Internet Micro-Payments Are not the future of Paid Online Content


Barry Diller has made billions of dollars on the internet. So when he said that Internet content would be “paid” content within five years I agreed. But then I disagreed.

First off, I have to state that I’m damn impressed by the amount of money that Mr.  Diller generates each and every minute on the internet (his firm, IAC, uses around 30 sites to generate over $1. 5Billion a year).  소액결제 현금화 With that type of street cred, it’s hard to argue with him. And yet, I can’t help but disagree with his recent statements in a BusinessWeek interview that “everything of any value” on the internet would be fee-based within 5 years.

I do not believe that there is that much “valuable” content on the internet today (as a % of total content). Sure, there is a tremendous amount of “interesting” content out there (ranging from news to blogs to information services), but not much of it is really “can’t live without” stuff – it lacks the research or analytical content/commentary to add value. A CNN (or any) news feed is of interest, but “analysis” of the news – what it really means to me, my family or my business – is of real value (note that some blogs and Wiki’s are great examples of how user interaction/collaboration can circumvent the paid model to deliver value).

I think that much of the really valuable content on the internet is already being paid for (interestingly, Barry’s $1. 5B is not a particularly good example, and I don’t see consumers ever paying to use Ask. com as it exists today). Look at sites like the Wall Street Journal ($1. 99/month), or the litany of valuable research and analytical/commentary sites that have successfully migrated their subscribers from “hardcopy” business models to “Internet subscription” business models. Even “interesting” information often comes with a price (in the form of advertisements). Note that there will always be some type of subsidized content at a reduced cost (or ad-based) – look at the Fox News CableTV/Internet blend for a good example there.

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