Free: The Future of a Radical Price

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Free: The Future of a Radical Price
Free by chris anderson bookcover.jpg
Hardcover edition
Author Chris Anderson
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectPricing, e-commerce
GenreNon-fiction
Publisher Hyperion
Publication date
July 7, 2009
Pages288 pp.
ISBN 978-1401322908
Preceded by The Long Tail  
Followed by Makers  

Free: The Future of a Radical Price is the second book written by Chris Anderson, Editor in chief of Wired magazine. The book was published on July 7, 2009 by Hyperion. Free is Anderson's follow-up to his book The Long Tail , published in 2006.

Contents

Overview

Free follows a thread from the previous work. It examines the rise of pricing models which give products and services to customers for free, often as a strategy for attracting users and up-selling some of them to a premium level. That class of model has become widely referred to as "freemium" and has become very popular for a variety of digital products and services.

Release

Free was released in the United States on July 7, 2009, though the night before, on his blog, Chris Anderson posted a browser readable version of the book and the unabridged audiobook version. Anderson generated controversy for plagiarizing content from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia in Free. [1] Anderson responded to the claim on his The Long Tail blog, stating that there were disagreements between him and the publisher over accurate citation of Wikipedia due to the changing nature of its content, leading him to integrate footnotes into the text. [2] Also on his blog, he took full responsibility for the mistakes and noted that the digital editions of Free were corrected. The notes and sources were later provided as a download on his blog. [3]

Reception

Regardless of the controversy, the $29.99 hard copy version of Free debuted as #12 on the New York Times Best Seller List. [4] It was also available as a free download for a limited time, and 200,000 to 300,000 digital versions were downloaded in the first two weeks. [5] The unabridged audiobook remains free, while the abridged version costs $7.49. [6]

In a widely read review in The New Yorker , Malcolm Gladwell roundly criticized the book's premise. [7] Anderson responded online on his blog at Wired.com [8] and on PBS's Charlie Rose show. [9] The book was also reviewed in the New York Times [10] and the Wall Street Journal . [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Wired</i> (magazine) American technology magazine

Wired is a monthly American magazine, published in print and online editions, that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast, it is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has been in publication since March/April 1993. Several spin-offs have been launched, including Wired UK, Wired Italia, Wired Japan, and Wired Germany. Condé Nast's parent company Advance Publications is also the major shareholder of Reddit, an internet information conglomeration website.

<i>Helter Skelter</i> (book) book

Helter Skelter is a 1974 book by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Bugliosi had served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson. The book presents his firsthand account of the cases of Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and other members of the self-described Manson Family. It is the best-selling true crime book in history.

eMusic organization

eMusic is an online music and audiobook store that operates by subscription. In exchange for a monthly subscription eMusic users can download a fixed number of tracks to their MP3 players per month. eMusic was established in 1998, is headquartered in New York City with an office in London, and is owned by TriPlay.

Malcolm Gladwell Canadian journalist and science writer

Malcolm Timothy Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has published six books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000); Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005); Outliers: The Story of Success (2008); What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), a collection of his journalism; David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013); and Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know (2019). His first five books were on The New York Times Best Seller list. His sixth book, Talking to Strangers, was released in September 2019. He is also the host of the podcast Revisionist History and co-founder of the podcast company Pushkin Industries.

Jacob Weisberg American journalist

Jacob Weisberg is an American political journalist, who previously served as editor-in-chief of Slate Group, a division of Graham Holdings Company. In September 2018, he left Slate to co-found Pushkin Industries, an audio content company, with Malcolm Gladwell. Weisberg is also a Newsweek columnist. He served as the editor of Slate magazine for six years, until stepping down in June 2008. He is the son of Lois Weisberg, a Chicago social activist and municipal commissioner.

Long tail theory in economics

In statistics and business, a long tail of some distributions of numbers is the portion of the distribution having many occurrences far from the "head" or central part of the distribution. The distribution could involve popularities, random numbers of occurrences of events with various probabilities, etc. The term is often used loosely, with no definition or arbitrary definition, but precise definitions are possible.

An audiobook is a recording of a book or other work being read aloud. A reading of the complete text is described as "unabridged", while readings of a shorter version, or abridgement of the text are labeled as "abridged".

Chris Anderson (writer) British-American author and entrepreneur

Chris Anderson is a British-American author and entrepreneur. He was with The Economist for seven years before joining WIRED magazine in 2001, where he was the editor-in-chief until 2012. He is known for his 2004 article entitled The Long Tail; which he later expanded into the 2006 book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. He is the cofounder and current CEO of 3D Robotics, a drone manufacturing company.

Michael Lewis American writer

Michael Monroe Lewis is an American author and financial journalist. He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009, writing mostly on business, finance, and economics. He is known for his non-fiction work, particularly his coverage of financial crises and behavioral finance.

Freemium Business model and software licensing scheme in which the basic form of a product is free of charge but additional features requires payment

Freemium, a portmanteau of the words "free" and "premium", is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but money is charged for additional features, services, or virtual (online) or physical (offline) goods that expand the functionality of the free version of the software. This business model has been used in the software industry since the 1980s. A subset of this model used by the video game industry is called free-to-play.

Scribd is an American e-book and audiobook subscription service that includes one million titles. Scribd hosts 60 million documents on its open publishing platform.

The Horus Heresy is an ongoing series of science fantasy set in the fictional Warhammer 40,000 setting of tabletop miniatures wargame company Games Workshop. Penned by several authors, the series takes place during the Horus Heresy, a fictional galaxy-spanning civil war occurring 10,000 years prior to the far future of Warhammer 40,000. The war is described as a major contributing factor to the game's dystopian environment.

<i>Outliers</i> (book) 2008 book by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story of Success is the third non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008. In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how the Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how Joseph Flom built Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom into one of the most successful law firms in the world, how cultural differences play a large part in perceived intelligence and rational decision making, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours, though the authors of the original study this was based on have disputed Gladwell's usage.

Jonah Lehrer American science writer

Jonah Richard Lehrer is an American author who fabricated and misused quotations and facts. Lehrer studied neuroscience at Columbia University and was a Rhodes Scholar. Thereafter, he built a media career that integrated science and humanities content to address broad aspects of human behaviour. Between 2007 and 2012 Lehrer published three non-fiction books that became best-sellers, and also wrote regularly for The New Yorker and Wired.com.

Little, Brown Book Group is a UK publishing company. Since 2006 Little, Brown Book Group has been owned by Hachette UK, a subsidiary of Hachette Livre. The company was sold to Hachette UK by Time Warner who owned Little, Brown UK and USA.

<i>The 50th Law</i> book by Robert Greene

The 50th Law is a New York Times bestselling book on strategy and fearlessness written collaboratively by rapper 50 Cent and author Robert Greene. The book is a semi-autobiographical account detailing 50 Cent's rise as both a young urban hustler and as an up-and-coming musician with lessons and anecdotes from historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Sun Tzu, Socrates, Napoleon, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

<i>What the Dog Saw</i> 2009 book by Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures is the fourth book released by author Malcolm Gladwell, on October 20, 2009. The book is a compilation of the journalist's articles published in The New Yorker.

<i>The Long Tail</i> (book) 2006 book by Chris Anderson

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More is a book by Chris Anderson, Editor in chief of Wired magazine. The book was initially published on July 11, 2006, by Hyperion. The book, Anderson's first, is an expansion of his 2004 article The Long Tail in the magazine. The book was listed in The New York Times Nonfiction Best Sellers list. It was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award on 18 September 2006.

Andy Greenberg is a technology journalist, and currently a senior writer at Wired Magazine. He previously worked as a staff writer at Forbes.com and Forbes Magazine.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know is a non-fiction book written by Malcolm Gladwell and published by Little, Brown and Company on 10 September 2019. The audiobook version of the book has Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast style structure, Gladwell’s narration laced with interviews, sound bites and a theme song "Hell You Talmbout".

References

  1. Jaquith, Waldo (June 23, 2009). "Chris Anderson's Free Contains Apparent Plagiarism". The Virginia Quarterly Review. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved 2020-03-13 via Internet Archive.
  2. Anderson, Chris (July 24, 2009). "Corrections in the digital editions of Free". The Long Tail. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  3. Anderson, Chris. "FREE Notes" (PDF). The Long Tail. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  4. Anderson, Chris. "A New York Times Bestseller!". The Long Tail. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  5. Anderson, Chris. "A New York Times Bestseller!". The Long Tail. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  6. Anderson, Chris (July 6, 2009). "FREE for free: first ebook and audiobook versions released". The Long Tail. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  7. Gladwell, Malcolm (July 6, 2009). "Priced to Sell: Is free the future?". The New Yorker .
  8. Anderson, Chris (June 29, 2009). "Dear Malcolm: Why so threatened?". Wired.com.
  9. Charlie Rose (July 21, 2009). "A conversation with Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine". The Charlie Rose Show. Public Broadcasting Service. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  10. Postrel, Virginia (July 10, 2009). "What You Pay For". The New York Times .
  11. Philips, Jeremy (July 8, 2009). "To Rake It In, Give It Away". The Wall Street Journal .