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Shopping Malls Can’t Charge Entrance Fees. So What?

July 5th, 2009

There seems to have been so much hot air as people struggle to understand Freeconomics. The idea that data will be free. Hopefully we are getting to the end of that debate.

Newspapers discovering they can’t charge for their web sites, or for that matter any service now finding itself in data form, is similar to shopping malls discovering they can’t charge an entrance fee for their splendid walled garden. So they make money in other ways. If shopping malls can’t make ends meet they aren’t going to be able to cover their financing with billboard fees so they had better suddenly develop one splendid food court or sell up to somebody with other ideas and move down to Florida.

Likewise the Music industry is discover that their consumers consider charging for copies of music a greater crime than the copying and are refocusing on convenient video delivery and concert performances.

While the incumbents are bound to try to protect their positions increasingly they need to just get on with adapting or cannibalizing themselves into new businesses because there are few people left who believe the arguments of artificial scarcity and want to listen to the sulking about how profitable their business use to be.

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