February 27, 2008

Money for Nothing and the Chicks for free

Mark Knopfler penned the lyrics for this song by listening to delivery men crib about their jobs while watching MTV. Thats an awesome excuse for bad lyrics. Just to be non controversial, let me say "innovative lyrics". The title though, could well have been inspired from a trend that the modern world is now seeing.

It doesn't matter if you aren't a rockstar, or even Bill Clinton for that matter. You can still get chicks for free and make money doing absolutely nothing. As some of you might argue, chicks for free is a moot point. For this very reason, there is a Statutory Warning at the end of this post.

The Internet is free, So are many other things
The internet has long been a leader in distributing free content, but it would be naive to dedicate a post to how information is now available for free.

What we are increasingly seeing is the offering of everything free, right from photograph prints, free air tickets(thanks to advertising on Ryan Air) to free phone calls and messages(thanks to skype,Jaxtr etc) and even free student textbooks.

What about free music thats legal - take a look at qtrax.

The costs of creating and distributing your product and service has become so low that it more often than not tends towards zero per consumer. Revenue is driven mainly by advertising, for example, free phtographs are accompanied with ads at the bottom of the photograph print and free textbooks have ads inserted at chapter breaks.

Free is passé - Now get paid to do what you would do anyway

Its interesting how many services have been launched, which will pay you to do what you would do anyway. Like Agloco for example, which would pay you to browse and 3-2-1mail which would pay you to check mail. You can go here for a more comprehensive list .

It would make an interesting study as to why such services haven't really taken off. It could be that the consumer inherently disbelieves that he can make money out of a service he/she is receiving. One day someone will get the model and the promise right, and this could take off in a big way. More on this in a totally different post.

To sum it up, stuff is available for free, you can get paid for stuff since ads help generate revenue. Just don't be under the illusion that eventually everything will be free. There will always be a large chunk of advertisers, whose products you will have to pay for.

Statutory Warning - If you are lucky (handsome and rich might be other pre-requisitions), chicks might flock to you for a zero acquisition fee (also known as "free"). Nonetheless we would like to inform you that your monthly outflow will not be nil. Your credit cards magnetic strip will certainly undergo tremendous wear and tear to sustain your prized acquisition.

Related Free Articles from the Web:
Wired
TrendWatching

P.S - I wish I could pay you for reading my article. Though thats a little difficult right now, I am sure its the thought which matters, right? :)

6 comments:

Susie said...

Nicely stated..:) love the warning at the end! It is true there are many free programs out there, but sometimes in order to reach some of the folks necessary you still do have to pay top dollar. But a blend of all really is helpful.

Ishwar said...

Thx Susie

cognitive displaysia said...

dude,

good point on the "free" customer.....firms offering seemingly "free" products are beginning to be known as two-sided platforms (e.g. newspapers, nightclubs, shopping mall developers) because they bring two sides (e.g. readers and advertisers for newspapers) together. many a time, they do that by lowering price on one side (all the way to "free")..sometimes they dont (e.g. we pay for newspapers)..FYI, my dissertation models marketing investment strategies in these settings :)

hari

Ishwar said...

Thx Hari, Its a pleasure to hear your thoughts on this issue.
All the best with your dissertation.

Would be great if you could share the results of your study, when you are done with it. I would be extremely interested in it

cognitive displaysia said...

err..i didnt get the sense that you "recognized" me from the formal nature of your reply but i'm hari from school,college, etc

Ishwar said...

Now what a way to get in touch with you. You have disappeared off all networks to reappear on my blog page. Dude, can you drop me a mail on ishwar.sundararaman@gmail.com.

We need to catch up and I have a feeling I need your help with a startup idea :)). The sooner you buzz me, the better. Add me on skype if that helps.

Btw Happy Belated B'day