The trend away from free content is gaining momentum, this time in the area of TV. An Associated Press article today reported that the broadcast industry is thinking seriously about following Rupert Murdoch's lead from last fall and eliminating advertising-supported media altogether. ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox are all considering the very real possibility of going dark on public airwaves and broadcasting strictly on private broadband networks. This will mean higher cable and satellite bills.
This would be an earthshaking move for the information industry altogether and there are several possibilities that could arise. Those who refuse to pay for broadcast will lose access to sporting events, news, and general connection to pop culture. That will reduce the potential audience for all of those areas and reduce revenues. On the plus side, those affected will have to return to older communication paradigms, like print and radio for their information... or base all their understanding on the flood of news releases on Google.
But it also means the death of another industry... advertising.
We live in interesting times.