Or, what Netflix could learn from Baseball-Reference. com.
I sponsor several pages on the Baseball-Reference website. Some are gifts, some have sentimental value, most were chosen on a spur-of-the-moment basis. I like supporting the site, which is invaluable for baseball fans, and, to be honest, it hasn’t really cost that much (for instance, I only paid $2 to sponsor the Marshall Renfroe page for a year).
As an annual sponsorship nears its end, the site emails me to let me know I can renew. If I understand the way it works, if I don’t renew, the cost will be higher for the next buyer (on a sliding scale where the price gets lower the longer the page remains available). Anyway, the two most recent renewal notices brought something to my attention: pages are a LOT more expensive than they used to be.
Two years ago, I sponsored the Rich Aurilia page for $15. Last year, I renewed for $10. This year, it will cost me $55 to renew. Last year, I sponsored the Darrell Evans page for $10. This year? $85.
Needless to say, I won’t be renewing at those prices. But I wondered, why these large increases for players who wouldn’t seem to have increased in value over the last year. So I contacted customer service.
I got a timely reply, explaining that the cost of a page is based on the traffic it gets, and that there was a bug in their software that was undercounting those page hits. The bug was fixed, and what would have ordinarily been a gradual increase in the cost of pages was instead instantaneous.
I don’t know … I realize to some extent, this is no different than Reed Hastings saying he screwed up. But it felt different. I didn’t get a sob story, I didn’t get a rude dismissal, I didn’t get any “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” I just got a clear explanation. I don’t have to like the price increase; I don’t have to pay it. But now I understand it, which is how it should be.
Look for me on the Marshall Renfroe page.