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BBC: Buy none, get one free January 9, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Radio Drama, >> Sounds of Selling.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Caroline Bayley’s jarring article, “Buy none, get one free”, details the prospect giving away products for free. Bayley asks the following question:

Is the business model of the future one where the customer no longer pays? Already products in the digital marketplace are being given away free, yet companies are still making profits.

Software – open source applications, browsers, and operating systems – have been given away for free for years. Yet the makers of those products are realizing profits.

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, says other industries are adopting the free model.

For instance, numerous opportunities exist for the airlines. Anderson asks what would happen if the airlines offered free flights:

If we can get your attention with the word free, if we can get you in the door with the word free, what else could we do?

What could we do with the traffic? With the credibility that we’ve achieved by offering this extraordinary thing like a free flight?

Maybe cargo pays the way and the passengers ride for free? Or we’re actually a tourism arm of these destinations who are paying us to bring (people) to them.”

Another example, says Anderson, is Flickr, the online photo management and sharing application.

Flickr Basic is free. Flickr Pro is for premium subscribers who have certain needs. They want more storage or they want special features. It only takes a few per cent of people to subscribe to Flickr Pro at a cost to subsidise everybody else who gets Flickr Basic.”

How does radio drama embrace, and survive with, the “Buy none, get one free” business model Bayley writes about?


“Buy none, get one free”

By Caroline Bayley

Producer, BBC Radio 4: In Business



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