Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pay Up, Cash In: Do You Want Paid Content?

In my remaining weeks as a college student, I've turned to Pandora, a free custom music station, to fill my many house of paper-writing.

I'd heard a rumor or two about time limits on Pandora. Today, I faced the reality. Pandora wants me to upgrade, but I don't want to pay. Our generation has grown up online, and we've also grown up on "free" -- listening to the top hits, catching up on an episode of "30 Rock," or even designing a basic Web site.

Soon, "free" will be over. But I don't know many of my generation that will want to shell out the dough. One of my roommates decided her addiction to Pandora was too important, so she subscribed for 30 bucks a month.

Already, sites like Pandora and Facebook have broken through the advertising mold to create personalized ads (Pandora seems to think I really need X brand of birth control and the audio ads think I'm in the market for "Indiana's most affordable diamond dealer"). Plus, ads are interactive and self-selected. Facebook's got their "like" option, which allows them to give you better ads, and Hulu lets viewers choose which brand of car they want to see commercials for.

Paid content is the way of the future. Apple is already proving that with the advent of the iPad.

Credit cards - monthly subscriptions - pay-as-you-go? What will be the model for paid content in the near future?


D. L. Webster said...

I find it interesting that people are very quick to spend hundreds of dollars on the medium (computer, ipod, cell phone, etc.) but don't want to spend any money on content.

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