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Zero to One

by M.G. Siegler


A Farewell to Free Journalism

Megan McArdle:

And that will be a sad thing, because the old open Internet was a marvelous gift to readers, a vast cornucopia of great writing upon which we’ve been gorging for the past two decades. But there’s a limit to how long one can keep handing out gifts without some reciprocity. At the end of the day, however much information wants to be free, writers still want to get paid.

And it's not just want, they need to get paid. It was a nice dream to think that online advertising could pay for all of this, but that was never going to last. Because online advertising, by and large (not search ads, mind you - which make total sense -- but display ads alongside content), sucks

I'm rooting for (and in a way, betting on) a rebound to paid, just as we're seeing in music. But it will be more complicated for a number of reasons... 

All that said, still a little weird that this is coming from Bloomberg -- which makes plenty of money doing what it does beyond journalism. That's not to say the journalism should be a loss-leader, but, well, their ask is expensive!


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