sábado, junio 13, 2009

"En cinco años, Internet será de pago"

El 10 de junio, Barry Diller, CEO de IAC, conversa con el columnista Jon Fine, de BusinessWeek, acerca del futuro de Internet, afirmando que "absolutamente" se convertirá en un sistema de pago. La conversación fue ampliamente difundida y comentada, como una búsqueda simple en Google lo puede comprobar. Algunas opiniones favorables, y nubes de argumentaciones en contra. Evidentemente, el modelo de negocios está puesto sobre la mesa, y cada uno deberá (o deberemos) defender un punto de vista.
Caroline McCarthy en Cnet resume las palabras de Diller:
While much of the "new IAC" relies on advertising revenue, Diller declared at the conference that strictly relying on advertising as a business model is not sustainable. "I absolutely believe that the Internet is passing from its free phase into a paid system," he predicted (though, keep in mind, Diller did say he doesn't like to predict). "Inevitably, I promise you, it will be paid. Not every single thing, but everything of any value. Again, take commodity away from it."

The wealth of free content on the Internet was a matter of short-sightedness, Diller explained. In his opinion, it came out of the fear of piracy.

"People were so frightened of not being dinosaurs, and baring their heads, and not having what happened to the music industry happen to them, they just slapped everything up on the Internet for free," he said. "That's an accidental historical moment that will absolutely be corrected."

Diller doesn't believe that the poor economy will make it more difficult to get people to pay for things online. One of his subscription-based businesses, dating site Match.com, is doing very well right now: "It would not shock any of you that I think that of the things that, actually, people will do when enduring a storm, financial disaster, or otherwise, is want to hook up in one way or another with other people," Diller said.

Why is he such a believer in the triumph of paid content? Look at the iPhone, Diller told the audience, and the wild success of its App Store.

"The iPhone is a great example of what's going to happen," he pointed out. ""One of the greatest barriers to buying things is the steps that it takes, and we all know the difference when you go to Amazon and you just push your little thing and it's bought, paid for, delivered, billed, et cetera., instantly, and how much that has enabled or how much that has made the difference between just browsing and buying...that little thing, that in fact you scroll it, you do it, it comes, everything else is taken care of, is the answer to what's going to happen on the Internet when, in fact, we get the applicability of that broadly."

He acknowledged that media outlets' readership rates may drop, but that their profits will stabilize once again.

En ZDNet, Tom Steinert-Threlkeld comenta también las palabras de Diller, puntualizando cómo éste ve los mecanismos de pago:

So far, news, content and service suppliers were “afraid of not being dinosaurs and slapped everything up on the Internet for free,’’ he said, in an interchange with BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine.

But, that will be change. The New York Times, for instance, likely will have to go beyond the “pay wall” in order to cover the cost of its worldwide reporting corps, even if it means having 1, 2 or 3 million paid subscribers, instead of 20 million unique visitors a month. And people will pay – if it is quality they’re buying.

“People have paid for content,’’ he said. “They always have.”

IAC’s Match.com, a dating service, already charges subscription fees. IAC also operates Ask.com, the search service, UrbanSpoon, one of those iPhone apps, Citysearch, a local information service, and The Daily Beast, a content site headed by former New Yorker editor Tina Brown.

Inevitably, Diller said, the “base model” of the Internet will be paid, at the end of the chaos. The forms will include not just subscriptions and individual one-time purchases, but rapid-fire micropayments and other mechanisms.

The early examples: Amazon’s “one-click” system, where a customer enters billing address and credit card information in advance. Then, a button on the screen for a shopping cart is pressed once and the purchase or purchases associated with that cart are confirmed, billed, paid for and delivered.

Similarly, with the App Store for Apple’s iPhone handheld computing and communication devices, “the real trick and key is the billing system and the way of doing it is absolutely a blink,’’ he said.

The right billing system, broadly applied, would remove “one of the greatest bars of buying anything” which “is the steps it takes” to complete a purchase.

The entire Internet, in effect, would become an app – or content – store.

“That little thing – that in fact that you scroll it, you do it, it comes, everything else is taken care of, is the answer to what’s going to happen on the Internet, when in fact, you get the applicability of that broadly across the Internet,” Diller said. “It’s absolutely going to happen.”

And given the movement of ad and subscription revenue to the Internet, “people who manufacture that content will have no alternative,” he said.

The biggest disruptor? When broadband pipes to the Internet are connected to large screens in living rooms around the world and users are interacting with its increasingly video-based content with a remote control.

At that point, television, radio and prior media founded on scarcity, like limited spectrum whose use is overseen by governments, “will be run over by this much more open, much much less controlled (medium) that is not based on scarcity, but based on unbelievable plenty,” Diller said

Tom lleva más de trescientas respuestas; esta es una de ellas:
Saying it will become a paid system in 5 years is basically living in a delusional bubble. It has been a paid system from the start.

Everyone pays for the Internet already. We pay for the speed of the connection. Some pay email providers. Some pay for online storage. Some pay by buying products online. Some pay for rare and valuable information or to receive specific publications. We also pay with the attention we give to advertisements on our favorite sites. We pay with the time we waste sorting through all the spam we get from advertisers.

Why doesn't it surprise me that it's an old fart saying how people have always paid for content and will continue? People have always been able to listen to the radio and watch television for FREE, too. That swings both ways and means nothing.

That sort of ancient-mindset is why the recording industry is having so much trouble these days. It reeks of the mindset of control freaks from a 50's industry like the RIAA or MPAA. Start charging for or somehow limiting the content people already get for free and you will go bankrupt unless you can add enough value to justify the charges.

These days people want more from content. These days the REAL product you need to sell is improved quality of life. How will your content make my life better? How will it save me time? How will it smooth out my daily routine? Focus on that instead of how much you can squeeze out of somebody because of X bytes of your bandwidth they used.

What people might pay for is value-added and highly-targeted content available on their own schedule. If you want an example of the RIGHT way to get people to pay for a content service, look at what TIVO did for TV or NetFlix with instant Internet streaming. Even digital music purchased through iTunes is an example of how to sell content to a busy, overstressed public. Charging by the megabyte will only piss them off by giving them one more thing to count and worry about. Make it simple. Make it transparent. Make it worry free. Make our lives better. Then we'll talk.

2 comentarios:

Juan Palacio dijo...

Es díficil predecir en un escenario tan rápido y con tantas variables como Internet.

Hay una variable muy importante: Internet permite "regalar" con un coste muy bajo.

Hay personas que con razones de mucha lógica no entienden que nadie regale su talento o su trabajo. Tienden a predecir que en el futuro en Internet todo será de pago.

Hay personas que con razones quizá poco lógicas y más "sentimentales" intercambian su trabajo por valores menos tangibles: valor profesional, vanidad, prestigio...

Y las hay que simplemente les gusta regalar.
Que no es ninguna tontería, que al regalar no sólo disfruta el que recibe, también el que da.

Mientras haya personas que siguan llevando dentro a ese niño que quiere hacer cosas útiles para otros y que éstos las usen... habrá cosas gratis en Internet.

Y afortunadamente, como ocurre con el software libre y el propietario, el copyright y el copyleft, la izquierda y la dereca... ninguna opción se saldrá con el hitlerianismo de erradicar al resto.

La diversidad seguirá dando riqueza y dinamizando el sistema, y convivirán los de pago, los de intercambio de valor y los gratis.

Tampoco hacerme mucho caso, que esto también es una predicción... :-)

Jorge Ubeda dijo...

Pareciera que hay una ofensiva -europea en primer lugar- para que paguemos por todo, desmadrando el río. Pero creo, como dijo alguno de los comentarios a las afirmaciones de Diller, que reflejan un viejo modelo de negocios. Es posible que se hagan esfuerzos para lograrlo, pero no lo veo muy probable.