Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meme: The Death of the Free, part three already

Consumers who have grown up during the past 15 years are completely at home in a world where much of what they want to hear, see or read will cost them nothing. True, in the case of some films and TV shows, the practices involved may skirt around the law a bit. Generally speaking, though, culture has become a happy free-for-all. Now may be the time to pay the bill.

Chris Anderson, a leading American commentator on the web and editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, puts the matter concisely: "Somehow an economy had emerged around 'free' before the economic model that could describe it." Anderson's next book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, will both celebrate and analyse the effect of all this giving-away.

The author of influential 2006 book The Long Tail, Anderson is to suggest that few of the conventional rules of commerce, such as "supply and demand" and "economies of scale", apply any longer. While some suppliers, such as Sky Sports, might still get away with charging their audience, they would have to be pretty sure they offered a unique product.

From The End of the Age of Free in today's Observer.

This is really interesting.

Doesn't this play out so that Competition Lawyers "go" for the BBC? Or am I missing out too many connections along the way?

Terry Heaton is on the case, as ever:
...Murdoch can throw up pay walls and make legal moves to end the “wild” distribution of his content, but he faces two enormous problems in so doing. One, he gives up journalistic relevancy, for without the organic “spread” of information in the “current days of the Internet,” an institution of journalism cannot expect to be player in the world of cultural power. Two, regardless of what media companies do to increase the “value” of their content, the disruptions in the world of advertising will continue unabated

More tomorrow.

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