Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Web Publishers Eye Your Wallet

Filed under
Web

Pat Kenealy, International Data Group's kinetic chief executive officer, has a particular fondness for analogies. To him, "Google is like a newsstand on the internet," "bloggers are like pamphleteers" and business journalism is "really just another name for information arbitrage."

Because IDG publishes 300 tech magazines, newspapers and websites -- everything from Computerworld to InfoWorld to NetworkWorld to PC World -- Kenealy has a unique vantage point from which to make sense of online media.

So when he thinks of the future, what analogy comes to mind?

Television.

"In 1955, TV was free," Kenealy said, "and two generations later most people pay for it. There was a built-in reluctance to pay for TV until it got so much better than broadcast. That's what I think will happen with the internet."

Although there is far too much synonymous content on the web for every publisher to charge for news, if Kenealy is right, you will see what has been called "the Balkanization of online media" -- a digital world where many publishers will hide their products behind gates, far from search-engine crawlers.

Just like we got used to paying extra for cable to receive better reception in urban areas, movies on demand and far more choices and channels -- in my case, don't even think of asking me to go without HBO -- Kenealy believes we will get used to paying for internet content. After all, to draw another analogy, we got used to paying $1.50 or so at some ATMs -- and that's to withdraw our own money.

Imagine a world where you could have ready access to thousands of different types of content and purchase anything you like on the spot. Although it sounds like that old Qwest TV ad for broadband, in which a clerk at a seedy hotel promises a traveler that in his room he will have access to "every movie ever made, in every language, any time, day or night," Kenealy sees it as more akin to a newsstand.

"All those magazines are there for the browsing," he said. "You leaf through a magazine you like, you buy it for $6. The newsstand gets $2; the magazine publisher gets the rest. And if you really like it, you subscribe."

The only thing slowing down the move away from free content is the sorry state of micro-transactional software. Once all the bugs are worked out, the free internet gateway in which publications generate revenue from ads will slowly morph into another, more-lucrative business model: gated content.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

CentOS 7 KDE: not for home users

Whom can I recommend CentOS to? Probably to people I mentioned in the very beginning of this article: students who want to dedicate their life to system administration. You need to learn how to search for the answers, how to do things manually. That is your profession. That is your bread. CentOS gives you a brilliant opportunity to learn all of that along with learning the system itself. But CentOS is not for home users who want things done quickly and easily, I'm afraid. Read more

System76 Is Giving Away a Lemur Laptop Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

System76, a US-based hardware company known for building powerful computers with the popular Ubuntu Linux preloaded, has announced earlier that they are giving away one of their superb Lemur laptops during the Denver Mini Maker Faire event. Read more

You Can Finally Buy Official Ubuntu Stickers for Your Laptop & Desktop Computers

After a long wait, the Unixstickers.com website is proud to announce today, May 24, 2016, that they can finally offer stickers with the Ubuntu logo, thanks to a partnership with Canonical. Read more

Solus OS

For the seasoned users among you, chances are you may have previously heard about the development of the Solus operating system – for both good and bad reasons. For those less aware of the behind-the-scenes antics, you might want to check out our full interview with its founder, Ikey Doherty, back in LU&D 162. Following on from a successful launch, the project looks to offer a stable, and alternative, take on the more common GNOME-based distributions. Without doubt, Solus’ most distinguishing feature is its unique graphical interface: Budgie. The Budgie desktop has been written from the ground up, enabling easy integration into other distros and is essentially an open source project in its own right. Read more