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« Shooter vs. Buscema | Main | Maybe instead of elections, we should have arena battles »

TV is the new comic books

This article on why 200,000 people cancelled their TV service is interesting. Seems it's more due to the poor economy than everyone switching to Netflix and Hulu, but those services are a factor.

I just thought this was interesting:

Cable providers are increasingly seeking ways to get more money out of their existing subscriber base. As a result, we've seen steady increases in average revenue per user (ARPU) as users sign up for more HD, more premium channels, more DVR set-top boxes throughout the home. That's the reason Comcast's ARPU stands at about $140, when basic cable service starts at about $39 based on some introductory offers.

On the other side, operators are increasingly shying away from customers who might not want to pay for the premium cable package, multiple DVRs and other bells and whistles. DirecTV and Dish Network both run credit scores of potential subscribers to weed out those who might turn out to be flakes and cancel after an introductory deal is over. The goal -- to get customers signed up for as many value-added services as possible -- is not just about driving up revenues, but about making those services sticky and increasing customer lock-in.

Not a direct comparison, but it reminded me of how, when faced with declining mass market sales, comic companies retreated to the direct market and focus now on getting more money out of their existing customer base through things like variant covers, non-essential mini-series, and line-wide event crossovers, rather than trying to expand that customer base.

Actually, it's also similar to what i've read concert ticket services are doing with VIP tickets and other value-adds in the face of declining ticket sales. I don't know if these trends are showing a haves/have-nots division or if it's just some industries dealing with shifting trends. But the direct market ploy made comics a niche market; seems unlikely that the same thing would happen with cable, but we'll see.

By fnord12 | August 11, 2011, 12:12 PM | TeeVee