Fifth of a Series of Blog Posts from Maremel’s White Paper: Opening Pandora’s Digital Box
Fates of Owned Media vs. Newly Purchased Media
Will it be worth the consumer’s while to convert old to new? Time and convenience have been trumping cost in many instances. iCloud from iTunes, for example, provides clean tracks to replace ones you already have in your physical storage for the cloud.
UltraViolet, in the film realm, has approached this transition with a mixed package. Buy a DVD and gain rights to using the content in any mode, including online. The fine print on the online is for a year, with rights then to be renewed for an undisclosed sum of money.
Consumers, with available freemium storage space over 5 GB now, are being trained by the marketplace to not pay for digital storage. Will users pay a premium to store their digital stuff, or judge whether they will use something a second time?
Other forces are training consumers to “borrow” content, for one-time use. Video on demand has not performed as many early analysts predicted a dozen years ago, but provides a single-use option with much less revenue to the studio or producer. The TV Everywhere initiatives by many of the cable companies, including HBO Go, are training consumers for subscription-based extensions into the mobile world from their video services. Netflix’s 24 million subscribers (3Q2011) and Hulu’s 1 million premium subscribers are all following the call of renting a package of experiences. All of these services provide robust ways to not “buy” anymore, with a strong connection and even tethered in many off-line environments.
Usage Models for “Buying” Versus “Renting”
Questions of ownership may have more to do with usage models instead of media segments. Products may need to address different aspects of the consumer relationship, especially need for multiple sittings to consume the content (e.g., books, games, and classes).
Ownership may make sense across multiple users (e.g., family media ownership), who may not be sharing all of their media subscriptions.