CATCHING UP TO THE PORN INDUSTRY

CATCHING UP TO THE PORN INDUSTRY

Matt HealeyThursday,15 August 2013

The Snap:

From the beginning of the Internet there has been one constant. Adult content costs money. Granted free content can be found, but since the beginning of the web there have been pay sites for porn.

The Download:

Back at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business (where I went to graduate school) in the early 2000s, the belief was that content had to be free on the Internet. The thought also was that you could monetize eyeballs which, unless you are in the used body parts business, turned out not to be true. The exception was the adult entertainment industry. They realized quickly that they could charge for content. They faced some challenges, but most of them were technical in nature. Could you do secure credit card transactions over the web? How to bill someone so their significant other didn’t question the charge on the card? These were easily solved and the industry took off with a mix of free and paid content.

At this point the rest of the web is catching up to the adult content industry. I was reminded of this earlier this week when I signed up for ESPN Insider. It is access to additional ESPN content. I already pay for access to The New York Times and am very happy to do so. I understand that the organizations that run these sites are for-profit enterprises and their content is their product. Paying for it should be no more unnatural than paying Eastern Mountain Sports for a tent or HBO for access to their programing. The thought that everything on the web has to be free and information should be free are coming to an end, as they should. Welcome to the new world where there will be a mix of free and paid content.

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Image Credit: Flickr



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