U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Internet
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-03-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,591,781 times
Reputation: 1645

Advertisements

Barry Diller: “I absolutely believe the Internet is passing from its free days into a paid system. Inevitably, I promise you, it will be paid,”
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-03-2009, 11:22 PM
 
28,751 posts, read 44,229,977 times
Reputation: 37768
No brainer. There is money to be made. Someone wants it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-07-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,174,184 times
Reputation: 3957
A lot depends on how you define "the internet".

I suspect there will always be a certain number of free access points available, at least for basic network access:

Free-net - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2009, 09:19 AM
 
1,095 posts, read 3,801,480 times
Reputation: 662
The article wasn't talking about internet access, which has never been truly free. (Yes, I know libraries provide free access, but they pay for it with tax dollars, as do the communities who still run the free nets you linked to). The article was about people paying for internet CONTENT, not bandwidth. And I think he's right, to some degree.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,174,184 times
Reputation: 3957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
The article wasn't talking about internet access, which has never been truly free. (Yes, I know libraries provide free access, but they pay for it with tax dollars, as do the communities who still run the free nets you linked to). The article was about people paying for internet CONTENT, not bandwidth. And I think he's right, to some degree.
Yes, but the same thing has been said about internet content since the mid-1990's, and most attempts to isolate content behind pay-to-access walls have ended up not doing so well.

I'll believe it when I see it actually work. There are too many people like myself who are annoyed at having to pay so much for basic access already ... adding content fees on top of that will just result in my changing to a different content provider ... or doing without that content completely.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2009, 12:26 PM
 
1,095 posts, read 3,801,480 times
Reputation: 662
I'll believe it when I see it too, (although to be fair, in the mid-90s many people were paying for content through Compuserve and AOL). Undoubtedly, some of the "content" that will be more widely available in the future is the same stuff that we're now paying for through cable or satellite TV providers. If I'm willing to pay 70 bucks a month just to watch television, one would think I would be willing to pay something to see shows streamed on the internet, assuming the quality is the same. And some people are already willing to pay for enhanced access to some sites, such as the Wall Street Journal.

But what may eventually spell the end of the almost-completely-free internet is the cost of bandwidth as more and more people go online, particularly if the internet becomes the preferred method of consuming movies and other videos. Youtube is already losing half a billion dollars per year - how much longer can it go before it has to either start charging people to see videos or scale back its service? And the same holds true for a number of other popular websites that aren't making any money, such as Facebook and Twitter.

I don't think that changing to a pay for play system is going to help newspapers, apart from several high profile ones like the NY Times. Newspapers historically made money from selling ads, not from charging for the paper. Now that the ad revenue has permanently decreased thanks to craigslist and other free services, even relatively major newspapers can't afford the staff to produce the quality content that Diller seems to think people would be willing to pay for.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,174,184 times
Reputation: 3957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
I'll believe it when I see it too, (although to be fair, in the mid-90s many people were paying for content through Compuserve and AOL).
Yes, but most of the content on those online services (as well on on Delphi, GEnie, Prodigy, etc.) was found in the forums, the software libraries, and the other proprietary resources within those private systems.

Not much else around to compete except large BBSes like Exec-PC, Channel 1, and friends, which were also pay-to-play for the most part aside from the upload/download ratios some BBSes offered, and the internet wasn't really a large phenomenon outside of certain educational/corporate/gov't circles until an easy GUI was available in the form of Mosaic and the Netscape beta in what, 1994?

I never did CI$, but I was a charter member of AOL using its initial PC/GEOS "DOS" client, and I remember its early days well, at least in the areas I ran around in (mostly Geoworks, DOS, and OS/2 techie forums). Delphi was a better deal in some ways ($20 for 20 hours/month instead of $6/hour), but it ran on VAXen running a fairly vanilla VMS interface and didn't have a pretty GUI or a fancy text front-end like GEnie had with Aladdin and CI$ had with various other tools like TapCIS, CIM and WinCIM, etc.. But such services were really the only game. Free alternatives weren't common at all outside of the local BBS scene, and those were limited to geeks like me and the occasional brave normal person.

Quote:
Undoubtedly, some of the "content" that will be more widely available in the future is the same stuff that we're now paying for through cable or satellite TV providers. If I'm willing to pay 70 bucks a month just to watch television, one would think I would be willing to pay something to see shows streamed on the internet, assuming the quality is the same. And some people are already willing to pay for enhanced access to some sites, such as the Wall Street Journal.
It's true that some specialized sites will be probably always able to create and maintain a for-pay presence. Some content or collections of content provide real value. But those are specific exceptions, not a general trend, IMO.

Even heavyweight reference sites like Britannica aren't doing well online and are being blown away in many respects by Wikipedia, and I don't see that changing. Wikis are powerful tools even with their inherent disadvantages, and much of that advantage is due to high levels of participation. Free is one way to maximize that. :-)

Proprietary discussion forums were superseded first by USENET newsgroups and them by various web forums. C-D is a not-bad example.

The social aspects of the online services discussed above are now being replaced with free services like Facebook and LinkedIn (and MySpace, GeoCities, and a bunch of others before that).

Closed file sources like CI$, AOL, BBSes, etc., have been replaced by web sites, bitTorrent and its ilk, etc.

Newspapers for the most part have failed to handle the net correctly at all (as you say, it has typically been advertisements that have driven that particular industry, not content, and free sites like Craigslist are killing them), and I'm not sure that they have a use anymore. I read local news sites online, sure, but much of its content is parroted national feeds or local news that is roughly duplicated on TV news sites, etc.

Even streaming television seems to be heading the way of free content ... with YouTube and Hulu, etc., and I personally think the new combined Comcast and Time Warner Video Everywhere initiative is doomed to failure, either in the market or because of potential antitrust concerns.

Quote:
But what may eventually spell the end of the almost-completely-free internet is the cost of bandwidth as more and more people go online, particularly if the internet becomes the preferred method of consuming movies and other videos. Youtube is already losing half a billion dollars per year - how much longer can it go before it has to either start charging people to see videos or scale back its service? And the same holds true for a number of other popular websites that aren't making any money, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Why would I want to view video on a small screen via the internet when I can already watch it on a large screen?

I mean, I sometimes have the option now anyway (I use DVArchive to watch recorded ReplayTV shows via a patched VLC, and my wife sometimes uses Hulu and friends), but between dualing DVRs, on-demand video, and my slowly growing DVD collection, I already have more video available to me at any given time than I can easily consume. And that's just on the television.

I admit I really haven't thought this through in any detail ... this is sort of a stream-of-consciousness response. But I really don't see an increase in pay services happening unless something occurs which is able to somehow partition the general internet in some way. My response: good luck with that, too... Even if John Q Public finds himself herded into a corner, I don't see that happening to me.

Last edited by rcsteiner; 07-08-2009 at 02:30 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-08-2009, 03:25 PM
 
1,095 posts, read 3,801,480 times
Reputation: 662
"Why would I want to view video on a small screen via the internet when I can already watch it on a large screen?"

Because you're paying out the wazoo (not you necessarily, but people in general) to watch television, and the internet could give you more options and flexibility. Plus, you can easily hook up a computer to your tv screen anyway, so quality wouldn't necessarily suffer too much. I don't own a dvr - if I miss Lost when it airs I watch it streaming the next day, or I might download an HD-quality torrent, which looks just fine when I plug my laptop into the plasma. I'm paying $80 a month for DirectTV, and I guarantee if I didn't have an early termination penalty I could spend less per month while legally watching all the movies and tv shows I currently see just using a regular antenna and internet downloads. Assuming computer hardware continues to improve, there's no reason someone couldn't get all their movie and video content - including sports broadcasts and other 'live' events - from the internet instead of a proprietary cable or satellite box. Bandwidth would be the problem there.

As I see it, there's no end in sight for a great portion of the "free" internet. Ad-supported sites will exist, along with a great number of blogs, etc. I could see cable companies/ISPs making a move to transfer their services to the internet, though, and possibly attempting to bundle other services along with it for an additional fee. For example, you might pay a monthly fee for bandwidth, an additional fee for movie and TV downloads, which could be broken down by site, just as you pay extra for a sports package or a movie package on your cable bill. And then there's no reason major print media outlets couldn't try to sell their product the same way. What if you paid a few bucks a month for "enhanced" access to several top newspapers and web magazines, with little or no ads for faster browsing and some other features that would add value? I know, it's the "walled garden" all over again, but at some point these websites have to stop losing money, whether by going out of business or charging for the service.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Internet

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:47 PM.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top