Saturday, November 22, 2014

(The Big Disrupt) Google: Is Google About To Change The Way Money Is Made On The Internet, Again?

Google is clearly looking to cash in on the general ambivalence the public has towards internet ads across the web with newly established Google Contributor  program which if successful will seriously change the way how most sites fund themselves.

Google's new "contributor" program provides access to an ad free internet on participating sites for small monthly contribution part of which will be paid to sites. While this sounds quite simple when explained, the ramification for this is huge if it works. It's a well established fact that most web users hate online advertising with a passion and with good reason as data and privacy issues associated with the web are largely driven by sites trying to increase ad revenues which most sites depend on. 

However, this all hinges on whether web users, like you and me, are prepared to pay for an ad free internet and more importantly web content itself and, so far, the answer has been a resounding no. If the answer was yes, Google would seriously reconsider their business model or go out of business, fast.  However, since most of us aren't prepared to pay for web content, we're stuck with individuals and companies that produce web content forever trying to second guess our every move because they need generate ad revenue to support themselves.

Google has grown fat and rich because most web content is not paid for by people who consume it the most which makes it even harder to understand why the Silicon Valley giant wants to rock the boat. However with little sober reflection, it looks like Google are trying to do what Comcast are doing: get paid twice for same service. The only difference between what Comcast and Google is doing that Comcast is doing will change the internet as we know it, Google's plan however will change how 1) how it's consumed and 2) sites support themselves which ,in my opinion, is not the worst outcome.

While this wouldn't be the worst outcome on the whole for the internet, it would make ad agencies heads explode in unison as an ad free net is their worst and if Google's contributor system works out, the online ad industry will get a rude awakening. 

In Sum, Google, like sites across the web, are looking for ways to pay for content other than ads but unlike Google, not all stakeholders in this attempt will benefit either way.

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