What’s the value of your attention?

Paul McCrudden has an interesting idea about how you spend your time and the monetary value it may have.

In a great example of leveraging the attention economy, the London-based entrepreneur kept track of how he spent his time during a six-week period this summer. Then, he noted how much of it was spent in giving attention to particular brands. Next, he calculated the value of his attention on those brands – and sent invoices to the brand owners.

[…] I’ve written to over 50 companies (read a sample letter and invoice > ) that I’ve interacted with over this six week period, and requested payment for my time. What’s more I’ve even given them a whopping 75% discount of my standard hourly charge-out rate (based on my client charge-out rate at work) to reflect the fact that time spent with them is not as ‘productive’ as it is with my employer – for example, I may just be standing in a queue, or my time might be split between multiple consumer points such as being on the computer and watching the TV at the same time.

First positive result – McCrudden received a cheque from Prêt a Manger last week for £62 in full payment of the invoice he sent to the sandwich retailer. In total, he’s billed out over £6,200 to the 50 companies he’s invoiced.

I’m looking beyond the entertainment aspects of this story and seeing a very interesting point from a brand interaction perspective when I read this thought from McCrudden:

[…] those lost minutes and hours are pretty priceless to me. But to those companies who have my attention, my time is worth one hell of a lot.

What would happen if more people did what McCrudden is doing? What if I did a similar thing with, say, the computers and software I spend so much time with? Or the music or podcasts I listen to when driving my car? Or the time spent in the supermarket queue?

Would we see a new kind of brand-consumer relationship developing? Would we see ‘brand mention overload’ as people perhaps talked up brands all the time. Too much of a good thing perhaps? Or would brand owners, whatever their size, simply dismiss such actions or even counter-invoice you?

But the attention economy isn’t necessarily about money, is it?

A lot of questions here! I’m watching this unfolding with interest.

(Via Brand Republic)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Richard

    Shouldn’t he be fined? If he chose to waste his time looking at all those websites or interacting with all those brands shouldn’t he be held responsible for wasting his own time.

    If we don’t like something then we can and do choose not to do things. We make these decisions all day long. A brand having our attention is one thing, but whether we should be paid for that is silly.

    Imagine how much broadcasters would have to pay people for their watching of events. Imagine how much it’d cost airlines in people’s wasted time.

  2. Promotional Products

    What a very interesting experiment, I’d like to see how he would do if he tried this for an entire year. He make some good points, however, we spend time and money to be connected with brands, its about time they start paying us back.

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