Cheaper and the Cost Corollary

Seth Godin gave much more that he was paid, really, and his comments reminded me of a broadcast engineering truism.

[…] Cheaper is the last refuge of the person who’s not a very good marketer. Cheaper is easy and cheaper is fast and cheaper is linear and cheaper is easy to do properly, at least at first. But cheaper doesn’t spread the word (unless you are much cheaper, but to be much cheaper, you need to be organized from the ground up, like Walmart or JetBlue, to be cheaper). They are, you’re not.

Cheaper is a short term hit, not a long term advantage. Cheaper doesn’t create loyalty, because the other guy can always figure out how to be cheaper still, at least in the short run.

And my corollary?

Sometimes, things cost how much they cost.

A successful price point isn’t really “what people will pay”, it’s what the item is valued at in the marketplace. If you want to be “cheaper”, you may end up actually being “cheap” in several senses of the word. Be careful about how you think you are covering your input costs by altering your sale price.

In the greater, competitive marketplace, prices will stablise and possibly equalise. This is when Things Costs How Much They Cost, and you really get what you paid for.

Similarly, if you want to be cheaper, consider the total cost of ownership proposition as the customer sees it: are you really selling the customer a $1000 piece of consumer electronics, or are they buying 2 years’ worth of platform and usage via an initial capital equipment outlay?

Diddy vs Burger King vs TGYH vs Hungry Jacks

Enough of a battle in the title?

Diddy announced, via YouTube, his burger-driven super-media-play.

Recently, I read about (via Under the Rotunda) another sponsored media offering from the same franchisor:

Each download will run for up to eight minutes and will be exclusively sponsored by Hungry Jack’s.
It will be available at midnight on the day of broadcast and will comprise of a 15-second Network Ten promo, followed by the best Thank God You’re Here segment of the week, and finish with a 30-second Hungry Jack’s ad.

Would you prefer to watch adequately-funny Australian improv comedy, or P.Diddy’s latest and greatest? You get to choose, as long as you order a Whopper with it.

Broadcast Photos To Cable TV aka My Media on My TV

The review by Techcrunch describes an innovative method to achive what is essentially not a unique application. I’m not trying to lecture about building a better mousetrap, as clearly PhotoShow has taken aim at its market.

Rather, the “photos on TV” application has been done before, though probably not to this level of fit-and-finish. I’m personally working on a similar type of end-game (“application”) where real, actual Flickr (et alia) and media sharing, collaboration and social sites exist on your TV, via your set top box. And many others are chronosynchronously doing the same.

Essentially, having a forced or artificial delineation between “local” media (on your camera, your USB stick/drive, computer, or on your PVR) and “hyperlocal” or “global” assets will become less and less meaningful for consumers. They will just identify the media as “mine”, “yours”, “someone’s” or “ours”, and the locale of the file or asset will be meaningless.

Consumers of media via, but not necessarily on, their computer already make this leap-of-disambiguation. Does the actual logical or physical location of the file matter? As long as a URI can be obtained, a .torrent linked to or stored, or a stream link shared, people shuffle media at hyper-speeds amongst devices, boxes and networks.

Making it easier, or crafting an automagic leap-of-faith and suspension of disbelief, will uniquely stamp your service. Media assets will flow, be issued, be ingested, be traded or become available via some type of guidance or choice. No-one wants push technology to wake itself up from its 1996-era slumber and start spamming your Set-Top-Box. (Conversely/obliquely, nor do people probably appreciate that Caller-ID on your TV is better achieved via a SIP stack in the TV/STB).

But via choice, demand, learned behaviour or inference, the media may just appear or become linked into your other assets. In an interface that makes sense for televisions. I don’t want my photo library actually inside my TV, but a representation or subset of it would be nice. And a squillion iPhoto-esque manipulations of the photo won’t help me show my family my newborn child; the right tweaks, via the remote rocker button, will.

Google snaffles YouTube, becomes uber content player

With so much speculation swirling about, with regards to million-dollar-a-month bandwidth bills, and copyright litigation left, right and centre, it’s exciting in a tech-crunch kind of way to hear this news. Google has been the “uber” player for some time now; why did people see YouTube as the ultimate diamond in the web crown?

Google, our omnipresent overlord, has forked out some merger and acquisition cash (well, stock anyway) to grab the biggest brand name in gimmick and viral content.

Mashable says:

All in all, it’s mainly corporate speak, but the promise to continue running the two services separately should reassure some users.

I also think that other players in the market purely to be acquired by Google will be even more reassured that “it can still happen”.