Seth Godin on Making Money from Free Content

image from PressPausePlay is a new documentary that's coming out in the coming months. It's about hope, fear, and digital culture.

In the first sneak peak of the film, marketer Seth Godin tells the tale of how he created an idea and let it spread.

The result: he made more money from the book that he released for free than the one that had previously become best-seller.

Watch The Video Below:

Share on:


  1. There's still lessons to be learned here.  If your going to create an idea that's designed to be spread, let it spread. If the content wasn't good, Godin would've never gotten the same level of interest.

  2. Cris –
    Speaking from personal experience, that is not the case. Your previous “success” doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality of your current “product”, or whatever it is your selling.
    I’ve worked in a situation almost identical to the one Seth described but only with an artist who was completely unknown. Stuff still progressed almost identically to how the “Idea Virus” did. The important factor was not that we were a “known” group (we weren’t) but rather we had a great product. That’s what people responded to. This is absolutely a business model for younger, unknown groups (if what they’re producing is of high quality).

  3. I agree with Cris. If a “no name” done this it wouldnt work hence the millions of ebooks that is around. I have not seen a no name person write a free ebook and can do that.

  4. Everyones a no-name in the beginning. Attempting to sell what you’re also giving away is a tall order. I know an author that was very successful, had a great following, then signed w/ a publisher to sell the book(s) he had been giving away. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well.
    Free is good, use something free as a foot in the door so to speak, and then sell something that will compliment the freebie, or a trade for an email addy (sign up for my nesletter and you’ll get the demo of our new song”). It may sound corny, but it does work.

  5. Here in France we have a cartoonist I am really fond of. Really smart and funny guy. He’s got a blog where he publishes from day to day a one page cartoon I always love to read (and I wait for it).
    For free.
    One day he published on several books the exact same cartoons. For money.
    The exact same cartoons I can have on his blog, just printed on paper.
    I bought all the books. I lost few of them and I bought them again. For real. I was really surprised of what I’ve done.
    Because I *love* this great quality work.
    Because I want to have the experience for me on paper. On my shelves.
    What Seth Godin says work. But does it works for music, movies ?

  6. The publisher obviously did not believe in the strategy and most likely did things to work against it. The lesson is that the publisher was an unnecessary middleman. The idea is to give away infinite goods to promote the sake of finite goods with as few stakeholders as possible.

Comments are closed.