Flat or monthly fixed pricing is one way of pricing "as if free." Fees are paid, but there is no meter running. This tactic can be abused by the company (a la cable TV) or can be abused by the consumer (a la AOL). A flat fee is one type of subscription. Subscriptions are well-honed tools used by the soft world of magazines and theater, among others. Could subscriptions really apply to old order physical products, like say, food? The idea of subscribing to food is not so outlandish. Forty years ago subscriptions to milk were quite common. There were also subscriptions to bread and beer and other staples. Subscriptions tend to emphasize and charge for intangible values: regularity, reliability, first to be served, and authenticity, and work well in the arena of "as if free."