Convenience Can Be More Important Than Free
from the it-ain't-all-about-the-price dept
The Forbes article on this (linked above) has some really odd quotes from Intellectual Property law professor Doug Lichtman, who seems to think that people downloading the album from unauthorized sites is somehow a bad thing that has hurt Radiohead's experiment. It appears that he, like so many others, seems to have ignored the full explanation of Radiohead's business model here. What they make from the digital copies is rather meaningless. They're trying to get the music spread as far and wide as possible, and then are trying to give fans a real reason to still buy the CD by providing many valuable extras. Lichtman claims that this shows it's hard to compete with free -- but I'd actually take the exact opposite lesson. It's easy to compete with free. If you provide convenience, flexibility and focus on selling services or tangible goods that are made more valuable by the free distribution of content, competing with free isn't that hard at all. Radiohead seems to be proving that quite well.