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Is Cost per Hour the new entertainment metric?

David Justus writes at GigOm argues that Cost per Hour will be a pivotal metric for both producers and consumers, but I’m slightly dubious (despite wanting it to be true.)

The argument is basically that all entertainment has an effective cost per hour, and even if we don’t consciously track it we respond in our subconscious. He has an intriguing chart showing the relative cost per hour of different types of entertainment. Netflix streaming is the lowest at 25c per hour; while a cinema experience the most expensive (even san popcorn) at $3.35.

My point of dissonance is that these are different types of entertainment and probably can’t be that directly compared. What do you think?

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  • Seth · February 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    An interesting corollary: you could try to assign value to different types of entertainment using this model.

    Using the numbers you’ve given above, assuming the creative quality of the movie is the same in both instances,
    cost(theater experience)-cost(netflix experience)=$3.10/hr

    So, assuming “watching from the comfort of your couch” has no additional intrinsic value, the “theater experience” could be valued at ~3.10 per hour – since the media itself is worth far less.

    I’d be interested to get more baseline numbers. How much per hour does it cost to produce and distribute a film?
    Is there a better zero value than netflix?

    • Author comment by Philip · February 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      I think it’s an interesting metric, but ultimately very subjective. I might, for argument’s sake, prefer to watch movies in my home theater so content available to me in high quality there, is more valuable than the same content in a theater. It’s subjective and that’s ultimately why the metric will likely fail.



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