Fuck the piper (an immodest proposal)
Google Inc. (GOOG 429.53, -13.07, -2.95%) on Thursday said its second-quarter net income rose to $1.48 billion, or $4.66 a share, from $1.25 billion, or $3.92 a share in the same period a year earlier. Net revenue in the period ended in June rose to $4.07 billion from $3.9 billion, Google said. Excluding special items, earnings were $5.36 a share. Wall Street analysts had expected Google to post earnings excluding special items of $5.09 a share, and $4.06 billion in net revenue, according to data from Thomson Reuters. #
I'm not understanding why everyone thinks Google is brilliant but no one seems to grok the model.
It would be edifying to know how many stories at the NY Times site have been clicked on by users (or by bots) over the past decade, if that's how long they've been available. Must be in the hundreds of millions. Let's say 300 million [add: that's way low - see here]. Had they charged $.007 per story accession (i.e., click), the Times would have made $2.1 million. That's $2.1 million more than the ZERO their content has earned for them thus far (offset by whatever grand total their short-lived scheme of charging for Rich, Dowd, etc. brought in).
But who would agree to pay them even $.007 per access? you fairly ask. And my model says - it doesn't matter. Because the money would not come directly from the end user's pocket, but rather from those funds spent by all of us to all the large corpses who bring bits into the home, by whatever means - Comcast, Verizon, etc. Because these companies right now are thieves. They are making money hand over fist from users. But users do not pay them in order to see dark screens (that bliss is for television). We pay the Comcasts and Verizons in order to access content. Their mega-earnings are contingent upon their parasitism of Content.
Does it not seem appropriate that the pipers pay for that which enables them to exist? I have put forth this model before, (also a bit here) and of course it's patently absurd. However, I assure you, it's the only fair way to make sure that there is quality content on the Net. As of now, that assurance is lacking. The black holes of internet service providers are threatening to suck down all the light. They are making vast profit while thinking only about metal and fiber and trucks. All of those who are trying at least to think, to tweet, to make something or do something or read something, sit atop an enormous pile of bupkis. This is wrong.
The only fair way is to let every click on the net - to anything, except closed sub sites (like JSTOR), and sites featuring socially challenged content (bestiality, child porn, Republican Senators) - move a bit of micromoney from piper (a general fund fed from all pipers) to contenter. And, the same amount. Equal bits. Let's not quibble over how much more quality one finds in the NY Times. You provide content, you get clicked on, you get the everybody micro$, period.
This in no way obviates Big or Small Content from selling ads or running contests or selling t-shirts. It is simply the addition of a revenue stream that wasn't there before, taken from the profits of Big Pipes. You know the gold is there.
My argument would be improved by containing actual numbers of clicks for some content providers. But I don't think it would change the underlying logic. Please now tell me why I'm wrong so I can remove this chimera from my skull.
[Update] from the Man who Knows Everything:
Labels: all thungs JSTOR, jstor, micropayments, New York Times, open systems, we shall not be content until we have monetized the services your body provides for you -- down to the excremental function