First, it is a story on ZDNet, telling a story of media mogul Barry Diller, who believes the internet will be a paid service in 5 years.

To call this man an idiot would be an insult to real idiots, this doesn’t reach the level of cretin. Of course the internet is paid! Only this man, obviously so old that he is in his dotage would say that (check his included picture in the article cited). Everywhere one looks there is money being paid by the users of the internet.

The days of the free Internet will draw to a close over the next five years, according to the chairman and chief executive of IAC, the interactive services company which operates a collection of more than 30 Internet sites which produce $1.5 billion a year in revenue.

The only missing link, according to Barry Diller, who cut his teeth building up over-the-air and cable TV networks: a good billing system, akin to Amazon’s “one-click” button or the Apple iPhone’s slick downloading of paid applications.

“I absolutely believe the Internet is passing from its free days into a paid system. Inevitably, I promise you, it will be paid,” Diller said in a keynote discussion opening up the Advertising 2.0 conference held at his company’s futuristic glass building alongside the Hudson River in Manhattan. “Not every single thing, but anything of value. “

The fact that content and services on the Internet so far have been largely supplied for no charge is “an accident of historical moment that will be corrected,” he said, in an era of “creative chaos” that will span the next three to five years.

We pay for our basic connection (we all do, whether the cost is built in to another cost, as when we speak of college students and the service provided by their campus, or we pay for it up front, as part of a cable or phone bill.)  On top of that, everywhere one looks these days someone is trying to further monetize what gives the appearance of free. Pop-ups for certain words, ads on the side of the page, or at the bottom, or possibly at the topit all brings in money, which is paid for by the ad companies, which we pay for by buying products, which would be substantially less expensive if not for the advertising inducement.

So the internet is not, and never has been, free. Next. (By the way, I will be able to live the entire rest of my life without a single iPhone application, so that settles that. How about you?)

I do believe that internet news sites will begin to try to purge money from our pockets with teaser news stories that will only have their resolution on the ‘paid portion’ of the site. This is not a new concept, and will, for some users and sites, work out.

Next Larry Dignan, the editor-in-chief (who should know better) talks of how consumers may pay for content.

Well, perhaps they may, but I certainly won’t. Many things will have to get better before I ever think about paying. Things like ease of use, glitch-free playback, and a way for me to save ‘my’ paid content so that I don’t have to pay for it again. This means either having no DRM on the feed, or absolutely no problems with the DRM as long as I am the one using the content. (since we know that at this point in time, the last prerequisite is as likely as chickens growing teeth, it probably won’t be me ponying up money for internet broadcasting)

On top of the above conditions, I would never pay for content if my internet connection was metered. I don’t think I am alone in this notion, so good luck on getting the sheeple to do it, because they’ll be the only ones.

It must have been an otherwise slow news day.


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