Anyone working or interested in PR, economics, marketing and general online trends in music or any content should subscribe to Seth Godin's blog. He always has something interesting to say, or some great article or snippit of wisdom to share. Today he's pointing to an excellent post by Kevin Kelly about free. Seth sums up Kevin's article thus:
"when there are infinite copies of something, charging for one is almost impossible."
And as Kevin says in his own post:
"The internet is a copy machine. Every bit of data ever produced on any computer is copied somewhere. The digital economy is thus run on a river of copies. Unlike the mass-produced reproductions of the machine age, these copies are not just cheap, they are free."
Why pay for something that is free? In my post yesterday I urged you, if you enjoyed the music within the podcast, to get out and support the artist with some of your hard-earned. But why would you? Well, one reason could be that of 'patronage'. Kevin describes this as one of eight "generatives" that are better than free.
"A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold."
The full article is here and worth a read.