Apparently there is such a thing as a free lunch. Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails capitalized on offering their music for free, Google lets us search, e-mail and use all kinds of free applications, and AT&T will give you a cell phone gratis, if you just buy their monthly plan. These are only a fraction of the businesses that have helped to establish a full-fledged economy based on the concept of zero dollars down.
Wired's Chris Anderson explains the recent phenomenon of making lots of money by charging nothing. Is everything moving toward "free now, pay later"? What are the consequences?
Chris Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. From 2001 through 2012 he was Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, AdWeek’s “Magazine of the Decade” (2009). Before Wired Chris was with The Economist for seven years, and prior to that spent six years at the two leading scientific journals, Nature and Science.
Kerry Curtis is a professor emeritus at Golden Gate University and a member of the board of the Commonwealth Club of California.
Wired editor and author Chris Anderson explains Microsoft's rather progressive stance on pirating. Microsoft takes a long view on young companies (and developing countries) who pirate its software, gambling that early exposure will lead to future business and increased profits for the software giant.
Wired editor and author Chris Anderson speculates that the low cost of digital publishing may facilitate newspapers to generate sufficient revenue by charging subscriptions for premium content, thus cutting off dependency on advertisers and saving the industry.
I don't agree that old media had well separated consumer and advertiser interests. An obvious example is the volume of TV ads -- on many TV channels ads are much louder than content, and I fail to see how could that be in any way good for the viewers.
Another example is the very thing Chris talked about in the story about a Google guy, who was surprised that Chris was trying to hide commercial ties between the magazine and advertisers by moving ads away from articles about related products.