There is no such thing as a free lunch and in today’s ad funded free world this is especially pertinent. Whether it is being bombarded with banners on news sites/blogs et al or ads on spotify everyone is paying in some way. I think that the ad funded model is one that is accepted a lot more than it ever has been as people are far more savvy now and understand how the process works. Spotify is a great example: listen for free – with a word or two from our sponsors or pay and listen without the ads. Having realised that this will more likely than not limit their money making they signed up with 7digital so that people can download the music and have added video to the service to extend the proposition – this could be a very lucrative new market if they get the correct media owners involved, what with the failure of project Kangaroo. This will again open up a new way of behavioural ad targeting and yet more revenue.
However, I don’t think that apple need to be quaking in their boots just yet.
The fact is that companies need to realise that the ‘currency’ will differ for their business needs. For some money is key but for others, and this is often overlooked, data is key as this will allow the company to better target consumers in the future, thus making up-selling (in theory at least) easier.
But, as is generally true, strategy is key as this will show how differing social and demographic data needs to factored in when deciding on the best ‘currency’ to deal in.