Who’s Paying Now? And for What? ADC, Part 30

We don’t mind paying for our accumulation, decoration, or collection. In some cases, we do so gladly, even eagerly.

Pottery, paintings, or whatever it is. We want it, we buy it.

Pretty simple.

Independence Day in the U.S. is a reminder of the nation’s revolution. Throwing off the shackles of The Great Oppressor. You know, that guy across the ocean.

But, on the outer fringe of an Independence Day weekend, have we also declared ourselves independent of paying for (other) things?

Sure seems like it.

Take information, for example.

We don’t like paying for recorded music any longer. Online “services” eroded the buying public for recorded music.

Even iTunes, with its modest fee, is often eschewed by music consumers.

Clearly, we’ve not abandoned recorded music. We have abandoned paying for it.

But, you say, nothing new here. In the old days, with a reel-to-reel quarter inch tape recorder, if one were patient, and was content to put up with all sorts of audio interference, one could freely record music off-air.

Broadcasting, despite interruptions by announcers and crackle from signal interference, was a “free” medium, right? Not to the advertisers: they paid for access to listeners. The music was simply the bait.

Movies, like recorded sound, was a medium that was consumer-driven with no meaningful advertising support. Movies are also something we no longer like to pay for.

And we don’t like paying for daily news as reported by professional journalists. Never did on commercial TV. (Again, there was advertising.) Now we don’t like to pay for daily newspapers, either.

No one, apparently, does. The owners (NYT) can’t, for instance, unload the Boston Globe – even at a bargain basement price.

I guess we’re willing to wait and see what YouTube turns up as a substitute for daily news reporting. (New York Times columnist David Carr first voiced the observation in the 2010 movie entitled “Page One.”)

But, as many commentators to the present Blog have noted, what discriminates collectors from the two other categories, is that collectors are informed.

Where does the information come from? Who researches and writes it? Who vets it? Who disseminates it?

The subject is not new. But the matter is an increasingly urgent one. And demands an answer.

It probably won’t be free.

Why should it be?

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