Diller States That Paid Content Is On The Way

    September 17, 2009

Remember not so long ago when Rupert Murdoch was espousing the future of paid content? It is unavoidable was the cry but there has been not much said since. That is, until Barry Diller stated his version of the story at the Goldman Communacopia conference as reported by the Business Insider. Diller has never been one to pull punches so his assessment of the situation comes as no surprise.

He says “people will pay for things” on the Web and anyone that’s worried about upsetting the Internet community is a fool.

If you look back just eight years, says Diller, you’d see everyone writing off the music business as dead and gone, since all music was going to be free, illegal downloads. Now there’s iTunes a good business with smart pricing, and billions in revenue.

Diller’s contention is that the pricing model for this movement is the key element for unlocking the flood gates. Once that is figured out then all bets are off. There was no prognostication as to how quickly this could take place but there is a “the sooner the better” situation in the online publishing world. We don’t need Mr. Diller to tell us that one.

Of course, there’s so much more to talk about in the online world and Mr. Diller didn’t disappoint. He continues

  • There’s no business model for Web video, but he points out that when he suggested pre-rolls for Web video years ago, “it was like a cross to a vampire.” Now they’re everywhere.
  • Not a fan of the banner ad. Display ads are just the first stage, there’s a tremendous amount of time to improve.
  • Bing is a “good product” but it’s “real foolishness” to challenge Google head-on.

So Pilgrims, what’s your take on Barry’s bits of wisdom? Will you pay for your content that up until now has been free? I for one am a bit baffled by the parallel drawn between music and published content. While I may listen to a song a hundred times I won’t revisit content the same way. A song at less than a buck is a great value. An article at any price? Not so sure. Then again Barry wouldn’t be the first person to call me a fool!