I've been looking at the world of geekonomics and fannish economics – of video games, anime, movies, sports, and of course, online transactions.
As I write this I've been watching some things I found casually on Netflix, using our X-box (cheesy movie trailers, if you must know). I was watching them spontaneously. Come to think of it, I'd maintain my Netflix and X-box subscription just for these opportunities.
Or perhaps we can turn our attention to my gaming habits. A few demos on the X-box are always amusing, and purchases are cheap. I've enjoyed many Wii games for only a few dollars. Best of all, things are not only easy to get but cheap. A bad purchase is only a few dollars lost.
Very, very easy to be spontaneous. In fact it's never been easier for so many to get so much so quickly and so easily (if I may wax poetic).
We've got an increased spontaneity economy. I expect it to increase as well – e-books, web comics, downloadable comics, etc. Everything is easier and easier to get to – or even try it out.
What does this mean?
- Demographics are going to get harder. Spontaneity can distort studies and information on purchasing populations (and it may make long tail calculations harder).
- Questions of initial sales. Are initial sales of a product going to be all that reflective?
- Questions of reason for interest. Was someone interested in a purchase or was it just easy.
- Questions of reimbursement. When spontaneity plays a large (or potentially large) role in the purchasing decisions of people, what is the best way to reimburse producers or share profits?
- Questions of marketing. How much did your marketing pay off? How will you know.
- Questions of durability. How easy is retention of an audience when the new shiny things are so easily accessible?
Welcome to the spontaneity economy.
- Steven Savage