Posted September 16, 2009 9:57 pm by with 8 comments

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Diller 2Remember not so long ago when Rupert Murdoch was espousing the future of paid content? It is unavoidable was the cry but there has been not much said since. That is, until Barry Diller stated his version of the story at the Goldman Communacopia conference as reported by the Business Insider. Diller has never been one to pull punches so his assessment of the situation comes as no surprise.

He says “people will pay for things” on the Web and anyone that’s worried about upsetting the Internet community is a fool.

If you look back just eight years, says Diller, you’d see everyone writing off the music business as dead and gone, since all music was going to be free, illegal downloads. Now there’s iTunes a good business with smart pricing, and billions in revenue.

Diller’s contention is that the pricing model for this movement is the key element for unlocking the flood gates. Once that is figured out then all bets are off. There was no prognostication as to how quickly this could take place but there is a “the sooner the better” situation in the online publishing world. We don’t need Mr. Diller to tell us that one.

Of course, there’s so much more to talk about in the online world and Mr. Diller didn’t disappoint. He continues

  • There’s no business model for Web video, but he points out that when he suggested pre-rolls for Web video years ago, “it was like a cross to a vampire.” Now they’re everywhere.
  • Not a fan of the banner ad. Display ads are just the first stage, there’s a tremendous amount of time to improve.
  • Bing is a “good product” but it’s “real foolishness” to challenge Google head-on.

So Pilgrims, what’s your take on Barry’s bits of wisdom? Will you pay for your content that up until now has been free? I for one am a bit baffled by the parallel drawn between music and published content. While I may listen to a song a hundred times I won’t revisit content the same way. A song at less than a buck is a great value. An article at any price? Not so sure. Then again Barry wouldn’t be the first person to call me a fool!

  • Frank,

    You nailed it when you said “While I may listen to a song a hundred times I won’t revisit content the same way. A song at less than a buck is a great value. An article at any price? Not so sure”…

    Even if all the top media publishers slap some fee on their content, and the AP charges anyone who posts more than 5 words (that one is going to be fun to watch unfold), what’s to stop some entrepreneurial site owner from paying for the content then making it freely available, and thus capturing all the disgruntled readers?

    I’m sure there will be some people willing to pay for some content, yet it’s crazy to think enough will do so to please the old-school publishers who are still living in the Wall Street big growth expectations world. Then what?
    .-= Alan Bleiweiss´s last blog ..Six Rules for Custom eCommerce SEO =-.

  • Paid content sure is unavoidable. With all the hype is social media about paid votes, still its going on but silently.

  • i agree with you adam paid content is unavoidable but the real good content will shake the server in a better way and regularly

  • Wow, now that is the way to get people to go back to reading newspapers. I am amazed it is still free to use email services like hotmail etc.

  • All this will do is give the smaller, lighter, smarter publishers of free ad-supported content an enormous boost in readership. Do they not see the drastic trend in consumers as a result of the economic climate to reduce personal costs, cut frivolous expenses and seek cheap and free alternatives? There has been a marked spike in the amount of people who have cut their cable TV, what could possibly make them think people want to pay to read online articles? Their plan could not be implemented at a worse time in history.
    .-= Terry Howard´s last blog ..Commissioner Infantini Wrong on Parking Meters =-.

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