Are We Spoiled by Free Content?
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is peruse the airport gift shop for a good magazine to read while I wait for my plane. The airport gift shops always have an incredible selection of magazines, a whole wall of them. But lately I have been finding myself standing there longer and longer picking out the magazine instead of spending my time reading. I realized that this is because I am no longer willing to spend my money on just any content. I have been pampered by free blog content. And when you read the likes of Penelope Trunk, Jim Connolly, Chris Brogan, and Dave Peck as I do, all the amazing content spoils you.
We have access to blogs that cater to every possible interest whether you are a social media marketer, a hockey fan, or an avid knitter. And these blogs are all free to read. So why would we spend our ever decreasing “disposable” income on content that does not met a very specific need?
Every now and then a magazine comes along that really does seem to hit the spot. I enjoy reading Pink Magazine. However, not every article in every issue interests me. To be fair, not every post on every blog I read interests me either. But since I am paying for the magazine content, I feel gypped when a particular issue is weak on content for me. (This is not to say it wouldn’t interest someone else.) Plus, it seems the more narrow the focus of the audience, like Pink who target working women, the higher the cost.
Magazines do seem to be moving in the right direction though by putting their content online and offering free e-newsletters. But does all this mean that the print versions of many magazines are in jeopardy? Will we continue to pay for content that isn’t customized to our interests? What are your thoughts?