content vs object - short version.

When digital information storage and transfer became the norm, businesses (really, almost all of us) made the same, erroneous assumption: that the content was the value, and the object was waste.

As in, music = product, CD = trash.  Or book = trash, story = product.  The problem with this, however, is that purchase is about the transfer of ownership.  People like to buy things they can gain ownership of.  It's hard to feel like you own a digital file, even as you enjoy the text or the music.

Most of us bought into the glorious lie of the internet age, the belief that production costs would plummet, that even at reduced prices income would skyrocket.  We forgot that the cost of a book included a durable, attractive copy on your shelf for as long as you like.

In the past, the only way to transfer information without physical form was a mixture of senses and memory.  The only way you could charge for this, was to charge for the time of the person re-telling.  Charging for performance, you will note, still works.

Digital information equates to augmented memory.  Charging for it is counter-intuitive, if you think about it.

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