Why don't you charge by the minute?

Some companies charge for encoding by the minute. Got a 30min video? That's so many cents. That seems convenient but if you take a closer look, you'll often find different rates for audio vs low res video vs 1080p vs 4K, etc. Rightfully so, because the computational costs go up with the size of these inputs.

And what about documents, zip files, images, webpages? They don't have a duration.

We've found charging by the GB allows us to support any kind of conversion with a single $/GB metric. The same rates apply for low res video as they do for 4K. This allows us to transparently scale our pricing to meet whatever sky-high definition is around the corner - 32K anyone? - without going bankrupt.

Some operations are computationally much more expensive than others, so to accommodate for that, we sometimes apply discounts. For instance, we only count every tenth byte flowing through our /video/thumbs Robot. In other cases we may set minimum charges like for our /image/facedetect Robot where for each operation we count at least 1MB.

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