Paying For Online Content?

What a weird day. Scientist made a black hole on earth and we’re still here. Maybe some health care? Still no renewal energy plan. Three cheers for a failing economic plan! Finally I get to blog about something I know about and something I get paid for.

So, McKinsey posted a little blog debate about whether you can charge for online content. Interesting stuff. It’s interesting stuff to me because I do charge people all day long for online content. Am I going to be out of a job?

For those of you that don’t want to click my conveniently provided link and read the whole article, here’s a synopsis:

Clay Shirky, an NYU professor, believes that there is too much content on the internet. No one would in their right mind pay for information. It can always be found free online, this is especially true for opinion related content. No one wants to pay to hear what Paul Krugman thinks. Who cares that much unless you’re his wife and his articles are about you. Basically, he’s saying any small amount of revenue you may generate from paying users is negated by the decrease in traffic and thus a decrease in advertising revenue, it’s a trade-off. Touche Touche “>Shirky. Touche old man.

Steven Brill, a constantly failing and constantly succeeding web entrepreneur (a 21st century Donald Trump if you will) counters by stating that there is a happy medium, or there must be. He brings up a couple ways to generate revenue (target audiences, put limits on the amount of free content, etc).

The bottom line is in basic capitalism; money can be generated and there must be a happy medium between advertising and subscription sales. There will always be people to lazy to aggregate or search for information. Of course its free to grow your own food, but veggie markets still exist in farm country. So, if there is a market for pay-content, then there will be sites that will be charging for content. If these sites are successful, then they will get advertisements, which generate revenue. Not just niche, data driven sites either. I believe any site has a price. Let’s wait a few months and see how Pandora is doing in a couple months now that it is charging (beyond a certain number of listening hours) in comparison to Grooveshark.



1 Response to “Paying For Online Content?”

  1. October 15, 2009 at 5:58 am

    The Times is failing, and the Journal is doing OK. I think Rupe’s as big a POS as the next token New York liberal, but dude pegged it on this one.

    Dunce Cap Quarterly

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