Get Rid Of Free Content

from the bye-bye dept

An article from the CEO of ClickZ suggesting that all online publishers need to stop offering free content and suck it up and start charging. He admits that this will piss off a lot of people, but he thinks (probably correctly) that many online publishers would rather have a smaller number of paying customers than a huge number of freeloaders. His idea, though, instead of directly charging everyone is to force users to receive email mailing lists if they want to see content. As he says “there would be no ‘opt’ about it”. I understand the argument he’s making, but essentially he’s saying the only way he can make money is to piss off his users. That doesn’t seem like the most solid business model.

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Comments on “Get Rid Of Free Content”

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Ed says:


Compare/constrast the cluefulness of this typical dot-com CEO and the retail expert interviewed a few stories further down the page. The former doesn’t really have a clue and is grasping for any new business model to make a buck with little more to back it up than wishful thinking, while the latter seems to have a pretty solid understanding of what works that he can use in the present and even extrapolate into a reasonable future. Given this, is the recent fate of many dot-coms that surprising?

Ryan says:

Is this even legal?

Assuming you could actually get all the online publishers together (or even make a list of all the online publishers) and form some sort of association that decided to implement this, wouldn’t that count as anti-competitive? Because in order for this to work, you basically would need a monopoly, otherwise people would just go elsewhere.

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