FREE and Left Right Left Right Left

I just finished the book FREE by Chris Anderson of Wired. I also attended* the Coldplay concert in Toronto Thursday night.

It should come to no surprise to anyone who has read Chris’ s latest book that FREE and the Coldplay concert are related. If you are under 30 years old you have probably participated in a decade old “shift” of the music recording industry (not just a shift in the music industry).

Quick Analysis:

As a result of consumers downloading and sharing their music digitally, recording studios have seen a steady, if not rapid, decline in their sales. As a result, bands and musicians have sought out varying ways of 1.) recouping “lost” revenues, and 2.) selling to their fans (who became such through digital file-sharing).

Now we have bands such as Coldplay marching through 18+ months of touring. In fact, Thursday night’s concert was their third in Toronto since the release of their latest album (They last visited exactly one year ago). But what does this have to do with free and FREE? Was their concert free? No.

After the concert, each attendee was given a free cd (titled: Left Right Left Right Left) with 9 selected songs from the Coldplay library. Don’t worry. If you didn’t attend you can still download the album from their website. Free of course.

FREE, the boook:

Which brings me to the book, FREE. To understand more of the reasonings and thought process of Coldplay’s free music give away, I suggest you read (you’ll have to buy or borrow it) or listen (FREE is free on iTunes) to FREE. More than understanding digital downloading in the music industry, the book is a great study on the future of business. Can you imagine making money by giving away your product(s) for free? Do you understand why Google is the world’s largest company and you’ve never purchased anything from them?

FREE will open your eyes to the possibilities that exist from giving it all away.

Have you read FREE? What are your thoughts? Have you read any interesting books on business? What do you recommend?

(photo courtesy of