I’ll Make You A Deal, You Get Almost Nothing for Nothing, and in Return You Get to be The Bait on My Hook

March 30, 2008

Well I’ve been putting this post off as long as possible since I have already posted about free a few times throughout this course and really I’ve said all I really wanted to say. But when reading over Wired‘s post about Free I did read one line that sparked a slight bit of interest in my mind. That line was this

They’re not selling papers and magazines to readers, they’re selling readers to advertisers.

In this line it really puts another spin on free and why it’s worth it. The paper and content in a newspaper or magazine cost virtually nothing per copy to create and distribute. Any costs that they do incur though are covered by the advertising within their magazine. Naturally you can charge more if your magazine is read (or at least purchased) by more customers, so if the company is really not making the money from magazine or newspaper sales then why not charge next to nothing or nothing for that matter in order to reach more people. If your content is as good as the one dollar paper but you’re giving your information away then you will most likely pick up more readers than the other newspaper. If you are reaching more people then naturally a company should obtain more value from advertising with you, over the other dollar newspaper. If the company obtains more value then you can charge more for the service and start to make the revenue back that you lost when you started to give the papers away.

This theory works great on paper but there would be a delicate balance on if you would obtain enough advertising revenue from giving away your papers to make it worth it, but it is possible. Especially now with Electronic copies now reducing the cost of production and distribution to basically zero.

To See What else I think about FREE re-read these posts

Giving Stuff Away Increases Sales

How to Make Money in a Free World



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