Journalist Charlie Rose sat down with Wired magazine editor in chief and author of "Free", Chris Anderson, for a live interview on the main stage today at MIXX. Anderson challenged media to find new ways to monetize by offering a mix of free and premium content -- a union he describes as "freemium." Anderson used the example of Disney's child-based virtual world Club Penguin -- about 80% of the site is free, but eventually, he said, young users will ask their parents for a credit card and say, "I want to buy a pet for my penguin."
The trick for media -- including old-line media -- is to figure out an effective and profitable way to balance free offerings with paid content. Advertising of course has a role to play in a "freemium" world. Anderson suggested that advertising would be "small-to-small" in this new world: The challenge for big marketers is to figure out how to scale their efforts for small online communities based on shared areas of interest.