Mmm. This month, my favorite newspaper website, the Washington Post, enacted a paywall. Last year I had blogged, Is the Golden Age of Internet Over? Even then, more and more media outlets were creating paywalls. I receive a daily print newspaper, but its website doesn't provide the global perspective that I desire. Nonetheless, I support the local newspaper.
The real issue with paywalls is that everyone would like to charge readers with a $200 annual fee. Sheesh. Many don't have the discretionary income to pay for two or more of these paywalls.
Instead of subscribing to the Washington Post firewall, I decided to pay a little extra and subscribe to the New York Times. (I didn't subscribe to both.) They throw in a smartphone app in the deal, which I greatly appreciated on my last business trip.
I don't intend this to be an advertisement for the New York Times, but I have discovered the subscription saves me time, because I don't visit the almost dozen websites that I used to read daily. And as I commented earlier, the smartphone app keeps me informed without cycling through my website list.
Mmm. The golden age of the internet is probably over. I think the structural change in the world's economy killed free access. Instead of a Brave New World, it is a A la carte world.