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Free : the future of a radical price
Anderson, Chris
Adult Nonfiction HF5415 .A6197 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the digital marketplace, the most effective price is no price at all, argues Anderson (The Long Tail). He illustrates how savvy businesses are raking it in with indirect routes from product to revenue with such models as cross-subsidies (giving away a DVR to sell cable service) and freemiums (offering Flickr for free while selling the superior FlickrPro to serious users). New media models have allowed successes like Obama's campaign "billboards" on Xbox Live, Webkinz dolls and Radiohead's name-your-own-price experiment with its latest album. A generational and global shift is at play-those below 30 won't pay for information, knowing it will be available somewhere for free, and in China, piracy accounts for about 95% of music consumption-to the delight of artists and labels, who profit off free publicity through concerts and merchandising. Anderson provides a thorough overview of the history of pricing and commerce, the "mental transaction costs" that differentiate zero and any other price into two entirely different markets, the psychology of digital piracy and the open-source war between Microsoft and Linux. As in Anderson's previous book, the thought-provoking material is matched by a delivery that is nothing short of scintillating. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

While the best things in life may be free, a business model based on giving stuff away seems a little crazy. But Anderson (editor in chief, Wired), who made a big splash with The Long Tail, tells us that this business model is already here. In The Long Tail, he showed how online businesses were making good by selling less of more, that is, by selling a huge range of niche or low-volume products that added up to big bucks. Here he demonstrates that the concept of making money by giving things away has already taken hold in the digital world. Verdict With explanations of basic economic principles like supply and demand and an analysis of the differences between products in the physical world and those in the digital world, Anderson makes the Free premise sound quite reasonable. Lots of companies are making lots of money from "free." Google and Yahoo, for instance, have some of the biggest computer server complexes in the world, yet they let us use their email, news, and search services every day. While this book may not be free, it will generate interest among both academic and general readers.-Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin, Whitewater (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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