As I’ve written before, online advertising is based on a lie and as such it’s all going to come tumbling down soon enough. The lie it’s based on is that it, like, works and stuff. It just doesn’t. Online advertising is pointless and moot and soon enough it will be burned to the ground as its supplemented by what actually makes money — subscription services. It’s just a matter of when, why and how. As I understand it, online advertising — as predicted 20 years ago — is now larger than any type of media advertising. And it is, as we currently conceive of it, doomed.
What I mean is, very, very soon — I say no later than the beginning of the 2020 presidential campaign in early 2020 — there is going to be a fundamental shift in how people interact with online content. The switch over is going to suck massively for consumers used to — essentially — getting a lot of stuff for free, but as the Net matures, it’s all but inevitable at this point.
What’s going to happen is, because of the end of Net neutrality, essentially, the old concept of content aggregation found in online services such as AOL and Yahoo will come back. So, the missing link of the business plan of online media will finally arrive: how to actually make money.
So, when you’re stressing out about how Trump is going to win re-election in 2020, you’ll probably read that information via a portal of some sort that gives you a wide swath of content for $24.95 in the context of whatever Net access plan you might have figured out you want. Hence, there might be a Netflix and Chill bundle for some ridiculous amount, but as part of that for the low-low price of $24.95, you get free access to a wide-swath of video options in addition to Netflix, such as CNN, MSNBC & YouTube.
Or, put another way, it seems pretty obvious to me that the major Internet companies like Google, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter (and maybe even Amazon) will have a vested interest in subsidizing people’s access to content with the major broadband ISPs. That, in essence, is how consumers will be able to do the same stuff they do for free now, just they’re going to have to pay some for a wide-selection of content.
The endgame of all of this, is, of course, everyone makes a lot of money. Consumers get milked dry — there may even be some regulation (after the Republicans all commit mass suicide, of course ). The point is, we’re in later stages of one of the epoch of the Internet and once we lurch into a new one, the change will likely be rather dramatic.
One issue I honestly don’t know the answer to is what happens to content providers in general. Once all content of note behind a paywall, does that spell the final death knell of newspapers, or do they rebound? That’s a real tricky question. One scenario is newspaper Websites get into any number of $24.95 monthly bundles and or do they just fade away because people will only be willing to subscribe to The New York Times or The Washington Post? That’s a real quandary. I keep expecting someone to come out with an uber for newspapers, but it hasn’t happened yet.
My best guess is sometime between now and 2020, but anything could happen. We’ll see.
Of course, by 2024, all of this is moot because of VR/AR (MX). The whole thing gets reset as MX companies struggle to get people to actually use the services. And that doesn’t even begin to address how, like, uh, you would interact with a MX newspaper in the first place.
The upside of all of this is online content providers will FINALLY start to make something akin to the money they used to in the print era, even though in a dramatically different context.