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Audiences don’t pay for content

Recent murmurings from NYTimes indicate they will be experimenting with a paid content model over the next few years. At the same time, newspapers and other content producers are eagerly awaiting (well, more like panting on their death bed) for the iPad and other tablet devices to rejuvenate their economic fortunes. Can traditional news and journalism fields adapt to the reality of a digital marketplace? Can claims of “people are willing to pay for good content in a sea of abundance” serve as a sufficient basis?

A vast amount of content is free, thanks, in particular, to radio and TV. Even when I pay for content (such as I do on iTunes for downloading a song or a TV program), I’m paying not for the content itself but for the convenience of watching and listening on my terms and my schedule. Which makes this one of the more prescient statements I’ve encountered recently: Audiences don’t pay for content: “advertisers have always paid for the content and the consumer has always paid for the distribution of the content.”

What does that mean to education? To learning and development?


  1. Raj Boora wrote:

    Students pay for the certification… The content and the presentation can and do come in multiple formats even from the same institution.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  2. Emily Starr wrote:

    In my classroom, this model didn’t translate because I avoided exposing my students to advertisements. If we expect educators and companies to spend time and resources producing quality content it should have a monitary value.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink