Content is cheaper, but it still isn't free!

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 21, 2005, 12:41 AM | comments: 1

I've been watching with great interest the podcasts and IPTV projects of the various TechTV alumni. These folks are reaching hundreds of thousands of people every week without a traditional broadcast network, and that's incredibly awesome.

But the Revision3 guys, Kevin Rose and company, are real TV people doing nice stuff (though would it kill them to do better lighting?). I remember awhile back Kevin mentioned they were going to buy wireless mics and a Panasoic DVX100a, so they're starting with good equipment and it shows compared to all of the crap out there. This stuff isn't cheap.

So with the release of Rev3's latest episode of Systm, they decided to delay general release of the show and give paid subscribers first dibs. I think that's totally reasonable, yet the kids are bitching up a storm about it.

Get over it, folks. Just because they enjoy creating content doesn't mean they shouldn't be compensated for it, especially since they're real media people with an eye on doing it right. Having a small staff will make it possible to greatly reduce cost, especially with a much cheaper distribution medium like the Internet, but the cost still isn't free. Someone has to buy equipment and bandwidth, and have something left over to pay the folks that actually produce this stuff, because you can't do that and have a day job.

The Internet has bred this gimme gimme sense of entitlement and it drives me nuts. You better believe CoasterBuzz has pop-ups and ads, because I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars every year of my own money to run the site. It's just not going to happen. That's why I have the $20/year club with that site, which removes the ads. I'd rather have 500 paying members and 500 visits a day than 10,000 visitors a day that pay nothing.

If the Internet has failed us in any particular way, it's that the cost of entry is so low that anyone can put something online. Unless you go to an established traditional media outlet's Web site, you can't tell by looking who is the real deal and who is full of crap. The good stuff still costs money to produce, and whether it's advertising or subscriptions, one way or another that revenue has to be generated or it's going to go away. People need to accept that.

I personally pay about $100 a year for various online content, which is a lot less than the $40/month I pay for the DirecTV I barely watch anymore. Get perspective... this online stuff you pay for is a good deal.


FreewheelinJoe, September 21, 2005, 4:04 PM #

Damn, those kids are a bunch of assholes. Even if I were to disagree with the subscription, I wouldn't go putting up a torrent of the show just to undermine the whole process.

Post your comment: