Arnold Kling

The Price is Right

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Consumers do not want or expect to pay for Internet content, according to this survey by Jupiter Media Metrix.

When the respondents were asked what they would be willing to pay for if free content vanished, 63 percent replied "nothing." No category -- not music, not news, not games, not sports, not education -- drew more than single-digit responses from those willing to spend.

Another illustration of the problem that I call, "Information wants to be free, but people need to get paid." I think that we have yet to see the most promising revenue models emerge. For alternative models, see Kevin Kelly or my essay, The Club Vs. the Silo.

Discussion Question. If you had to pay your Internet Service Provider a separate fee for connectivity (email, instant messenger) and a separate fee for content (Web access), would you stop paying for content?

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