By Gerd Leonhard, Author and MediaFuturist.
If you are in the music business, you may be wondering: going forward, what exactly is the value of ‘content’ (to use that rather ill-fitting Silicon Valley handle for creative goods), when and where? The debate on what kind of content should be /could be /must be / ought not to be free, or bundled, or subsidized by 3rd parties, or paid for with advertising, is raging on the web. And this is happening not just within the music business, but also within the news, print and publishing, books, films and TV industries.
Personally, I think pretty much the entire content business is quickly heading towards a total business-model reset.
Since I do a bit of reading as well as some assorted writing on this topic (which I recently tagged the ’21st Century Content Ecology’) I thought that I would share some of the best writings I have seen on those issues that surround the Free Content debate. So here they are:
First but not foremost: my recent contribution to the RSA Journal (Summer 2009 edition) “The price of freedom: Reinventing the online economy: Gerd Leonhard explains why ‘free’ content can still pay in the long term” >PDF
“Free – The Future of a Radical Price” – the new and much debated book by Chris ‘Longtail’ Anderson (read the NYT review). Listen to the RSA Audio interview. See what Seth Godin thinks about Free. Get the actually free MP3 download of the entire book via the Wired column “Time to Manage Abundance”. FREE Kindle and Sony Reader version (US Only – and this week only!). Or just yield to the lure of free stuff and buy Chris’ book (the dead tree version)
Umair Haque’s great writings on the dawning new economic system (yes, this very much relates to the question of content value;): The Generation M Manifesto and A User’s Guide to 21st Century Economics
The seminal Kevin Kelly Technium piece “Better than Free” ****
Seth Godin: Things you can learn from the Music Industry (as it falls apart)
Jeff Jarvis: Content is already free
Fred Wilson’s (yes, the VC guy in NY) great post on the Freemium and Free debate
A great summary of the current Free & Freemium debate is at ReadWriteWeb.com written by the brilliant Alex Iskold – be sure to read this one, and follow the links.
Enjoy! RT. And all that.
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