"Advance on-demand" to gather wool, have you considered the interests of users?


  Recently, the VIP membership service and advanced on-demand mechanism of the video platform have aroused heated discussions in the society, and many consumers have expressed doubts and dissatisfaction with the platform's full routine operation.

In this regard, the China Consumers Association stated that video platforms should not charge VIP old members with advance on-demand fees, and must not deliberately slow down the pace of video updates for the purpose of charging advance on-demand fees (according to The Paper on September 9).

  From the members who saw the advance on-demand first to unlock the tidbits and unlock the episodes, it cost 3 yuan and 3 yuan. Unknowingly, the user would spend dozens of yuan each time they watched a drama.

In the past two years, advanced on-demand tricks have emerged one after another, causing dissatisfaction among netizens.

I am already a VIP, why do I need to pay for it?

Does this count as a double charge?

After the announcement of the China Consumers Association, a video platform adjusted the advanced on-demand rules and launched an online selection to unlock the function.

  Although "advanced on-demand" has aroused consumer resentment, such an approach is still the "standard configuration" of video sites, which inevitably makes users feel that their rights and interests are diminished.

According to a report released by the Supervision Center of the State Administration of Radio and Television, from January to August 2020, nearly 60% of the premiere TV series and nearly 30% of the major web series will provide "advanced on-demand" services.

According to public media reports, in January 2020, some consumers took a broadcast platform of "Qing Yu Nian" to court, claiming that they unilaterally increased the content of paid advance on-demand, infringing on the rights of their members, and demanded an order to "pay advance on-demand." "The terms are invalid.

Later, the court ruled that the platform breached the contract.

Although the platform lost the case, the advanced on-demand broadcast that has been criticized has not been cancelled.

In order to make up for the legal loopholes, this platform has made special instructions for advanced on-demand content-as a VIP member, if the advance viewing of relevant drama content is conducted using the "advanced on-demand" service model, it shall abide by the relevant agreement of the platform.

  Among consumer complaints about "advanced on-demand", most of them are dissatisfied with paying members again.

There are constant denunciations, but the video platform still insists on advancing on-demand broadcasting, which reflects profit anxiety.

It is understood that the common monetization methods for long video platforms include advertising, membership payment, e-commerce, games, etc., but most of the top platforms still rely mainly on advertising and membership payment.

As the number of users peaks, user-paid content such as members has become a major growth point, and advanced on-demand is one of the ways to explore diversified payment models.

  Commercial reasonableness is one of the reasons why video platforms justify themselves.

Indeed, advance on-demand provides consumers with one more choice by clearly marking the price, which does not violate business logic.

However, its poor reputation in the market is mostly due to its untenable public opinion and morality.

From a consumer's point of view, "advanced on-demand" is suspected of "fee-in-fee", which violates public order and good customs, and has already caused damage to the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.

  In the case mentioned above, the video platform emphasized in the court statement that the company’s “VIP membership agreement involved in the case” was in line with network service characteristics and industry practices, and listed dozens of popular apps’ membership or user service agreements or popular website service agreements The terms are corroborated.

But from a legal point of view, the practice is usually not only beneficial to one's own interests, but at the same time not in conflict with the legitimate interests of other stakeholders.

Whether the “VIP membership agreement involved in the case” conforms to the characteristics of network services and forms industry practices is not based on whether it already exists and is used as a criterion. It should be based on compliance with laws and regulations, protection of the legitimate rights and interests of all stakeholders, industry consistency, and industry compliance. The development direction is the criterion for judgment.

  From VIP to VVVIP, users pay more and more, but the rights they can enjoy are less and less. This is an unavoidable fact.

At present, when advanced on-demand broadcasting becomes normal and even “diversified”, how to balance the interests of users and businesses, while protecting the rights and interests of consumers, let users enjoy a more personalized drama chasing experience. This should be a video The next question for the platform to think about.

  Gao Bin

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