People Pay To Connect Online
from the if-you've-got-something-different... dept
People have this morbid fascination with the question of whether or not people will pay for stuff online. Unfortunately, too many companies are looking at charging online simply because they say what they produce has some sort of inherent value – and without understanding the basic economics behind charging for content. What they seem to be missing is that if that content/service has some sort of closely matched equivalent available for free, then charging will never work. However, for services that do offer some unique value that actually takes advantage of the benefits the internet provides, it seems people are willing to pay. The article talks about how people pay to make “connections” online, describing sites like Classmates.com, Ancestry.com and Match.com – all of which provide a service that isn’t just static content, but which use the internet to make dynamic content more valuable by connecting people in some way. Of course, with service plays like that, you have an issue of who becomes the dominant player first, since so much of the attraction is the critical mass. People are willing to pay for these services, since they know that their databases are fairly large, and others know to go there for the same service. It’s not so easy to just throw a similar service up there and say “ok, now I can charge also”.