Price discrimination without coercion: the Humble Ebook Bundle


7 Responses to “Price discrimination without coercion: the Humble Ebook Bundle”

  1. ” the cost of producing a DVD is very low,”

    If all you were buying was the plastic that might be true, but the cost of making the content that actually makes the DVD attractive to buy is substantial.  For most movies that DVD revenue isn’t some surprise extra they hadn’t even planned on, it’s part of the budget that got the movie greenlit and financed in the first place.

    • Cory Doctorow says:

      Did you read the article? It’s pretty clear that I’m talking about the marginal cost of a DVD, not the fixed cost of the film.

      • Don Smith says:

        But Cory, it’s so much easier to argue against the thing you WANT to rather than the thing that’s actually posited.

  2. This is gonna be a game changer for sure. I’ve bought several of their game bundles, but this one’s average is much higher.

  3. ZikZak says:

    It’s not the same as conventional price discrimination, though.  Like Cory writes, that normally involves getting someone to pay the absolute most that they’re willing in exchange for a given product.  This works because of the aforementioned coercion: the seller can threaten to withhold access.

    But with the absence of coercion, the “buyer” isn’t really buying anything at all.  They’re not purchasing access to the product, because they already have access.  Really what they’re doing is making a philanthropic contribution.  They are giving money away to people who have made wonderful things for everyone, because they trust that those people will continue and we’ll all get to enjoy the results.  Or maybe because they have a sense of “irrational” fairness or respect, which says that people deserve payment for the wonderful things they’ve already given away for free.

    We’re kind of stuck talking about this in terms of prices and customers and sales, but the terms are increasingly awkward.  Because something completely different is going on here.

  4. traalfaz says:

    I like this.  Unfortunately I’ve already bought over half the titles on it and I’m not that interested in most of the rest.

    I may buy it anyway just to support the model.  I think eventually we’re going to get to a point where most of the revenue goes to the creator.  The fact that this is not currently the case is one of the reasons why I am not totally happy buying ebooks today.  If perhaps 75% or even 50% of the revenue went to the creator I’d be a lot happier pulling out the plastic.

  5. pKp says:

    Bought it yesterday. Currently being amazed by Signal to Noise. I would have started Pirate Cinema, but I can’t find my goddamned ereader…

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