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Posted by Sarah Rotman Epps on July 17, 2009
A reporter asked me yesterday whether I thought Chris Anderson was right, or whether I thought he was too glib. I don't think an either/or question.
What I've come to realize while researching and writing reports like our paid content forecast is that yes, free can be a business model--but only for much, much smaller businesses than most media companies as they exist today, with their Manhattan skyscrapers or sprawling Hollywood studios, thousands of employees, unions, factories, warehouses, and debt obligations.
So Anderson is right, but not right enough to be much comfort to the media companies on which we depend.
Here's why. In the digital world:
Can media companies downsize their appetites to feed themselves on smaller pieces of pie? In other words, how do big companies get small?
I have a few ideas in the works that I'll be incorporating into future reports. Would love to get feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) on what you see happening in your companies.