Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Consumer Price Points for Recurring Subscriptions are Fairly Clear

One might infer from average pricing for a variety of services ranging from fixed telephone service to broadband access, wireless and multi-channel video service that consumers have price sensitivity for any single service above $50 a month.

According to researchers at Pew Research and the Federal Communications Commission,  fixed voice costs about $48 a month. Wireless costs about $50 per user, while multi-channel video costs about $60 a month and broadband access costs about $40 a month.

Some of you immediately will note that your own spending is higher than these average figures suggest, with the greatest variability occurring in the mobile arena, as that is a service bought a person at a time, where the other services are bought household by household.

That's worth keeping in mind when surverys suggest there is robust consumer demand for just about any new application or service. Very few products ever have gotten mass adoption at prices above $300. Very few subscription products ever have gotten mass adoption at prices above $50 a month.

That doesn't mean it cannot be done; obviously it can. It simply is to point out that getting lots of consumers to buy a new recurring service at prices ranging from $5 to $10 a month is a big deal.

That's the reason so much consumer-focused content is advertising supported.

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