Pricing by Type or Size of institution?

Jonathan Miller (jmiller@frif.com)
Wed, 23 May 2001 12:04:59 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Videolib Pundits:

From time to time I have noticed critical comments on this list about
tiered pricing structures by which some distributors charge universities
and colleges more than public libraries or high schools.

Coming from a company that generally does NOT do this (though I often think
about it) I am curious how you all view price structures such as those of
many electronic journals and databases, please see for instance:

http://muse.jhu.edu/ordering/sspack01.html

http://muse.jhu.edu/ordering/consortiumplan01.html

which have quite elaborate price structures, not only based on TYPE of
institution, but also for SIZE, and/or number of users.

As video moves towards just another digital asset, won't, and why
shouldn't, the pricing models change accordingly?

Should we not start discussing what differential pricing structures (or
ratios) make the most sense, both in respect to selling (licensing)
individual video tapes in the first instance, and in respect to the license
fees or payments for a digital copy of those tapes?

Asked the other (retro) way round - if the differential structure makes
sense for digital assets, why not also for analog (VHS) ones?

I would certainly be eager to hear any comments on this from both media
librarians and other distributors, taken from whichever angle you want to
come at it from. I'm sure it would be helpful for me, pondering the
digital future of what started as a film distribution company, and how our
pricing model relates to it, and maybe it would be helpful (or at least
interesting) for others out there too?

Jonathan Miller, President
First Run / Icarus Films, Inc.
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, NY. 11201 USA

Tel: 1.718.488.8900
Fax: 1.718.488.8642
Web: http://www.frif.com
email: jmiller@frif.com