Read this interesting article in Wired magazine the other day - an analysis of the Gillette model (i.e. give them the shaving unit free and sell them the blades). The author is Chris Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) editor in chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail.
Remember that Chris wrote an article related to The Long Tail in Wired Magazine before publishing the book - after the article was published in 2004 he went around doing lectures about The Long Tail and finally wrote the book. Well, he's doing it again - this time exploring the concept of FREE economies and the new generation emerging that expects it all FREE!
He started The Long Tail article with the following intro; "Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream."
He's starting FREE with this intro; "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business" A little clip out of the article that sums it up; "The rise of "freeconomics" is being driven by the underlying technologies that power the Web. Just as Moore's law dictates that a unit of processing power halves in price every 18 months, the price of bandwidth and storage is dropping even faster. Which is to say, the trend lines that determine the cost of doing business online all point the same way: to zero."
Note: His next book, FREE, will be published in 2009 - can't wait! Here are some scenarios depicted in the article;
Scenario 1: Low-cost digital distribution will make the summer blockbuster free. Theaters will make their money from concessions — and by selling the premium moviegoing experience at a high price.
Scenario 2: Ads on the subway? That's so 20th century. By sponsoring the whole line and making trips free, the local merchants association brings grateful commuters to neighborhood shops.
Scenario 3: It's a free second-gen Wiii! But only if you buy the deluxe version of Rock Band.
So cool...and yes...I am a Chris Anderson fan ;)