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Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
9642 Posts

Profile of funsway
I am not sure exactly what is bothering me on a couple of pricing issues, so I thought I'd throw out my thoughts and get some feedback.

1) there are now sites where you can get "free" downloads of books like Bobo's, but then discover that you have to pay a membership fee for support. No problem -- nothing should be free -- but what kind of support can a computer geek give on technical magic questions? Is the download designed to corrupt or do you need support to get rid of piggibacked viruses? Something isn't right about this marketing approach.

2) Individual effects are now being offered for $2.99 by Fantasma, e.g. Roth coin effects. Assuming they have permission to do so, these seem to be nothing but extractions from his DVD set. I would not be surprised if each download includes an offer to purchase the entire DVD set, making it a "lost leader" of sorts. I guess it's OK if people want to spend a lot more for a specific effect, but I am afraid that many new magicians might think they are getting something special and greatly overpay for -- well, I'm not sure what they are getting for the increased fee. There certainly isn't any increase in overhead. Not that I object to aggressive marketing, but again something doesn't "feel right."

Somehow I do not like the implication that one can learn magic from downloads regardless of the price. For an experienced magician to decide they need a specific effect for their repertoire it is fine for them to seek out that effect and decide on the best way to purchase. However, making it easy for an inexperienced magician to just purchase a single effect ( or a plethora for free) supports the idea that the "effect" makes the magic. AT least when you pay $50 for a DVD set you are likely to watch the entire thing and gain the value of performance thinking along the way.

Yes, this is the old "value of a book" argument in a new form. I am not saying that the value of a trick is the price, but catering to those who view magic as "buy a trick" is only going to hurt magic in general IMHO. I would much prefer a "rent a mentor" site with a Skype connection to an experienced magician than either a "free download" scam or a "single effect" overpricing as an impulse purchase. To parody the old lady, "Where's the magic?"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at questions at
jazzy snazzy
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Inner circle
run off by a mob of Villagers wielding
2109 Posts

Profile of jazzy snazzy
What we are seeing is the beginning of the end of DVDs.

You can now purchase a secure video stream through iTunes.
Sales of a single effect by this means are definitely not good for magic for the reasons you mentioned. It is possible however, that people will eventually find this too costly for what they get in return. Hopefully this idea will fall by the wayside.

You can separately buy a chassis, wheels, an engine, etc. but that doesn't mean you have a car.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11176 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Interesting to imagine the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, yet the whole costs less in the long run.

I think your purchased membership supports THEM.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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