What does it mean to be a subscriber of a television or video service? Our Multiscreen Index reports on the quarterly subscriber numbers of a 100 leading services worldwide. While we aim to account for paying residential video customers, there is no generally agreed industry metric for a subscriber. Some service providers report revenue generating units, which conveys their attitude to customers. Netflix reports its number of paid members, now approaching 200 million worldwide, reflecting a more respectful approach to its users, yet it hardly feels like a membership organisation. Social networks count their accounts in billions and give the impression of being community based, but if you are not paying for the service you are the product. This week we consider the psychology of the subscriber relationship.

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