Sunday, January 25, 2009

pricing the formerly priceless

Praise the book of "Elsewhere, U.S.A." by Dalton Conley. In it, Conley talks about "pricing the formerly priceless," and more clearly articulates the idea about "marketing the formerly unmarketed" that I've been rambling about. Finding one other person (even if it is just one) who agrees with your theories is such an assurance to your sanity.

"Pricing the formerly priceless" is about taking things that were formerly accepted as "givens" by society and placing a price on their heads. The explanation that he gives is when airlines started charging for snacks. We as consumers hate being charged for things we have always gotten for free. I do. But in reality, that kind of pricing structure could be more efficient and cut fees for consumers while making us more informed about what we're buying.

It's funny though when you think about the entertainment industry. It has gone in the opposite direction. We went from having to buy the album of every song we wanted to play, to stealing music from friends and Kazaa and hardly ever even heading to music stores anymore. Music stores have become like museums. You wander around, pursuing the selection, able to look at what they've got on display, but not interact with what lies behind the plastic/glass casing. And in both cases you walk out of the building empty-handed. "Owning music" has lost its meaning.

How could the music industry use this concept of "pricing the formerly priceless?"

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