An abundance of crap devalues the good junk

Earlier today a tweet from Alyssa Rosenberg caught my eye. She was linking to this article in the Business Insider that goes into detail about how the author finds the $15 price tag that HBO is putting on its new Now service to be too high, especially in comparison to Netflix’s sub-ten dollar rates. Rosenberg comments that she is always surprised how people put a low value on content they love, and I think it’s a good observation. I think the problem is that there is now so much crap out there for free that paying anything for something feels wrong somehow. Steve Kovach, the author of the Business Insider article, uses Netflix as his counter example for a service that charges less but has a significantly larger pool from which view from, but he could have just as easily used Youtube.

Try it. Go to Youtube, click on something trending that tickles your fancy, and then see how quickly you get sucked down the rabbit hole. It doesn’t matter if the video quality sucks, if the script writing is non-existent, and the actors (assuming it’s not animal tricks and or kids trying to be overly stupid on skateboards) are not exactly Meryl Streep caliber.

And it doesn’t matter.

Open up Netflix and see what’s trending. Pick a category to browse and see how far you scroll down and how much of the catelog is stuff that amazes only in the sense that someone shelled out the cash for it to be made in the first place. Then look at how much of the crap you watch (I watch a fair chunk).

For less than ten buck a month we are granted access to a near unlimited cache of crap. For the cost of an internet connection we have youtube. $15 for HBO? Yeah, I like True Detective. Yeah, I’m curious about Game of Thrones.

But $15?

The next hour I spend on youtube is nothing. Hey, look, it’s Earl Sinclair covering Biggie’s Hypnotize. 

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