Would You Like to Pay for Your Surf?


By Ankit Chandra

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A normal professional’s work day today begins in the morning clamoring to get to work. Once there, there is this cooling off period, although varying, but there for sure to begin to look at news, sports, email etc. A lot of websites are ‘favorites’ and browsers like chrome do put them up for your easy retrieval on a new tab.

A basic assumption there is that most of this material is free. Yes there are those ads, but either we don’t care about them, or we just install a browser plugin to remove all the ads from a page. And of course Google makes its billions from all the ad revenue you can think of.

And then recently New York Times announced that it will begin charging for its online content. Wall Street already has a subscription model around its online content, and we’ve been hearing all the stuff about  SaaS business models where everyone charges for everything they sell.

So is this the beginning of the end of free stuff? Is the advertising model kinda running out of steam?

I think this is the next wave of evolution on the internet. This appears to be the common ground that the e-world would have to come to with the traditional world. A world where you get what you pay for. A world where money has to be earned.

I don’t have anything against the advertising model. I think it is great for a certain types of the websites, where the content is pretty much commoditized, and a subset of the internet population comes there.  But if a service is differentiated and there is a demand for it, the company now seems to be in a position to charge premium for it.

A major reason for this is the huge growth in internet users from across the globe, and their increasingly varying needs from the internet. Going forward, Internet will begin to resemble our own real world. where some things are free, and some you gotta pay for.

So I think its time for us to get ready to make that choice. Do you want to pay for your surf or get what you don’t want to pay for? I’d say, brace yourself. The internet is evolving into a new more self aware beast, and there is no more free lunch…

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