So says this article today on The Guardian. (The writer must have found a special version of Amazon's Kindle, btw, as he talks about its wifi capabilities... I'm pretty sure the only model that currently exists uses cellular technology, not wifi.)
The article goes on to talk about how the real money is in distribution, not content. He makes it sound like the telecoms and other providers are the place to be and will find themselves in a much more lucrative spot than the content providers. While there are certainly plenty of free content providers out there, and that number will continue to grow, I tend to think the telecoms and other broadband providers are in more of a commodity business than the typical content creator. At the very least I think it's safe to say there's likely to be more brand loyalty for a particular author than a cell phone provider, for example.
To be fair, taken as a whole, "free content" is one of my biggest and most challenging competitors. I'd like to think the availability of free content forces me to come up with new and better ways to distinguish our products from the free alternatives which are often deemed "good enough." Despite this challenge, I'd rather work on building memorable content and brands than fight to earn someone's broadband loyalties. Then again, I know there's money in those pipes...I generally curse and scream every time I get my family's cable and cell phone bills!