Memo to Diller: The Internet Is Not Free
There was an article posted by Jon Fine of Businessweek -- titled "Barry Diller And I Don't Agree About Charging For Online Content" -- that got me all riled up. I am so very sick of this false discussion.
Can we just start at the beginning please?
The Internet is not free. Depending upon your own special addiction, you pay a hefty fee for entrance alone to the World Wide Web. I pay -- between all of my devices -- at least $300.00 each month. My guess is that if I truly added it all up I would be shocked, and that bill would probably be much higher. I choose sanity though, and don't really want to know how much this free information is costing me. I don't want to do the math.
So how, exactly, do you define that as free?
Oh, so you mean that after I pay at the gate for entrance into the park, you want me to buy tickets for each individual ride. Disney operated that way in years past … and they ain't going back.
If we, as publishers, are to make a fair profit online, it will be as a result of some sort of consortium deal just like cable TV. Do we pay micro-payments to watch the shows we watch after paying the cable fee?
Hell no. We pay up front for anything we feel like watching at any given time. That is the simple answer.
So I am asking Jon Fine, who wrote this article, to send this note to Barry Diller and get it done already. The rest of the discussion is just ridiculous. If we don't get it up front, we aren't likely to get it at all.