It has come to my attention that more and more stuff ought to be free. Many of the things on the ‘net and in our gadgets are free, but many more are still not. Why? Today, I’ll take a look at stuff that ought to be economically feasible to give away and perhaps cause a ripple in current business models and help usher in a free utopia where I want to live.
Let’s start with the easy stuff:
Instead of the going after everyone for pirating music, what if the RIAA stopped paying lawyers and started subsidizing the cost of music players. If we didn’t shell out $100/$200/$300 on a portable media device, many more of us might be open to consuming much more music. Imagine, “claim your free iPod” adverts would be all over the place (and it wouldn’t be some scam). Apple gets paid, we get encouraged to pay for artists’ labors, win all around.
I’ve heard it time and time again, “Why shell out $359 for an eBook reader that I immediately have to go and buy books to fill it with?” Just yesterday on NPR I heard, “Spending $359 is just dumb, I’ll wait until they come down.” What if Amazon gave away these things aiming to make it up on the back end with content sales. Would you grab a reader and begin downloading? Of course you would. So would bunches and bunches of others. The pitch ought to be about content, not the gadget.
Now let’s move on to slightly harder concepts
Yes, I am totally going there. Would you accept a phone that had a home screen spouting adverts for local businesses in exchange for free phone service? What if you got one text per day with an advert from local businesses? I am still in. You see, make the trade off clear and we’ll jump at it. Bury the fees and charges in a 13 page legal doc and we’ll flock elsewhere. Advertising needs an outlet, let them in but only if you are clear on the trade off.
High speed internet
Same drill, what if we load you up with a homepage, background, and theme from advertisers you agree not to change. [looking at you hackers] Would companies pay to put stuff in front of you while you waited the excruciatingly long boot up periods? How about a new special everyday from vendors you select on your wallpaper/screen saver? How about something special, just for computer owners on your browsers home page?
Sure, this will happen
Any of this stuff actually going to happen? Doubtful. As advertisers seek new ways to get in front of us as the old way (30 second TV spots) die off, perhaps another look will be given to these ideas. Until then, we keep shelling out good dollar after bad for stuff they should give us in hopes to consume content or at least access to content.
There is free stuff you don’t have to be on crack to get though, you only have to be on Gadgetell. Check out our free giveaway — the Hava Gold.