What Do You Think Is a Fair Price To Pay?

One of the biggest criticisms about the premium upgrades is they’re too expensive. We’ll talk to Evil Angel and Vivid, but first I’d like to get a sense on what pricing model would you guys find… non offensive? Of value?

 

Our constraint is the studios will insist on a revenue share of all their content, which means they won’t allow it to be mixed in with the general VideoBox content. It’ll have to be priced in a way that they can track it.

 

Subscriptions

We could ask for cheaper subscriptions, but there are a couple downsides with that model.

 
1. It could get annoying as we expand into more premium studios, and include content from other paysites. You probably wouldn’t want to manage 20 subscriptions.

 
2. Our billers can’t handle this complexity.

 

iTunes?

A much simpler model would be something like iTunes, where we charge one token per scene to watch/download. You’d buy tokens in fixed amounts (like $20 for 20 tokens) from our billers, and we keep track of the balance. Much simpler technically.

 

Then we could just have one area of “premium” content, and make it less prominent. And what do you think would be a fair price to pay to watch or download a scene?

 

Note: under the token approach, VideoBox basic would still exist in its present form.  You’d pay a subscription price for unlimited downloading of 5 DVDs per day.  We would just have an additional area (which would be token-based) for higher end or niche content.

 

Just Say No?

And finally, we could just say “no thanks” to any content that we can’t license without revenue sharing. The downside there is VideoBox will remain fairly constricted to mainstream LA professional porn.

 
Thoughts?

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130 Responses to “What Do You Think Is a Fair Price To Pay?”

  1. harstad Says:

    IF Rope’s prices are right that is a load and I wont be subscribing nor do I see a whole lot of people subscribing. Another $18 a month is outrageous for 12 videos a month. Patently ridiculous. If that was the best rate you could get you shouldn’t have even bothered.

  2. HotScooter2 Says:

    Josh:
    no offense. but the subject is old and i am tired of talking about it. in the end you will either keep the premium channels ,and solve the billing and price issues,or go back to the way it was on this site.we have discussed this subject to death.
    You are the site owner do what you gonna do. we have told you all you need to know . so just do what you gonna do,and we will do the same. good luck deciding,as i have never before seen so much uproar on this site,and i have been a member off and on for over 5 years

  3. meltedmoss Says:

    Ya no kidding you would be stupid to pay $54/month for the quality of content on this site. You can Redtube/Torrent most of these scenes as it is. $18/month for 6000 DVDs and the ease of use it provides is worth it. Paying much more then that is pretty dumb. I’ve gone as high as $30 for a network of sites that offered literally 10,000 hentai scenes, or for exclusive girls on amateur porn sites. Nothing on Vivid or EA is worth $17/month extra. Also the servers are really slow here compared to most sites which for $54 a month would piss me off even more. I’ve quit this site for that reason as well. If you use the token system for the premium channels I hope you don’t follow the microsoft model and just make it a straight up 1 token per scene and 100 tokens per $10 or something on the cheaper end of things and not $1/token. 0.10c /token might work.
    Hopefully your premium channels will update more often or add in thier top of the line videos which I don’t see on the site right now either.

  4. Xanthious Says:

    Just say NO! There is a reason that VB is on the top of most all the lists that rate adult websites. Adding these premium channels does nothing to make this site better. They only make things confusing and detract from what made VB great to begin with.

  5. J Says:

    I for one would love to see an option that completely removes all mentions of the premium content once logged in. It really bothers me to see extra stuff in my search results and ad banners promoting scenes that I have to pay extra for. Getting everything for one low price used to be one of the best features of this site. I don’t want to be reminded constantly that I need to pay more to get other content.

  6. Bill Says:

    I’m glad that Videobox is trying to add more high-quality porn to it’s already impressive catalog, and while my initial reaction to the Premium Channels concept was generally negative, I really admire your willingness to listen to feedback on these issues from your customers. My preference for pricing these Premium Channels would be to charge around $10 per month per channel, which would keep the price of any single Premium Channel from being too much higher than the cost of the underlying Videobox subscription for most people. I would avoid the Token option completely, unless: (1) you could add it as a completely separate option for people who want to check out a limited number of scenes from the Premium Channels, and (2) you are able to implement an excellent preview system so members can make sure that a scene is worth paying for separately. As for the people who suggest that you JUST SAY NO!, I would provide them with a filter so they will not see anything originating from or related to the Premium Channels. That way, Videobox will look exactly the same to those users as it did before you implemented the new channels.

    My final suggestion is to add a special “Platinum Membership Level” for users that want access to all of your content, no mstter how many Premium Channels you guys add in the future. You might have to charge $35 or $40 a month for a Platinum Memebership, but many users will be willing to pay a higher price to have access to all your content without being nickeled and dimed to death everytime you add a new Premium Channel. A Platinum subscriber would only have to act once, then wouldn’t have to worry about being asked over and over to pay more to get new or additional content. Videobox could pay the Premium Channel content providers a percentage of the Platinum Membership surcharge based on how much premium content the subscriber downloads or views from their channel. For example, if I paid $10 a month for Videobox originally and then agreed to pay $35 a month for a Platinum Membership, the surcharge would be $25 a month. Let’s say I downloaded 50 scenes from your Premium Channel content providers during Month 1, in addition to the regular Videobox content I viewed and downloaded. 20 scenes were from Vivid, 20 scenes from EA, and 10 from a new content provider. Videobox would then allocate $10 of my $25 surcharge to Vivid and to EA, and $5 to the third content provider to be named later. I know it may sound like an accounting headache, but it would probably be easy to implement, and it would obviously be very fair to the Premium Channel content providers, as well. Good idea, huh?

  7. rutnadexin3 Says:

    Pricing doesn’t matter that much to me. However, I don’t think the premium channels should be linked to your type of VB subscription unless u desire it that way. If I want to be a member of VB for the entire year, I have no option to say, well, I just want EA for 6 months and then Vivid for six months, and then keep on switching back. I’d have to sign up for VB in the monthly manner, which I don’t like.

  8. thirdeye Says:

    I really cant figure out why people call the premium stuff “too confusing”… once the billing shit is figured out, bye bye confusion. Or use the token system to which any moron should be able to understand and use with ease

  9. 2axisassassin Says:

    If you want to use the cable TV model, you can’t sell the premium channel for as much as the basic cable service. I pay $30/month for DTV, and HBO costs another $10. So I’d say 30% of your basic rate (i.e., $4-5 for basic members, $10 for a DVD quality subscriber like me).

    The per DL/token is bad for VB because it is contrary to the current model of unlimited downloads for a low price — that’s central to your value proposition, you change that at your risk.

  10. Bronty Says:

    This has been a most illuminating discussion—pricing models, market preferences, the VB blog as an example of revolutionary customer service and engagement. I haven’t read every post here, but I would really like to. The business geek in me finds this utterly fascinating.

    My two penneth… I have more than enough porn from the standard VB content. On top of that, I subscribe to FTVGirls and have an account at a VOD site. I have no interest in subscribing to the two premium channels on offer here at VD. That said, I think the pricing and overall model/design is fine. I strongly agree with Rope.

    I do have the worry that existing VB studios will pull out of the all-you-can-eat contract and insist on going ‘premium’. I wonder what the chances of that is?

  11. MrPointy Says:

    I looked at the EA and Vivid offerings, and couldn’t find anything I’d pay extra for.

    I’ll also echo what others have said: adding premium channels risks turning the main VB site into the bargain bin. You need to nip this thing in the bud now, before every studio decides it’s a “premium” studio. If it gets to the point where all the “good stuff” costs extra, I would probably just let my subscription lapse.

    Also, the pricing model is way too complicated and backwards. DVD members shouldn’t have to pay more to get to the “premium” content than regular members–if anything, they should get a discount as an incentive to bump to the DVD level. So if you have to have premium channels, I wouldn’t price them anywhere above $5/month regardless of membership tier. If you can’t make money off Vivid and EA, let them take their balls and go home (so to speak). From what I’ve seen, they won’t be missed.

  12. Dicedork Says:

    Like many others, I would have no problem with these premium channels IF the licensing from other studios wouldn’t turn regular VB into a bargain bin. We already have some pretty godawful movies floating around out there. I, like many others who’ve chimed in, probably wouldn’t keep buying something (even for so cheap) if the crap to gold ratio dropped much further.

    However, it seems to me that just adding a “platinum” tier might be the best option here instead of channels. Make it a few dollars (heck, make it 10-15 dollars) more. Then licence as much content as you can with that added revenue for your platinum members understanding that for these folks quality trumps quantity. Then there’s only ONE pie to be sliced up. But I agree that if it becomes a feeding frenzy of studios wanting to be a premium channel, things are going to get way too complicated, way too fast. The potential for shenanigans is just way too high, and it is your customers who will suffer (and then leave).

    Also, you’re the best deal in town by far. Is it possible you can just raise your subscriptions for everyone by a few dollars to licence this better content? Then you don’t have to mess with tiers and crap. You can make one of your selling points that you have an EA and/or Vivid movie at least “every X days” or whatever. Given the content to price ratio of other sites that charge two, three, even more times what VB charges, it seems like your supply/demand curve would still be okay.

    A combination of raising prices slightly and a “super premium” tier (or whatever you call it) would probably be a great solution just so long as your regular content is the same quality we’ve come to expect.

  13. Sirid Says:

    Well Josh I think Climax Corner/Videobox has “Jumped the Shark”.

    I have been a member for a long time and I believe that when we think back in some years to what happened to such a great site this will be the reason it is no longer a great.

    Please set up a new site and do what ever you want with it and your “Premium Porn” from studio’s that won’t let there stuff be on Videobox without outragous demands and let those members add Videobox as pay a channel.

    Then just try not to lose the member base you have already built up!

  14. Josh Drunk Says:

    AGAIN: Regular VB updates are starting to suck. VB is releasing only old movies with crappy video resolution.

    [jump to read more]

  15. RD Says:

    Videobox doesnt need Vivid or EA. They need Videobox.

  16. Kali Says:

    I think that for a long term view, you should say no to the offers and go back to the old videobox. The reason videobox became such a success is because you provide an incredible amount of videos with good quality, many updates at a very low price. Going back to what the studios do seems to be 1. a step backward 2. a recipe for failure.
    Another aspect is that giving Evil Angels and Vivid the opportunity to do that just opened the pandora box. I can just picture Private going “hey, we don’t do that. let’s stop providing videobox with videos and get our channel”.

    So no compromise. Say no. It pains me for now as I do like Vivid (might get stoned here) but in the long term it’s gonna be for the best as studios will realize their business model is wrong and they should join the pack with videobox.

  17. RTZ Says:

    Please just say no. I would love to go back to old VB interface! No more premium, pretty please.

    Thank you.

  18. HotScooter2 Says:

    Josh:

    what’s it gonna be.You asked for our feedback,and you got it. we haven’t heard from you since.Are you keeping the premium channels or saying no.Only the VB exec’s know and they are not telling the members.We are paying customers and have the right to know what your plans are. from your responses count those in favor of the premium channels and those not in favor.go with a majority vote and make your decision.
    I thought you asked us because you wanted our feedback,noow i am not so certain.
    you are the owner and it is your responsibility to tell us your decision,and if that means by my taking such a strong stand that i become banned from this site then i can live with that that.
    All you gotta do is make that decision.Every day you delay it i think is only hurting your business. if oyu go with premium channels all you need to do is fix the billing and pricing from what i can see,and if you don’t use it all you need too do is take it all back the way it was before.

  19. Boots Says:

    I’m very happy with my “VideoBox Premium” account as is. I generally have more than I can watch so I’m unlikely to pay for extra. Things you could tempt me with include:
    (a) Higher quality than 640×480. My screen is 1600×900.

    (b) Fetishes and specific interests that are not covered by your mainstream videos.

    I’d prefer a token system so I could dip into the esoteric stuff occasionally. However, I’m not likely to be a big spender so you may find it’s not worth doing. I’d rather you did nothing than mess up the good thing you already have.

  20. yesman Says:

    I like what Lubenluv had to add, and it’s true. Videobox has superior technology to basically all other porn sites. You probably have a larger subscriber base too. It seems to me that YOU should be setting the ground rules, not Vivid or EA.
    –The internet is the next step, not DVD sales. Retail sales are going down as direct sales on the internet goes up, across the board with all entertainment industries. YOU are the next step videobox, that’s why this site has such good reviews. They’re Blockbuster and you’re Netflix. You’ve combined superior technology with an intuitive interface and built an honest reputation. You have the best adult content delivery platform out there. These guys couldn’t hope to tap into your casual porn viewing subscriber base right now with their websites. I think you should set YOUR terms and if they don’t like them let them walk away.

  21. Damon Says:

    My vote is for allowing individual purchase of premium digital content and the physical dvds themselves in a one-click fashion. Otherwise stick with what was working. Perhaps you could put this premimum content on a new website and offer vbox users discounted rates and make it easier for them to signup so they don’t have to be disgusted by it but they have the option if they want it. 🙂

  22. mistahleary Says:

    @HotScooter: If Josh actually cared what we had to say, he would have brought this up before the change was implemented.

    I’m thoroughly convinced that they have no clue what to do, and that the owner dumb lucked into putting together a good site.

    I would predict the next post we see states that he can’t get out of the contracts, and that this is how VB will have to be for the foreseeable future.

    I’ll also predict that revenue will fall for April and May, and the brain surgeons incharge will blame the economy.

  23. NightBuddha Says:

    Thanks for the chance to be heard on this. Just say no. I want Videobox as I have come to love it. All you can eat (and download) Videos for the lowest price possible, and no gimmics. I pay by the 10 month plan and am quite satisfied. I do not want to pay more. I do not like Vivid, and EA is OK, but I do not want to pay more for it. I will not use a token system. Videobox has a great community, an innovative UI, and you guys have more power than you think with the studios. Just keep on doing what you have always done, and what made your site fun and a good value. The studios that want to get onboard will be more than enough. We don’t need another pay-as-you-go site.
    Best,
    NB.

  24. HotScooter2 Says:

    Mistahleahy:

    i gotta agree with ya .i don’t think our opinion counts for shit,even though he did ask for it. in all likelihood i will just cancel my membership.

  25. Rice Says:

    Since i’ve been a long time member i’ll just jump in with my two cents (haven’t read all the others as i’d rather be downloading)

    i am not pleased with the new content, while i surely like the idea of having MORE videos to download, i’m pretty much satisfied with what VB offers now. of course i would like more fetish and niche video but i can get those elsewhere.

    i am not a fan of vivid and the ea – and if you do move forward with them i’d like to see an option not to show them on my account as it’s a shame to see scenes i don’t have access to.

    the only way i will cancel my membership is if you phase out your multiple video roll out per day, and if you start using tokens to view scenes – and then i’ll just move to torrents.

    but i am open to paying more per month (to a price-point) for more content. I would be willing to go up 50% of my premium membership to get some new good videos in (but not the ones you’re looking at) – but at some point there are just too many videos to watch everyday.

    i say please just stick to what you have going now, it has made you the best service on the net and has changed the way people view adult material – i for one have never bought a dvd since i signed up with you. once you have enough members these big names will realize this and will be more accommodating.

  26. doppyman Says:

    Still no clear statement of pricing. Only an answer from Ropeadope has interrupted the silence. I think Hotscooter might have explained the reality of it all to us already. At this point I’ve changed my opinion on the sincerity of VB in terms of its commitment to its customers. I will say that the site is still excellent and I have not seen a decline in quality of the posts since the premium channels came in. But I doubt I will ever sign up for a premium channel and if I did, it would be after leaving VB for a while, coming back when there is a lot more content on the channels than there is now, and then for only as long as I can download like a madman to get what I want; then I’ll cancel and after some time come back as a basic customer, if there is a basic customer level then and if it is any good, viewing VB sort of the way you treat a service that you engage in a mutual exploitation relationship with, rather than a business you feel that has earned your trust and you stick with long term out of mutual trust and respect.

  27. Bill Says:

    After reading all the forgoing comments, I think the two best options going forward are: (1) adding a PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP level to the existing “Premium Channels” model for users that want access to all of your content, no matter how many Premium Channels you guys add in the future, or (2) moving all of the Premium Channel nonsense to what would essentially be a different website and keeping VB the way it is now. Members who are interested in so-called Premium Content could add the new site to their subscription, and everyone else could go on using the old VB they have grown to love. Tokens are not a good idea — they completely go against VB’s excellent value proposition of unlimited downloads for a fair price, as other members have stated.

    I already outlined how a Platinum Membership level could work in a post dated March 31st, so I won’t repeat it here. I’m pretty sure I personally would subscribe to something like that (provided the pricing is fair) because I hate it when I can’t have access to content that is otherwise available and I hate the thought of being nickeled-and-dimed into buying multiple premium channels.

    If you decide to stay with your new Premium Channel business model, you should revise your pricing structure for the Premium Channels. I liked the suggestion of keeping the price of each channel down to about a third (and no more than half) of what a user pays per month for their standard VB subscription. Also, I think you should allow users to add multiple channels for a lower price than a single channel. For example, your first Premium Channel could be $10, and each additional channel only $5. That way, you would encourage users to add more than one channel without hurting your revenue-sharing pool very much, because, let’s face it, a user can only download so many videos per month. I also strongly recommend that you employ a strong filter to keep Premium Channel content from showing up anywhere for users that aren’t interested — there are clearly a lot of users that don’t want to see that stuff at all. You should be happy that so many users have said they would prefer that you “Just Say NO”; it shows just how much many of us long-time members love what you’ve put together here, and we don’t want to see it get screwed up.

    Finally, I tend to agree with Hotscooter and Doppyman when I say that you should do something SOON. Are you guys actually reading these posts? Why no comments or feedback from Josh or anyone else at VB? This is obviously an issue your user base (i.e., your PAYCHECK) cares about, and we would like to have an update on where you are in this process even if you haven’t made a final decision. Thanks again for opening this up for discussion; we look forward to hearing back from you soon. RIP ropeadope — you will be missed by all.

  28. cloudancer69 Says:

    This is quite the read,and a lot of people with lots to say.
    I just joined and was shocked, felt a bit betrayed and like there was a bait and switch going on when I hit the screen with addons. I think better integration in the pre sales area would help. Explaining some of the stuff the VideoBox team has said in the blog might also help. I’ve gotten over it as I read and might even pick up a subscription to EA.
    On ideas (Maybe there should be a poll?):
    **Tokens = Evil incarnate!!! I’ll stay for my term, but the damage they do to the main premise puts my long term renewal on shaky ground.
    **Vivid = Blah, yuck…not w/ my money (Same with Adam&Eve)
    **Evil Angel = Good choice for premium content
    **Private = Another good choice, there are plenty more too.
    **Premium for my wife = A guaranteed cash flow 🙂
    If you add more premiums, can we pleas get package deals (dropping monthly cost per channel based on how many you purchase)? I only watch so much, I’m only paying for variety & good quality.

  29. Nathan Says:

    get rid of the premium channels and concentrate on makeing the original videobox the best it can be if vivid and evil angel don’t want to do bussiness nicley tell them to get fucked as far as im concered vivid is full of fake tit blonds
    and evil is over the top arogant european shit to much make up accessories to much bullshit for words forget about tokens it will kill value for money and you have to ask your self where does it stop whats next eg digital playground as a premium chanel come on look the best thing i can sujest is that you charge a bit more for mebership that might help you get more studios on board please take my post into consideration and ps please get more big natrual tits dvds and euro porn thanks.

  30. Chris Says:

    Just say no