I have to admit to it – I am obsessed with this topic. I was watching this morning on MSNBC when they mentioned that USA Today is coming up with a for fee version of their online product. They followed it up with the “brilliant” comment – “Everyone should charge” and that “if everyone charged, people would pay”. Sure – if everyone charged there would be no choice, but that sounds like the death statement of every industry right before the final nail was struck – “I do not understand, what we offer is great, what that guy offers for free is a sub-standard product in my opinion, why won’t people pay for what I offer???????”
Keep up that spirit – please. Keep pushing in the direction of futility, hoping that the entire world will follow the way of the media and publishing giants who cannot figure out a different business model to support their business that is stuck in second gear. What are you doing – creating opportunity. Look at Zappos – which just sold to Amazon for $800 million plus – when everyone else was looking at an industry and saying the consumer could not change and we cannot allow them to change and we cannot adapt to their change, this company came along and embraced that change, supported that change, and lived within that environment. And look at the end result – $800M. Not bad.
I see the door opening, and with every crack and comment like this, the door is just gettting wider and wider. Someone will come along with a lower cost, more efficient, consumer embracing model and will emerge the winner. Mark my words. Maybe the stars will not make as much money. Maybe the “Journalists” will not be as rich. Maybe the “personalities” will not be as famous. I am not sure. But will the consumer move backwards in behavior? Please tell me one instance where this has happened successfully in an industry. My bet – it will never happen in this one.
So who is going to grab the opportunity? Who will be the winner?