"What matters in the 21st-century economy
If the new scarcity in the age of the Internet is engagement, then it makes sense that the companies who are desperately trying to gather information about you, hook you in, and make you dependent and/or loyal (you know who they are) are the ones who are doing precisely the sane thing in the new environment.
In other words, Amazon has figured this out already, and are succeeding because of it (or at least making very large bets on it). Amazon, I believe, does not care about the price of a book. They do not care, beyond finding the price that maximizes your engagement with them — it may be zero, or it may be that a recognizable pricepoint does a better job in certain circumstances.
Brian O’Leary suggested that Amazon’s been doing nothing but price-testing all along. But we need to understand that this isn’t price testing in pursuit of the revenue-maximizing potential of book sales. Rather it is about the engagement-maximizing potential of a wide variety of touchpoints.
Book sales were the vanguard, but think about the range of things Amazon offers: not just books and other media (for sale and to lend), but electronics, clothing, used and consignment items, self-publishing and marketing services, server and computing capacity, and a even a decent social network arranged around reviews."