Has iTunes Made Micropayments Acceptable?
Saw a link on Paidcontent links to a NY Times article that describes how micropayments--transactions less than, say, $5--are becoming an increasingly accepted means for consumers to pay for products and services.
I read an article by Clay Shirky a few years back that argued that micropayments would not work because of the high cognitive load placed on the consumer when making the decision. Basically, it was too much trouble for a consumer to think about the value she placed on an item that she was considering purchasing versus the amount she was being asked to pay for it, and the resulting anxiety would cause her to decide not to purchase in more cases than not.
But, the Times article insinuates, the iTunes music store has made customers more comfortable paying a small amount (in this case, 99 cents) for a service. I wonder if people are more willing to pay for music because it's entertainment and likely unique (compared to the perception that content is content and can be obtained elsewhere without cost or cognitive load)? Are these purchasing decisions unique to the iTMS, or does this price point see success for music on any service? Would people pay for other types of content that informs rather than entertains? Are what are the upper and lower dollar-value micropayment thresholds that people can purchase without the anxiety overhead that Shirky describes?