8 ways to make digital content valuable

Following on from my previous post summerising some concepts of free content distribution that are being talked about on the Internet: TechDirt point to a post by Kevin Kelly that describes eight ways in which scarcity can be added to digital content to make it valuable enough to pay for.

I think the first two that Kevin points out are particularly compelling:
  • Immediacy: imagine having tomorrow's content, today. What is interesting about this idea is that it is the opposite of the BBC opening up its Archive, which is centred around making old content available to viewers. Which would you pay more for: the next episode of Lost now instead of next week or an episode of Lost from a month ago? The answer to this question may vary depending on the type of programme that is substituted for Lost. In the same way that Jackson 5 songs have reemerged in charts of songs sold through iTunes, there may be some programmes that people will want to watch over and over again.
  • Personalisation: in a world where there are millions of websites and hundreds of TV channels, determining what and where to consume your media from can be challenge. Amazon.com has for years used technology to guide users to the things they are interested in. Imagine you could have all news you are interested in - what is happening in your local area, the latest news to feed your addiction to Le Mans racing - all of this for the same price as an in print daily newspaper. Would you buy it?

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