The paradox of sharing: the more you give it away, the more they’ll pay

Craig Mod’s subcompact publishing manifesto is worth reading in full but I’ve picked out the following because it goes to the heart of a paradox of online publishing which I suspect is true but have yet to see any data to support it:

Users are much more likely to share a link to the full-text of an article than a truncated version. Increased sharing means more eyeballs, and more eyeballs — if conversion rates remain static — means more downloads and subscriptions.

In other words, the more you give it away the better the chance you have of making money. Counter-intuitive? Certainly. Nonsensical? I’m not so sure.

(For some more things worth reading this week take a look at the Digital half dozen over on Press Gazette.)

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