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December 30, 2011
It's Not Just E-Books, Movie Prices Suck Too
Roger Ebert has a column up this week with his top 6 reasons why movie theater attendance is plummeting. Hint: piracy isn't on the list, though the ease of getting movies in the home via services like Netflix is.
No, once again it's the same deadly duo: high prices and bad customer experience. Prices on both tickets and concessions are sky-high and people seem not willing to pay for it, given that they're likely to have to sit in a crappy theater with an aisle down the middle, deal with obnoxious teenagers and compulsive texters, and have their in-theater options restricted because indie and non-US films aren't getting wide distribution.
In my comments on Dan Gillmor's "Swindle" rant I remarked that I thought e-book buyers were not particularly price-sensitive because they're locked in. For movies that's less and less true and so we're seeing price sensitivity. I wonder, also, how much of this is due to the crappy economy. If people are making good wages and not afraid of losing their job or their house they may not care so much if they pay an extra $3-5 per e-book or per movie. But that's not where we are and I wonder if people who are unhappy with the pricing are expressing part of the larger economic malaise.
(h/t Boingboing where I first saw a pointer to Ebert's column.)
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