Once valuable things get commoditized, smart businesses find creative ways to earn revenue.
Record companies got fat over selling people a whole album of music based on the success of a couple singles. The music couldn’t be separated from the media it came on, so albums were sold just like shoes.
Now, a song on a CD is the same on iTunes and on BitTorrent. Music is everywhere, and everyone can get music if they want it. Just google “[name of song] youtube”. It’s not exclusive, so it’s cheap.
What is exclusive? Concerts.
The band can only be in one place at a time and people know it. So they are willing to pay for the privelege of seeing the band in person.
Most business authors work like this too. Big time names like Seth Godin update their blogs all the time and their books bring some royalties. But they make a killing from their 5 to 6 figure speaking fees.
You can hear what they have to say for no or little cost, but “the show” of having them come speak to you will cost a premium. And people pay it, because it’s worth it.
So what’s your show? How can you create an exclusive experience that people will love paying for, in an age where information is steadily devalued?