Is The Future Of All Software And Content “Free?”

Two big stories that are very important:

IBM has a “free” software package that they’re giving away to compete with Microsoft’s Office Suite.

The New York Times is going to stop charging for their Website content.

Is the future of all software and content “free?”

If two huge media and sofware companies are doing this, shouldn’t all of us?

Obviously, IBM gains some (desperately needed) marketshare with their move at a price far-less than they could have bought any other way. And let’s be honest, the NYT will do just fine in the advertising at their site if they let the whole world in.

I remember well a call from a high-level editor of a major newspaper organization that was looking to Podcast for one reason only – they didn’t have enough inventory to sell.

That’s right, they had sold everything they had and people wanted more so they were looking to create it (and create it fast).

Is this our future?

No, I don’t think it is at all.

I think in commodities, things are only going to get cheaper.

Let’s face it, the NYT has competition.

And so does Microsoft Office.

But the stuff without competition you can pretty much charge whatever you want for.

iPhone anyone?

The finer the niche the better the chance to profit.

And that is why I’m so bullish on Podcasting.

$39.99 for a Podcast about studying for a certification exam.

A free (but tracked) Podcast for body builders that upsells to a paid Podcast with an excellent conversion rate.

And the list goes on.

I’m glad the New York Times isn’t charging any more. I’m thrilled IBM is giving away free software.

It just ain’t in my business plan.

Thoughts?

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