Monday, October 17, 2011

To Free or Not to Free, That is the Question


The subject of whether every entertainment product should be available for free just doesn't seem to die, particularly in the music industry.  There is always some new company out there that seeks to disrupt an already disrupted marketplace with a new offer of free.  All these years after Napster, well, there are new companies out there offering free, with business models seemingly TBD, or at least fully explained.  Where will this never ending dream of achieving marketplace dominance of free finally end up?  Who will be the proverbial last man standing?

This article from the Business Insider is a brief, intelligent look at the state of the streaming music business and one company's (Rhapsody) attempt to hold tight to making people pay.  Interestingly, there's no mention of Pandora in the article.

Several months back I attended a respected film industry event and nearly swallowed my tongue when one of the speakers said that they thought "we were through the worst" of competing against free.  I hope that they're right, unfortunately, I have my doubts.

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