The Tyranny Of Free

A friend recently complained that the online streaming music service was becoming unusable because of the ads they run to pay for it.

There is a simple solution to her “problem”- buy a subscription to the service. In her case it would cost $36. A year. Given the number of hours she uses the service, the per hour cost would be negligible. Yet she prefers to complain about the inconvenience of two minutes of ads per hour, which is about 10% of the ads on terrestrial radio.

With so much free content on the Internet, we have a hard time adjusting to the idea of paying for something we value, even if that cost is small. It’s the great weakness of the freemium model- delivering enough value to open the checkbook in a world of free alternatives.

I’ve now subscribed to my friend’s service because I think its a bargain.


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