Chris Anderson – The Long Tail And Why Free Is A Viable Business Model

Posted by

InfoPresse Magazine held their their inaugural InfoPresse 360 event today in Montreal on the topic of new business models. While I had the pleasure of speaking on the panel called, What Will Be The Winning Business Models Of The Future?, the real honour came from watching Chris Anderson present. Anderson is the Editor of Wired Magazine and author of the best-selling business book, The Long Tail. Being both a fan of Wired and The Long Tail, I was hoping to be blown away by Anderson’s insights. I was not disappointed.

His speech was also timely as he delved into the buzz topic of how Radiohead is allowing their fans to set the price for purchase of their latest foray and how this affects business models. He then told us that Radiohead’s exercise is related to the premise of his yet-to-be-published book called, Free. My pedestrian understanding of Free is that Chris Anderson will illustrate how businesses are making big money by giving stuff away. In a day and age where big media is attempting to define its future, I’m fascinated to read his new book (no set publishing date from what I’ve seen). Anderson also discussed some interesting promotions he is considering to launch the book (yes, including a free version of the book).

Here were some other key points from Chris Anderson’s presentation today:

– No more walled gardens.
– Charging for media online is over.
– All major media (TV, radio, etc…) is free – online should not be any different.
– The Web is the ultimate atomization of content.
– Old content is not old. Google privileges the old. Good content gets links and always stays fresh.
– Older content has an unfair advantage because it is linked, bookmarked, shared, discussed, etc…
– Fifty percent of Wired’s website traffic comes from archives.
– The Google Economy is driven by good links.

Each salient point is worthy of its own unique Blog posting, but I wanted to get these thoughts down and out there. Please feel free to take any of these points and run with them, in case I don’t circle back and cover each one independently. If you get a chance to see Chris Anderson speak live and in person, don’t miss it.