by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 1st 2010 4:57pm
A couple months back, we discussed the growing trend of some content creators to require some sort of promotion in exchange for "free" content -- such as "tweet about our album and you can download a song." Apparently, such practices are becoming more common place, with a whole company being built around the concept. However, just like I wrote when we first discussed this, these sorts of requirements seem like fake word of mouth marketing, unlikely to drive any sort of sustained interest. That's because you're requiring people to promote you just to get your content, rather than giving them the content and having it be awesome enough that they actually want to tell their friends about it. It basically gets the equation backwards, and in the process, seems to suggest that the content in question really isn't that good. After all, if you have to force people to promote you before you'll give them content for free, it sounds like you don't think they'd want to promote you after they got it. I can see why people would jump on this kind of bandwagon, but I think that those who do should consider the possible negative signals it gives off.
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