Topic 5: Behind the scenes of free content

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Before doing on this topic, I have never thought about how free content could have an impact on us.

In Joey’s post, she discuss about ‘satire’, how certain content online available might not be credible. This made me think, should there be a system of evaluation for online content even though it is free? In this article, they talked about how we should have internet social contract [1]. I feel that idea of contract might be feasible, as certain schools have created online learning where students learn from online materials (like the module we are taking now), so educational content must be credible. Maybe the government can have a system of making content free for certain users like underprivileged students and developing countries. For example, in my comment at Siew Woon’s post, I mention about how Canada is offering open textbook project for their students. And the video below talks more about it

Also watch this video for another example of free education:

In traditional paid content, it is said to be credible and beneficial for content producers hence maybe they could market their content by providing free trials like Photoshop or Spotify.

And that brings me to the next point in Siew Woon’s post where she talked about streaming of music. In spotify, a trial period is created where users are able to enjoy the premium treatment for free before purchasing it.

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However in the music industry or entertainment industry it is difficult to get users to buy music or movies because there is illegal platform. So how exactly does artist makes money? In this article, they said that artist are able to make money through endorsement and concerts. [2]

Hence there isn’t a winning side of whether free content is more advantage or disadvantage. Take a look at the video below, explaining about how users will still purchase content online:

Here are my comments on Joey’s and Siew Woon’s post.

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[1]: Kurbalija, D. (n.d.). In the Internet We Trust: Is There a Need for an Internet Social Contract? Retrieved November 12, 2015, from

[2]: Wallop, H. (2014, May 7). Here’s How Pop Stars Make Money Now That People Don’t Buy Music. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from

Topic 5 – Is getting free content a crime?

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Have you ever felt this way when you are looking for article or research paper and they ask you to pay for it? Or when Taylor Swift remove her music from online streaming?

Being able to access to free content is by open access.

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The video below explains what is open access about.

When content producers use open access there will be some pros and cons:


  • Increase Readership
    Because the articles are available online for free, there will be an increase of readership. When the public is able to gain access to the articles, there will be an increase of citations as well [1]. As a marketer, if my marketing research paper is able to gain more views and comments it will benefit me improve on it and even inspire me to go for a new direction of research.
  • International Access
    Having your article being easily googled online, it will be able to go worldwide. Developing countries will be able to gain access to the articles and have the chance to participate in research despite their low-income [2]. Also they can improve on their transfer of education with the aid of free articles. Video below is an example of how open access has help a breakthrough:


  • Costs incurred 
    Having a free article, there is nobody to support the publication and the research & development fees. Producers have to fork out these fees on their own and this could discourage them from publishing on open access [3].
  • Quality
    Because of the lack of funding for the Research and Development, the quality of the article could be worst than traditional paid access models. With the traditional paid access model, there will be funding to sustain the articles, however with open access, sustainability could be a difficulty [4].

Let’s look into the music industry for example.

Miley Cyrus released her new album for free, her reason for it? She wanted to have a break from the mainstream music so she has this album as an experiment. And it was a good investment where she got the artistic freedom and also keeps her name in the press [5].

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As compared to Taylor Swift where she wants consumers to buy her music as she feels music is art and valuable art should be paid for [6]. With her “enthusiastic optimist” she sold 14.9 millions tracks on iTunes [7]!

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In conclusion, there isn’t a definite yes or no of whether content producer should make their content free but it comes down to the objective of their content.

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