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How ‘Free Culture’ Threatens Content Marketing

It all began with NPR “All Songs Considered” intern Emily White  writing a post called “I Never Owned Any Music to Begin With.” White, 20, is of a generation that came of age after the deconstruction of the music industry and the height of free culture.

In the post, she speaks of having 11,000 songs, despite only having purchased 15 CDs. Adland pulls out two quotes that speak for the mindset of the younger generation that will take over business one day:

“I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience.”

“All I require is the ability to listen to what I want, when I want and how I want it. Is that too much to ask?”

David Lowery of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker fame, posted an open letter to White as a response on his blog The Trichordist. Unlike White, Lowery does not believe that the Internet is supposed to be a content free for all. He sees this  “free culture movement” as a collective erosion of ethics through technology.

The “freeness” of the Internet and how it might threaten business is a concern to anyone producing content. If free content is expected, what means can support the production of content?

The Trichordist represents a small but growing vocal community of artists and content creators who are fed up with the free culture movement. This group opposes the notion that content should be made available, free, and without the hassle of copyright. Content is a product one creates and needs to be compensated for in some way, they argue.

If White and her cohorts see no need to purchase a type content that was a whole industry just a decade ago, what does this mean for the future of content?

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