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Free…Feels-Like-Free…Freemium…? What in the world…?

Free freemium flf gerd leonhard wordleVia MidemNet blog  If you are in the content business, you may also be wondering: going forward, what exactly is the value of  my 'content', when and where? The most likely answer is 'it depends'. No wonder the debate on what kind of content should be /could be /must be / ought not to be free, or bundled, or subsidized by 3rd parties, or paid for with advertising, is raging on the web. And this is happening not just within the music business, but also within the news, print and publishing, books, films and TV industries.

Content industry reset gerd leonhard 2I think pretty much the entire content business is quickly heading towards a total business-model reset.

Since I do a bit of reading as well as some assorted writing on this topic (which I recently tagged the '21st Century Content Ecology') I thought that I would share some of the best writings I have seen on those issues that surround the Free Content debate. So here they are:

  1. First but not foremost: my recent contribution to the RSA Journal (Summer 2009 edition) "The price of freedom: Reinventing the online economy: Gerd Leonhard explains why ‘free’ content can still pay in the long term" >PDF
  2. "Free – The Future of a Radical Price" – the new and much debated book by Chris 'Longtail' Anderson (read the NYT review). Listen to the  RSA Audio interview. See what Seth Godin thinks about Free. Get the actually free MP3 download of the entire book via the Wired column "Time to Manage Abundance". FREE Kindle and Sony Reader version (US Only). Or just yield to the lure of free stuff and buy Chris' book (the dead tree version)
  3. Umair Haque's great writings on the dawning new economic system (yes, this very much relates to the question of content value;): The Generation M Manifesto and A User's Guide to 21st Century Economics
  4. The seminal Kevin Kelly Technium piece "Better than Free" ****
  5. Seth Godin: Things you can learn from the Music Industry (as it falls apart)
  6. Jeff Jarvis: Content is already free
  7. Fred Wilson's (yes, the VC guy in NY) great post on the Freemium and Free debate
  8. A great summary of the current Free & Freemium debate is at ReadWriteWeb.com written by the brilliant Alex Iskold – be sure to read this one, and follow the links.
  9. More of my own stuff on this topic is here, the MIDEM 2009 "Compensation Not Control" video and PDF is here

Enjoy! RT. And all that.

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