I’ve heard this term before, but that’s about it, I’ve never actually known what it meant. Combined with an idea I discussed earlier this semester, “Content is not king”, the Gift Economy seemed to fit right into the Internet as a huge network. Where content and information is perfectly accessible and totally free it’s the services that are much more valuable; since content moves so freely it’s hard to demand money for it.
Music, movies and TV shows are a prime example. Online most are available for free through piracy or simply Peer to Peer sharing with others you might know, however this can be troublesome and requires some knowhow to be able to access the content easily. Take services like Netflix, Spotify and the like and you’ve got reliable, streamlined access to the content that requires a very basic knowledge of navigating web pages and a subscription fee. These kind of services, being legal, generally have more reliable financial and technological support too which makes them very enticing for the majority of users.
I think my main take away from the discussion of the Gift Economy was the reinforcing that services are the priority nowadays.