The Screwball Metric Of Cost Per Hour

Cost per hour: A new metric for paid content

In our increasingly digital world, the challenge for consumers in determining a given product’s value or utility will continue to shrink, creating an environment where consumers will explicitly consider “Cost Per Hour,” or CPH, when buying content.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

No they won’t.

Are you insane?

People never do that. Not, at least, normal people.

Is he seriously going to argue that someone would walk into a bookstore intending to buy a specific book, see that’s it’s basically pamphlet-thin for, let’s say, six bucks, and then think, “Well, the hell with that! It’d take an hour to read and that’s a cost-per-hour of six bucks! Let me find a fat book instead with a better CPH.”? Or they’ll see a KB/word count for a Kindle book and pull out a calculator to figure out its CPH?

What about for food? Hey, the Dollar Menu is a better CPH buy than that five-star filet mignon at that Zagat-rated restaurant.

Do you see how absolutely stupid this is? No one normal thinks like that.

You know who are the only people who do go by cost per hour? Customers of prostitutes. Aspersions, I am not casting them.

This guy is out of his mind for even suggesting this CPH metric.

Sell that Egress somewhere else, Barnum.



Filed under Stupid

5 responses to “The Screwball Metric Of Cost Per Hour

  1. Let me preface this with… I don’t shop for prostitutes.

    I don’t disagree with everything you said – obviously there’s intangibles when it comes to a fine restaurant vs the dollar menu in a CPH equation, but I will be completely honest and say I have (and will continue) to evaluate some things with CPH.

    For example – my wife and daughter wanted to go watch a movie. The movie they suggested runs for 88 minutes and would have cost us $27.50 to go watch. I suggested we wait until that movie comes out on Netflix, and instead we go watch a different movie (they had both previously mentioned wanting to see) which runs 149 minutes – same price. I didn’t calculate the CPH – I just took a quick look at value for the dollar.

    We all look at VALUE FOR THE DOLLAR, and CPH should be part of that decision, just not the only determining factor.

    • mikecane

      I’ve never done that with a movie or anything else.

      And what I forgot to put into that post: If everyone *seriously* used CPH, you know what would be doing record-breaking business with lines around the damn block *every day*? Public libraries! You can’t beat *free*!

  2. Mike Perlman

    LOL, You shouldn’t get so stressed. These days there are plenty of platforms for the intelligently-challenged to publish their silly ideas.
    And it’s YOUR JOB to ignore the stupidest of them in order not to prevent them from dying quickly.

  3. Let’s see, another business where consumers think of cost per time is telephony. There, it’s cost per minute, not hour, but the comparison is valid.

    I agree with your examples. Most people aren’t going to calculate cost per hour for TV or books explicitly, however I think he’s had a point that many do it implicitly.

    Although they never calculate the cost per hour, I know lots of people who make such comparisons. The reasoning is more like cost per meaningful time unit. So for example, like Brandon, I know parents who won’t pay $100 for an evening at the movies with the kids. They’d rather buy the CD or VOD at home for a fraction of the cost. (I know because I’ve had people tell me this almost verbatim.) The time unit here isn’t the hour, it’s an evening of entertainment.

    Another example: back in the days, I used to read 1-2 books a day. There was no way I could afford to buy them all; I went to the library (your example!). So if a book lasts me only a day, it’s just too expensive to buy them if I read one a day. On the other hand, if I read one per month, then everything’s ok (except I’m not reading enough). Again, it’s not the price per hour per se, but the time does pay a role in the equation. So if each book had cost me $0.99, I probably could have bought one every day, and I might not have been at the library!

    I also think there’s a convolution of time and value. No, people aren’t going to say, this book is short so the cost per hour is too high. Rather, they’re going to look at the length of the book. If it’s short they’ll probably wonder if there’s enough value inside to justify the price.

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