FREE is Recession Proof


In times of economic uncertainty are internet users less likely to trade a permission asset i.e. name. phone number, email address, etc. for content?

In a recent study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, 64% of paid content web publishers were either experiencing or expecting to feel the effects of the recent downturn in the economy.

Trends and user attitudes affecting paid content may also be applicable to gated content. I think we all know that cash flow starts to tighten in a negative
economy, but how about information flow?

When the economy is slumping and people are less interested in being “sold to”, will users presented with gated content
be even more reluctant to give up their permission asset? Will more and more organizations adopt The New Rules of Marketing and PR as best practices and start offering free content?

What do you think?

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  • Neil Sequeira

    There is no doubt that free content is gaining very quickly Mark. I’m guessing it will become increasingly difficult to get users to pay for content access as more quality free content is generated. There has to be either a very distinct value they see to pay for the content or no close free ‘quality’ alternative for a user to go for instead.

  • Mark Smiciklas

    Thanks for the comment Neil – I agree that the improved quality of free content will change the landscape for some “pay for use” vendors.

    I wonder if internet users permission assets will become more like currency? People may not only be less willing to pay for content with hard cash but also with their permission.