Naifei's dilemma is actually the dilemma of all "subscription entertainment content"

TechWeb 2022-05-09 14:18:57 阅读数:875


source : Internet mob / Pei Pei, head of the bandit group

No secondary reprint is provided

Naifei's share price has fallen from its peak 70% above , And its business model is no longer favored by investors . Lead to weak user growth 、 Of course, there are many reasons why profits do not meet expectations , for example “ Post epidemic Era ” Users no longer stay at home and watch dramas , For example, inflation has led European and American users to reduce entertainment spending , For example Amazon Prime、Hulu、YouTube Premium Wait for the aggressiveness of competitors . however , The above problems can be solved ; If Naifei's management is smart enough , Or have sufficient resources , These can be overcome . There is a problem that cannot be overcome in any way , That's paid video 、 Even “ Paid subscription ” The fundamental weakness of this business model .

Let's review : Naifei and its main competitors ( Including China's aiyouteng three video platforms ), The main business model is to let users by month ( Or by quarter or year ) Paid subscription , So as to obtain the right to view all the contents of this platform . Of course , The platform can also insert advertisements to generate revenue , But that's secondary . For a mature long video platform , The user's paid subscription is the most important 、 Sometimes even the only source of income . China's aiyouteng was originally “ advertisement + Paid subscription ” Jointly driven , In recent years, it has become more and more inclined to paid subscriptions .

Here's the problem : Everything takes time as a cycle 、 Do not bind any paid content subscription of specific works , They are inefficient in nature , And there is a factor of self destruction . For entertainment content , This is probably the worst business model , Not one of them. .

Whether you are a platform 、 The publisher or the creator himself , If you want to sell an entertainment content to end users , Then your gross income is easy to calculate ( The channel cost is not considered for the time being 、 Pay costs, etc ):

Operating income =  Pay user base  X  Average fee (ARPU)

Thus, there are two basic business ideas : The first is to expand the base of paying users , The second is to increase the average payment . It's best to do both at the same time , But in reality , It's not easy to do one . Increasing the average payment can be divided into two ideas : The first is to raise the overall price , The second is to implement differentiation ( Discriminatory ) pricing .

obviously , All subscription video platforms including Netflix , Mainly in “ Expand the base of paying users ” and “ Raise the overall price ” On the article , It is difficult to implement real “ Differential pricing ”:

· The main driver of Netflix's revenue growth over the past few years is the paid user base , It started in North America , Then overseas , Now it's overseas emerging markets ( For example, India ). The number of paying users fell in the last quarter , Sure enough, it triggered a sell-off on Wall Street , It shows that the market agrees that the user base is the most important operation parameter .

· Naifei can increase the subscription price of members every once in a while , Generally, it can be improved every time 1 dollar . Subscription costs tend to be lower in emerging markets , But with the development of user habits , There is a greater possibility of rising .

· Naifei also has so-called “ Differential pricing ”, But the price is mainly based on the number of screens viewed at the same time : Basic members can only watch on one screen at the same time , Senior members are two , And so on . This differentiated pricing has nothing to do with the content itself , non-existent “ Senior members see better content ” The situation of .

·Hulu There is another kind of platform “ Differential pricing ”, That is, basic members are not exempt from advertising , Senior members are free of advertising ( Aiyouteng in China is also good at playing this trick ). however , This pricing still has nothing to do with the content itself , It's just about the user experience .

In short , When the user is Naifei 、Hulu、YouTube Premium、HBO Max, And iqiyi in China 、 Tencent video 、 When Youku and other platforms pay , What he paid was actually a sum of “ Rain and dew are evenly distributed. ” The cost of (flat fee); He can't for what he doesn't like “ Pay less ”, What's more, I can't find the content I like “ Pay more ”.

for example , As far as I'm concerned , My favorite original series of Naifei is 《 queen's gambit 》(The Queen's Gambit), But yes. 《 Strange story 》(Stranger Things) I feel worse . Unfortunately , The former closed after a short season , The latter received a renewal in the fourth quarter . that , Can I bargain with Naifei , by 《 Strange story 》 Pay half less , Spend more money to see 《 queen's gambit 》 Season two ?

Needless to say , It's impossible , Even if users with similar demands all over the world unite, they can't do it . Then retreat to the next place : Can you spend more money , enjoy 《 queen's gambit 》 Of “ Value added content ”, For example, special gags for fans 、 Exclusive plot , Or interaction with games and other content ?

The possibility is also very low . At best, we can only enjoy the original art collection 、 The soundtrack 、 Behind the scenes interviews and stuff , Just like before DVD Or attached to Blu ray DVD Extra equally . These things are hard to sell at a price ( At least it can't be sold again on a platform like Naifei ), Not too thirsty . In the ideal ,《 queen's gambit 》 This IP You can make at least... From me 200 dollar ; In reality , It can only support my payment for two months , value 20 More than US dollars .

It's similar to other platforms . For example, in HBO Max, I'd be happy to serve 《 Dongcheng nightmare 》(Mare of Easttown)  Spend a lot more money , But there is no such option , There is no such value-added content to buy ; When I heard that the main play at this time next year will be something I don't like very much 《 Gilded Age 》(The Gilded Age) In season two , I may choose to give up my subscription for one month , After all, you won't lose anything if you don't watch the play .

let me put it another way : Users have only one option to pay without binding content , When they want to pay more, they can't buy value-added services , If you want to pay less, you may choose to unsubscribe directly . For the platform , The pattern is “ Steady loss without profit ” Of . According to economic theory , The platform cannot occupy “ Consumer surplus ”, But I have to lose a lot “ Producer surplus ”.

When the economic situation is good , Although the video platform can't collect more wool , At least there is no risk of losing subscribers ( No one cares about a subscription fee of one or two months ). But when economic growth slows down 、 In the case of inflation , It's a big problem . On English social media , There are articles everywhere that teach you how to jump between video platforms to save money . for example , Nai Fei 2022 year 5 The heaviest new play of the month is 《 Strange story 》 Fourth Season , And it won't go online until the end of the month , And the second half of the season will 7 It's only launched in April , Why don't you just unsubscribe ; however , If you happen to want to see 《 Black money Resort 》(Ozark) Last season , Then bear it , Let's wait until this month .

Frankly speaking , This business model of video platform , Not only is it far inferior to the current game industry , Even inferior to the traditional film industry ( If there is no impact of the epidemic ):

· Mobile games and some PC The game has turned to “ Free play 、 Internal purchase payment ”(Game as a Servie, GAAS) Pattern . in other words , Not to those “ have no feelings ” User charges for , But to those “ Feel very much ” Our customers provide a variety of paid value-added services . Especially in the appearance of props based “ Pay for love ” In mode , Paid value-added services will not affect the comprehensive experience and fairness of the game , So as to achieve the greatest degree of “ Differential pricing ”.

· The content of traditional games and movies is paid out , Hand in the money and deliver the goods , You can set up a maximum of VIP It's just a grade . This model is not so efficient , But the user's payment is at least corresponding to the specific content —— Of a single work ROI Be clear at a glance , Users can also allocate budgets more efficiently .

· Online subscription ( Mainly China ) The payment is usually bound to specific works , What you pay for is a paid chapter update of a work . The online text platform will also be introduced to VIP Users have free rights to some popular works , But that's secondary . Most users pay for their favorite books .

Take popular games as an example : If 《 Glory of Kings 》 Launched a new hero , perhaps 《 Protogod 》 Introduced a new card drawing character , And you just don't like , Then you can not buy anything related to this character . You don't have to “ Retreat ”, Because game operators don't charge you anything for new characters “ Rain and dew are evenly distributed. ” The cost of (flat fee). It's possible that you often see the character's activities on the game interface , And feel a little bored , That's it .

If this new hero / The new characters are just right for your appetite ? Then spending money is a multi-level 、 A multi-stage bottomless pit . stay 《 Glory of Kings 》 in , You may buy one first 488 The brave skin of counting coupons , Bought another 888 The epic skin of counting coupons , Bought another one 1688 The legendary skin of counting coupons , Finally, I entered “ Xingyuan skin ” A bottomless pit . stay 《 Protogod 》 among , It will cost a lot of money to pull out this character , What's more, there are various subsequent strengthening costs . You volunteered all this , You're paying for love , And game operators have successfully occupied your “ Consumer surplus ”.

Subscription content platform represented by Netflix , Not only can't do the above , Even retrogressive . If time goes back twenty or thirty years , stay DVD Or a video rental store , I can at least choose which content to rent , You can also ask the shopkeeper to show me a paragraph to see if it suits my appetite ; In front of the cinema or video Hall , I can at least judge which ticket to buy according to the poster and introduction . As the audience , I'm paying for specific content , This is perfectly justified .

then DVD The owner of the rental shop changed the rules : Pay a fixed fee every month , Then I'll get a lot of well-made 、 Rich themes 、 Burn money, burn very sincere content ; As long as I renew it on time , The existing content can also be viewed again at any time . These are good, good , The problem is that the shopkeeper is actually guessing my preferences . If he guesses right , The result is nothing more than that I continue to subscribe ; Wrong guess. , As a result, I lost . By the way , There are many houses on the street DVD Rental shop , Have learned this set of inefficient business model , They are competing with each other in value destruction .

The only advantage of the above rules , When the economic situation is good , Maybe a little more stable —— If consumers can easily make a monthly income 6000 dollar , And prices remain stable , So cost 35 $to subscribe to three at the same time DVD The service of the rental shop is acceptable . Investors will even think that this model has “ Superiority ”, Destined to replace the old model .

Now everything is in its original form . Completely rely on paid game content , Or rely on the traditional film content of buyout system , Maybe it's really unstable , Can't do “ The security ”; But Naifei's subscription payment model can't do this . In times of recession , Subscription mode cannot be saved ; Economically 、 When high-quality content bursts out , And can't reach a high ceiling . Does this business model have any advantages ?