Independent Publishing, Internet Economy

Still thinking about this review of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Such an in-depth review would be a rare sight in a typical magazine, for many reasons. To make things even more impressive, Mac OS X 10.4 was released only a few days ago. It could take months for the typical magazine to release such a report. And the magazine itself would cost at least $5 and include many irrelevant articles.
As we all know, part of the power of the ‘Net (and the Web specifically, in this case) is to enable different types of publishing. It’s neither new nor surprising. But it’s still impressive.
In this case, Ars Technica uses Google ads as well as paid subscriptions, which carry some advantages (such as a PDF version of an article in 21 parts!). Again, neither new nor surprising. But if it works (and it seems like AT is doing well enough), it’s a better model than the model used by some publications which annoy their readers with constant reminders that they should subscribe or watch ads, or can only access content for a limited amount of time…
On the ‘Net, simple economic models may work. Not that they necessarily will. But what’s needed wasn’t the “e-commerce” model. Just a principle of targeted added-value. Dead simple. Everybody knows it. But some people are still fighting an old war with older weapons.
A similar situation with music. Apparently (should verify this at one point), the whole worldwide recording industry is worth a mere 30 billion USD. Nothing to sneeze at, of course, but incredibly small as compared to so many other industries, including advertising. There was something about ringtones becoming a 3 billion USD industry. It probably didn’t happen but that would have meant 10% of the recording industry. There’s something incredibly absurd about this, especially given the fact that ringtones are probably bought online and can probably use MP3s. In many ways, a ringtone is much less than the equivalent file on a CD yet it may be bought even if the CD is available. Doesn’t this seem strange to anyone else?

Yes, I know exactly how naive this all sounds…


About enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast. View all posts by enkerli

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