000

I can't believe they expect people to pay for such crap? I get so frustrated when I go to read one of the local news station websites for news, only to be forced to view it as a Real Player document instead of the preferred text.
posted by 120degrees at 4:28 PM on August 15, 2000

Real definitely has stinky bloatware and I think a lot of content providers are switching to MS for the simple reason that Real is trying to compete with their customers while MS is more agnostic.
posted by owillis at 4:41 PM on August 15, 2000

I'd consider a pay service if I was guaranteed they would never include advertising or commercial crap of any kind. One of the reasons why I cancelled my cable tv subscription was because the cable channels I watched were filled with commercials. I felt like I was paying to be solicited to.

As the copyright law fight becomes more heated, inevitably there will be laws made forcing us to pay for content on the Web. I dread that day. I heard an editorial on NPR's Marketplace today which was from a woman who wrote for a paper publication that has put her stuff up in their archives on the web. Her understanding when she signed the original contract while writing for them was that she was renting her words to them to publish for that one time. Now that her stuff is up there indefinitely on the Web, with no more monetary supplements to herself, she is unhappy. Lance Arthur has also pointedly and thought-provokingly approached this issue at his own 'free' website.

I don't know what the solution is, but REAL doesn't have it. They're not anywhere close. The only reason I use their software is because I had to download it to see something I wanted to see. And it was free. If I ever have to pay for it, I'll delete it in a second.

I pay enough as it is to access the 'Net. If I have to pay for everything I download, I simply won't be able to afford it. A lot of people won't, and even more won't want to.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:57 PM on August 15, 2000

I think the model that has to work is a pseudo-cable/porn site model where you pay a small monthly fee for access to premium commercial free (or sponsored if necessary) content. But Real doesn't get it and hasn't for awhile...
posted by owillis at 9:03 PM on August 15, 2000

Business model.. they want a business model that actually works..? Lemme think. Monthly fees are absurd. It's bad enough having to pay month to month for everything else in my life. I don't want anymore monthly bills.

Howzabout this? An annual fee to access a wealth of content with limited commercial interruption (like PBS level of commercial interruption without the obnoxious pledge drives five times a year), paid at the time you pay for the 'upgrade' for the Real Player. The payment for the subscription is optional and in addition to the purchase of the software. A big introductory payment, but each year you stay with the service the annual fee is a bit less. Say fifty US bucks the first year and then five dollars less every year until it evens out at like ten bucks for the most loyal customers. You can't add to that special live performances sold premium, like cable's 'Pay Per View' cuz hackers will find ways of breaking into it anyway cuz that's what they do. It would also be like cheating people who paid the annual fee on the assumption that they'd have access to everything. I'd consider either a one-time fee or an annual fee before I tolerated a monthly subscription or a system where I pay for each thing I download. This is the best 'business model' I can think of on three cups of coffee on a Wednesday.

Or howabout the Cartman Business Model? Everyone can just provide all their content for free, zero advertisements cuz no one over the age of twelve pays attention to them anyway, I don't pay a red cent, and the world of content providers can starve to death for all I care. FEED ME!

...Okay maybe not.

No. I'm not a morning person at all.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:30 AM on August 16, 2000

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