elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
elf ([personal profile] elf) wrote in [community profile] ebooks2011-04-07 15:11

Ebooks as radio shows!

Ooh! Shiny! New thought about ebook distribution, comparing it not to books, which have high fixed costs and substantial, non-reducible per-unit costs, but to radio--which has high fixed costs, and almost nonexistent marginal costs. Sound familiar? I don't think I'd ever thought of ebook subscription services like this--not as comparable to a book club, but like public television or radio, where a few paying customers were happily supporting the entertainment of a lot more free users.

The Public Broadcasting model for ebooks, by Eric Hellman
New York Public Radio, which produces Radiolab, produces other award winning programs and operates three of America top public radio stations, all on an annual budget of just under 48 million dollars. That works out to $130,854 per day. If you spread that expense over the 19 million potential listeners in the New Yourk Metropolitan area, it works out to 0.69 pennies per day per person.

But it doesn’t even cost that much to listen to WNYC or WQXR. Most people pay even less, zero pennies, to be exact. ... A relatively small number of us send money to become “members” of the station. The $120 my family contributed turned into a deduction on the tax return I completed yesterday. Most people who listen don’t contribute, but they’re never referred to as “pirates” or “thieves”.

The reason this works anyway is that radio has large fixed costs and infinitesimal marginal costs.
Emphasis added, 'cos I had to. THERE ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE, getting FREE COPIES of COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL piped into their homes! We're teaching our kids to be damned thieves and pirates, watching Sesame Street and not paying for it!
finch: (Default)

[personal profile] finch 2011-04-07 23:06 (UTC)(link)
That's so perfect that now that I've heard it I wonder why I've never heard it before. XD
yourlibrarian: Angel and Lindsey (SPN-BoysWorkRoom-unfamiliargirl)

[personal profile] yourlibrarian 2011-04-08 02:32 (UTC)(link)
It's an interesting argument, thanks for passing along the link.
isis: (Default)

[personal profile] isis 2011-04-09 00:25 (UTC)(link)
Oh, INTERESTING.
syderia: old books (books)

[personal profile] syderia 2011-04-09 05:59 (UTC)(link)
Most people who listen don’t contribute, but they’re never referred to as “pirates” or “thieves”.
Except that they were, back when audio tapes first came out. And since the radio owners couldn't forbid then, they turned to cutting slightly the ending of songs, and merging the end of one into the beginning of the next one so people registering them wouldn't have a very high quality song.
With an e-book, you have an actual copy of the work, so I would say that the difference between e-books and radio is about the same than between Hulu and getting a file through P2P.

Radios are also typically paid by advertising, or public subventions, and the advertising model for electronic content is one they tried to reproduce.
Edited (broken html) 2011-04-09 05:59 (UTC)
cathepsut: (Default)

[personal profile] cathepsut 2011-04-09 10:02 (UTC)(link)
You don't have to pay some sort of braodcasting fee in the US for your radio, TV, car radio? Just wondering... We pay quite a bit in Germany and the UK has something similar, can't remember what it's called right now. So technically all Germans and Brits with radios are paying customers. And if we don't pay and get caught, we get fined.