Cable prices are going up, theatre prices are going up, blockbuster is out of business, and satellite is expensive as always, so what’s left? Streaming. Netflix and Hulu and old-fashioned torrenting. Or, of course, if you want to stop by McDonald’s and pick up a dollar DVD to rent from RedBox. But as far as our favorite shows, why pay all that money to watch a third or a fourth of the channels the cable network offers, pay even more for DVR to watch them when we want, when we could just pay a few dollars a month (or nothing at all) to get the same thing on a wide variety of devices.
The Principle of Relative Constancy is a little theory that supports my claim here about how people don’t want to continuously spend more and more money on more and more technology or entertainment.
“…People spend a constant fraction of their disposable income on mass media over time. People do…alter their spending on mass media categories when new new services/products are introduced.” [McCombs & Nolan, 1992]