Playboy, like Chris Anderson, flows to the free

Wired editor Chris Anderson spoke at SXSW this week, arguing again that pricing on all products and services will flow to the free as the internet matches supply and demand more efficiently.

As evidence, we give you Playboy. The publishing empire, which has been severely threatened by free online alternatives, announced today it will post 53 issues from 1954 through 2007 at a free Playboy Archive web site, unedited, with no age restrictions. Now — if you’re still reading and haven’t clicked through, stay with us, people — this is a perfect example of Anderson’s freemium model, where a large portion of your services are given away in exchange for a small group of customers who pay. Marketers could learn from this move; rather than fight online competition or piracy, learn to coexist with free models while building future demand for paid services.

As if you’re still reading this.

3 thoughts on “Playboy, like Chris Anderson, flows to the free

  1. You still have to wonder about this model, though. I’m a big fan of giving away content free to attract loyalist who support you with premium sales, but I’m not sure it can survive in the face of initiatives like TV Everywhere.

  2. Apples and oranges though. They’re giving away old content, not the new stuff. Any brand online should have its stuff available as archived material. The true value lies in the stuff people haven’t seen yet.

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