The Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and author of the new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price was in fine form answering rapidly to questions fired thick and fast by the Emmy-award winning journalist.
Chris’ essential message was that we’re entering a new phase in doing business online. We’ve hit some kind of maturity in that many of us have grown up or are growing up with the internet, and when it comes to advertising there have been three milestones.
First would be banner advertising, taking traditional ad placement from offline media and sticking it on the web. Then came Google with Adwords, Page Rank and Adsense, taking the technology and the algorithms up a notch. But now there’s a need to innovate further because we’re seeing attention being worth more than money. Time is becoming a valuable asset. The time the user spends on our content is important so some kind of new pricing model is needed.
He said that because the web has spelled the end of monopolies, the internet has given rise to thousands of other publishers whose content could well be more relevant, we have to think of how to charge in an intelligent way. He said that every premium will be different. It can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach and the shift needs to be addressed with new forms of advertising.
They ended with the example in his book of Monty Python’s video channel on YouTube, citing the uploading of 10 minute clips meant they controlled how they we’re represented on the site, but that it was designed to drive sales of DVDs. So what my fellow countrymen comedians lost by giving away free content on the web, they most certainly made it up with royalties from the high street.
An interesting discussion which made me think where on earth will we be next year!
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