Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unfortunate reality, pay models on the web

I've had something of a dismal time recognizing that I've stumbled across the unfortunate pay realities of our world wide web:

1. Pay upfront--the preferred model when you don't trust the customer, which seems to only work best for porn. There is so much crap on the web that people mostly refuse to pay web only things upfront.

2. Don't pay at all, rely on advertising--the alternate model since people in general refuse to pay upfront. But web behavior is not passive like television watching behavior. People routinely ignore ads, so the people who put up ads, don't pay for the full cost of content. But even in television ad behavior is changing as technology in the form of DVR's give people the ability to zip past ads.

3. Pay after--what I call Pay Back Value, which is the model used by high end restaurants which allow people to eat first, then pay. Problem is, no one is offering it on the web to my knowledge, but I did just come up with it a couple of weeks ago!

You may think there are other pay options but my analysis is there are none, except if you wish, completely free, like this blog, where there is no payment at all, and no payment option.

The advertising model may have been something of a fluke anyway, as it is dying in its home territories as people go from being like zombies passively absorbing content to actively choosing content, which is devastating business models across the board albeit some slower than others.

My analysis is that if the news and entertainment world does not figure out how to do option 3. it will slowly starve to death, imploding upon itself--industry by industry.

First up is the newspaper industry, but television and radio will follow.

Industry behemoths are in denial though, and the public doesn't understand what it will lose until it's gone, so we may watch some of these industries die before they accept the inevitable.

Answers are not enough. People have to choose to accept them, as failure is an option.
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