Seth Godin is a masterful writer. His recent post Better then Free struck a nerve with me.
In many ways, Seth is right! A lot of people give away tons of free content hoping to generate income later. Often much of it is a regurgitation of other people’s work and philosophies. If someone really has something unique to offer then maybe they should sell it.
Yet, I believe, there are more profitable ways to make a sale then traditional thinking.
Look at Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin. Don’t take Libin’s contribution to productivity, enterprise and marketing lightly – Evernote embodies much of the core GTD principles in its design and user experience. Clearly, Libin was behind much of it.
From a marketing perspective, Phil Libin literally coined the term Freemium and mastered it with Evernote’s viral success—it’s a model where people get part of the product for free and then pay if they want additional storage and features.
So, my question is where does Evernote’s business model fall on Godin’s radar?
Or take what I call Platform with A Purpose – user generated content like Jimmy Wales Wikipedia, the content is free.
When it comes to digital convergence the merger of traditional and nontraditional broadcast platforms, we have to think outside the box.
Digital convergence is all about social media as the new interactive broadcast platform, similar to what cable television was back in the 80s. Look at video blogs like Gary’s Wine Library TV or Ask A Ninja or the Phil De Franco Show or iJustine. All of these shows serve as a Platform with A Purpose they entertain and inform people and they all started as user generated content. Arguably, they are still all user generated content from a marketing standpoint they leverage Phil’s freemium model–as income is generated through advertising and ancillary products and services.
Yet all of these webcasts received or still receive a larger viewership then many cable shows on an episode per episode basis. And talk about monetization, they have all made their hosts some serious money. My point being is that there are many ways to monetize and a direct sale is not always the best or the most effective method—it really all depends on your content and its purpose.