Matt has a post prompted by Radiohead’s new pricing policy for their album In Rainbows which is essentially pick your price. He talks about how this is possible because music is a post-scarcity commodity. His commentary is good so read his posts but here are some highlights.
Data is a post-scarcity commodity. Post-scarcity, as the name suggests, is the successor of scarcity, upon which our current economic systems are built. When you consume scarce goods – eat a chocolate bar, or buy a CD – there is one less of that commodity in the marketplace. But when you consume a post-scarce item – download an application, or an mp3 – you copy it. Meaning there is now one more of that commodity out there, not less. This is how the success of a post-scarce product is measured, by the number of times it has been reproduced.
He further goes on to talk about how this hs been happening in open source for years:
It might sound crazy to a traditional capitalist to give away oneís goods and services, but this is what Open Source Software Developers have been happy to do for years, and what digital music artists are now coming on board with. Both groups make their reputations this way, to enable them to stand out from the crowd and make themselves a marketable commodity.
Here’s a picture of the Radiohead In Rainbows shopping cart. Fill in the blank.
(via Matt Asay )