Jul 25, 2009

The capitalists are coming

So-called paywalls are coming to the Internet as surely as George Hearst came to Deadwood. We'll look back on this time of bickering between the AP and bloggers and the Jarvises and traditional journalists with a mix of nostalgia and regret once the big-monied interests move in, buy up the property and build their grand gates and fences. They're just waiting for the digital frontier to get settled before they move in to stake their claim.

Or, as Barry Diller said:
...Web users will have to pay for what they watch and use, joining the refrain of media moguls who say an era of free Internet content is ending.

The media and technology executive, whose company runs the Ask.com search engine and the Match.com dating service, said it’s “mythology” to view the Internet as a system of free communications.

“It is not free, and is not going to be,” Diller said today at the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Pasadena, California.


Anonymous said...

Gary, your comments baffle me. Having people pay for what they use is the only way journalists like you will ever get paid in the future. Do you think the dollars needed to pay for infrastructure just materializes? I don't get it?

Gary Scott said...

I'm not opposed to paywalls. And even if I were, it wouldn't really matter - which is kind of the point: the free Internet we now enjoy as readers, the cuts to newsrooms, the grave dancing linkerati are going to slowly disappear as the corporations come in to remake the place.

Which is why I've always argued that there needs to be some transaction (paywalls are just one option) that gives value to news content.