Imagine if all you ever ate was free food that you found floating by in a fast moving river? In this dystopia, you don’t have time to assess what you’re eating—if it looks like food you eat it without question or hesitation.
Of course, only a desperate or crazy person would live this way. But when it comes to our media diet and what we feed our minds, existing on digital flotsam is just fine.
Danny Crichton, writing for TechCrunch is not impressed with legions of media freeloaders.
It is the deep irony of our times that readers, often deeply educated, will shell out $30 for a meal in New York or San Francisco while paying thousands in rent, only to avoid paying a few bucks a month for a publication, let alone ten. The monthly price for the New York Times is the price of a single cocktail these days in Manhattan.
The bulk of my friends don’t pay for subscriptions. The bulk of the internet doesn’t pay for subscriptions. People will gladly spend hours a day reading brainjunk, to avoid even the slightest expense that might improve the quality of what they are reading. And so, even storied publications are going to fall by the wayside so we can read about “7 Tips on How To Improve Media.”
Reader-supported digital media is an obvious path for publishers and readers alike. If you like what you get from a publication, give back. The exchange is as natural as a handshake. Sadly, it’s also as rare as a smile from a stranger on a rainy day.
Adpulp removed all advertising and put a reader-supported model in place in 2017 (with the help of Inkl), but our reader support has been thin, to say the least. Yet, we keep the paywall or tipping function in place on a per article basis because change does not come fast, and it’s absolutely critical for publications to place a monetary value on their work, whether it ends up being paid for by readers or not.
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