Very important blog post from Seth Godin today, The game theory of discovery and the birth of the free-gap. It’s a must read.
Most people, most of the time, don’t buy things if there’s a free substitute available. A hundred million people hear a pop song on the radio and less than 1 percent will buy a copy.
We don’t hesitate to ask a consultant or doctor or writer for free advice, but often hesitate when it involves a payment. (“Oh, I’m not asking for consulting, I just wanted you to answer a question…”)
Should consumers be willing to pay for great content? You bet. In fact, paying for content is a great way to ensure that more of it gets made.
Does the game theory of the market make it likely that those in search of discovery will accelerate the use of free to get attention? Of course.
Creators have trained the most coveted, biggest spending and intelligent portion of the market to expect that many digital items will be free. Now it’s up to us to wrap those items in such a way that they’re worth paying for again.