Tag Archives: services

Pssst… Want a free TV?

Telly: “Who wants a free television?”  

Me: “Me! Oh, wait. Is it a teeny tiny screen? Must be small or a poor screen to make it free. And there must be a charge somewhere…”  

Telly: “No, it’s not teeny tiny. It’s a 55-inch 4K television! And it’s free!”  

Me: “Wow. Then me! I want a free TV!”

Telly: “Great. There’s just one catch though. You also have to install a separate second display underneath that constantly displays ads and other information. That means all the time.”  

Me: “Hmmm….I’ll think about it.”  

While the above isn’t an actual conversation, it could be. And yes, a company named Telly is giving away 500,000 units of a 55-inch 4K televisions with a second screen. The second screen is located beneath the large screen and can show advertising, sports scores, and stock quotes based on a survey of the viewer’s information and interests. Telly is also equipped with a soundbar that includes a microphone and motion-tracking camera, and voice assistant.  

Telly starts with a survey gathering personal information plus information about cellphone provider, home ownership, household income, vehicle ownership, children, pets, and more. This information is used for selecting targeted advertising to viewers.  

Telly also collects information about what you watch, search for, others in the room, plus locations, geo-positioning, and more personal data. The data-gathering is required in order to retain the TV as free. And, even if you are not watching TV it will display ads.  

More than 250,000 people across the U.S. signed up in the first week Telly was offered. The company plans to distribute 500,000 units by the end of the year.  

Do you still want that free TV?      

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show video about Telly: https://youtu.be/RsQ-RCe5YKA
  2. Show Telly website: https://www.freetelly.com/
  3. Also show Telly Terms of Service page: https://www.freetelly.com/terms-of-service
  4. Poll students: Who wants a Telly?
  5. What are the challenges Telly has to solve?
  6. Who is the target market for Telly?
  7. What is its appeal to consumers?
  8. What is its appeal to advertisers and companies?

Source: Fried, I. (17 May 2023). Telly’s free TV is latest take on ad-supported hardware. Axios.com.; Graham, M. (19 July 2023). A billboard for the living room? How Telly want advertisers to pay for your TV set. Wall Street Journal.

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Back to the Movie Theater

When was the last time you went to the movie theater? Now think about how often you went to the movies pre-pandemic. Most likely there is a big difference between how often you used to go versus how often you visit the theaters now. Blame it on the pandemic.

According to Comscore, movie theaters lost 80% of box office revenue in 2020. But theaters want us to come back and they are making big investments and even bigger changes to get us to return. Bigger screens. Cushy seats that recline – and are heated. Special effects matched with seating. More variety in food and drinks. Want to snack on sushi? How about an alcoholic beverage with that? And the list goes on…

Services are more numerous, but prices are increasing as well. Some theaters charge 65% more for movies shown on new screens such as ScreenX and RealD 3D. Lounging seats take up more space than upright chairs so theaters now hold fewer people. Viewers also pay more to reserve premium seats.

Theaters go beyond movies. Companies are now creating “cinema entertainment centers” that include movies, restaurants, bowling, rock-climbing walls, and bumper cars. These go beyond just showing movies and want to capture consumers’ attention for multiple events and activities.

Let’s go the movies?

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their movie theater visits. How often do they go to the theater?
  2. Why don’t they go to the theater?
  3. Show video about the topic: https://youtu.be/j7vPR6e49aE
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop an idea to enlarge a movie theater’s entertainment options.
  5. Next, have each team develop a promotional plan for the new venue with at least three tactics.

Source: Margolies, J. (31 May 2023). Larger screens, heated seats, sushi: Theater owners want you back. New York Times; Whitten, S. (25 February 2023). Movie theaters aren’t dying – they’re evolving. CNBC.

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The Cost of Buying Springsteen Tickets

First, a question for everyone… Do you think concert ticket prices are ‘too low’, ‘too high’, or ‘just right’? Going out on a limb here, we bet the biggest percentage of people selected that concert ticket prices are ‘too high’.

Example: Bruce Springsteen ticket prices were for sale for $5,000 and up. And that was if a buyer tried to purchase tickets directly on Ticketmaster.

Another example: Adele concert prices in Las Vegas started at $676 and went for $40,000 (for front row).

Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and StubHub now use “dynamic pricing” for concert tickets. This translates to prices fluctuating wildly; high demand equals high prices. These ticket hubs also have resellers who scoop up blocks of tickets and then resell those at a higher price, often using the original ticketing site to make the sale. The ticketing site earns commission from the double sale.

[Note: Ticketmaster release data that showed only 12% of tickets used dynamic pricing. Overall, only 18% of Springsteen’s U.S. tickets sold for under $100, and only 1% sold for more than $1,000.]

Regardless, buying concert tickets can be both confusing as well as expensive. When to buy? Where to buy? And if we can’t get tickets directly, what will a reseller charge for them?

What would you pay to see The Boss?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. For Springsteen concert tickets (or any other entertainment), divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  4. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  5. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.
  6. Optional: Have students examine the pricing policies on Ticketmaster, StubHub, SeatGeek, and Live Nation. (Note: Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010.)

Sources:  Greene, A. and Millman, E. (2 August 2022). Springsteen fans raged over ticket prices. Experts say there’s no easy fix. Rolling Stone.; Lieber, R. (26 July 2022). The case of the $5,000 Springsteen tickets. New York Times.; other news sources.

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