Will it work? Latest statistics show that ad spend in the US is $2 billion a year. There are 87 million connected people in the US and Canada, meaning that adspend per person is about $24 a year.
Computers apparently sell in the US at about $800; an internet connection costs under $20.00 a month. Assume a two-year life on the machine and the cost per person is about $50.00 per month or $600 a year.
Not many companies would want to give away $600 a year in the hope of getting $24 back. Free-PC evidently believes it can at least get advertising to cover its costs.
This is being called attention economics. You do anything you can to get attention, even monetise it by giving away free stuff which costs you money.
—Kevin Davie, "Bewitching economics," Africa News, February 16, 1999
—R. U. Sirius with St. Jude, "The Medium is the Message and the Message is Voyeurism," Wired, February 1, 1994
The appropriate response to attention economics is up to the beholder. Is the attention society one we want to live in?
—Esther Dyson, “The attention society,“ Release 1.0, March 26, 1992
information fatigue syndrome