It had to happen.
We have pretty much dumped many of our magazine and newspaper subscriptions in favor of garnering our news and entertainment via the wonderful World Wide Web.
Of course we did…it was FREE, and aren’t we all really into the whole free thing?
But was free may be the key concept nowadays.
If you have kept even a sideways glance towards the online news and entertainment biz, especially those that used to make a profit from paid subscriptions from paper versions, you know that they are suffering financially.
And they have been less than happy with our viewing habits, especially those as facilitated by the global gleaner of the grapevine, Google.
They, meaning Rupert Murdoch, of the evil empire, the colossal News Corp.
Well, Dr. Evil may be getting his way with news of the so-called “First Click Free,” which may lead to the end of unlimited free information on the web, as reported at The Huffington Post.
“In a move that could help improve relations between Google Inc. and the media industry, the Internet search company is offering publishers a way to build more solid "pay walls" around their online stories while still appearing in search results.”
Of course, Google is not asleep at the wheel, as can be read in yet another story I found on the internet by way of a Google search, whereas Google proclaims,
“we do not steal content from newspapers.”
Is the issue limited to just the news you might happen to be looking for over the web?
Well, the short answer is “nope.”
You, like myself and millions of others, have gone to the internet to view TV shows that you missed viewing while it was shown on the television—assuming you are somewhere near a TV…or even still own one.
Millions, as in 40 million a month, go to Hulu.com to watch shows, like the latest Daily Show or Colbert Report.
In October, Hulu hit one billion minutes of viewed television and video clips. That’s billion with a “B.” And every minute has been for free.
But, this viewing method is also under attack by people who are tired of your—I mean, our—freeloading manners, by…yes, you guessed it Rupert Murdoch and the News Corp, among others.
How do I know all this?
Yup, another Google search and another linked news story, in this case, to the New York Times.
“With millions now watching TV on their computers, can the media companies put the Hulu genie back in the bottle?
The scramble by TV companies to preserve its ad model while giving consumers choice — what Comcast’s chief executive called in interviews Thursday “anytime, anywhere media” — mirrors the efforts of newspapers, magazines and radio companies to wring more money from digital media. But all are facing some entrenched habits.
“If you disrupt the consumer experience, you’re in trouble,” warns Mike Kelley, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.”
Is there any good news out there in the world for formally free forms of enlightenment from our beloved WWW?
Hmmm. Well, I got one of an auditory nature.
I enjoy many hours a day of the most amazing, commercial-free music over the internet.
Radio Paradise is beyond description as to musical genre due to its broad, eclectic nature. World music is in the ballpark, but too limited of a characterization. You can listen to it on your computer and even over your iPhone or Blackberry. I happen to listen to it most of the time over a sound bridge, which connects my internet stream to my stereo system.
How does Radio Paradise exist? By voluntary NON-tax deductable contributions from listeners like me. They gratefully accept how little or how much you can afford and wish to donate to the cause. Note of caution: the “sub-genre” they play shifts fluidly from one song-set to another, so don’t judge it based on only a couple of songs. Anyway – the free plug is over. Listen and decide for yourself.
Back to our viewing habits, that same New York Times piece went on to conclude that,
“On-demand viewing is about to get much more complicated.”
I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue against that point. For people who spend much time away from home, whether on business, a vacation, or as a permanent vagabond, this issue will affect how we stay connected and informed to the world around us.
In other words, you will probably get plenty of use out of your PayPal account.
But, maybe not to the level attributed to this by Stephen Burke, the CEO of Comcast , who recently called
“streaming the biggest social movement I’ve ever seen.”
Really, Mr. Burke? Watching stuff for free on our computers is the biggest social movement, ever?
More than Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin becoming national icons?
I think not.