Let’s consider something for a moment. Hypothetically speaking, if ALL news outlets, every single one, TV, Radio, Printed, each and every one of them, dropped their online presence all at once, their ad revenue problem (and for those that don’t know, there is a major problem, they’re not generating the revenue that they once were) would vanish. We would be forced to get the news the way we did previously, actually listening to radio programs on the air, watching the television or reading a newspaper/magazine.
We know that’s not going to happen. I am speaking strictly in the hypothetical sense.
Why isn’t it going to happen? Because people want to get their news online, so the services are provided online, and thus, we are inundated with ads online, which stems from sensational reporting of information in such a manner as to garner our attention. But that model is failing as well, hence my statement above about the “major problem”. People are finding ways around this “new” model (which isn’t new, most people are 20 years behind in the digital age) by reading the “news” second handed via social media and scraping sites (Drudge, Google, Twitter (to some degree)) and from “Friends” posts on social media in general, Facebook, Twitter.
What’s my point? The point is, because this “new” method of delivering the news and obtaining ad revenue is failing, a newer model will be developed. Pay-Wall, as it were, has been a failure, even though some online publications are still attempting to use it (pay-wall is a method of delivering the news to only paid subscribers, which has repeatedly failed over the years, yet there’s always a different outlet that tries it and should be considered the actual second iteration of a news outlet model of revenue generation).
There’s been some hints that social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, but Facebook primarily, will be “charging” for news posts. I haven’t really gotten into the nuts and bolts of this, but from an outsiders point of view, this is yet another method that will fail, if it even gets off the ground. I am not so sure that providing this “service” adheres to Interstate Commerce rules, regulations and laws., but what do I know, as I am not an attorney.
Product placement was tried and fell to the wayside on a number of occasions, in movies, television, etc., (remember the Cola wars from the 1980’s and the product placements in such movies as Back to the Future – which was absolutely chock full of product placements, Reeses Piece from E.T., Pizza Hut, Doritos, Reebok, Nuprin & Pepsi in Wayne’s World, BMW Z3 in 007/Goldeneye, etc.?) but I am not sure that won’t be happening again, considering how easy it is to block advertisers online. With ad block software that has some basic artificial intelligence built-in, it’s rather easy to ad this software and view websites without annoying advertisements. But what-if…..
What-if the product placement is already happening or soon will be, in the form of corporate sponsorship for no negative reporting regarding their products or services from media outlets. Perhaps “reporting” is bit of a stretch, but remember, most “news” channels are not running news programming, they’re running entertainment programming masked as being “the news”.
Let’s say Monsanto agrees to sponsor a pseudo news program, such as a prime time t.v. show by Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow as long as these hosts and their shows in general, do not report unfavorably about a product or service provided my Monsanto, such as anything negative about “Round Up” would be pushed under the rug, while allowing or understanding that a *real* news program must report the facts (do they ever these days?). Which would allow programs like NBC, CBS or ABC “Nightly News” to report on such happenings, however briefly, just to stay within the scope of the laws regarding corporate influence?
News outlets, their “channels”, websites, printed versions, pod casts, etc. have to maintain liquidity and have an income stream, in order to do this, you must be willing to pay for advertisement free programming (which is expected if you’re paying for something it should be ad-free – but is that so? I hear an ad every once in awhile on XM radio, even though I am paying for a service) or you must be willing to accept the given ad stream into your mind, eyes, ears, etc. If you block the content, product purchases will go down and thus, advertisers will feel their ad money isn’t bringing a return on investment (ROI) and will stop advertising. If there’s not enough subscribers to fund the medium, that model will fail (pay-wall failures). Therefore, there has to be some sort of payment stream in order to facilitate the endeavor. Media outlets are wanting to recoup the lost income that social sharing and scraping sites such as Drudge Report are garnering from their average viewer.
There will be another method that presents itself or perhaps is already working behind the scenes. Just be cognizant that at all times, you are being manipulated in one way or another. As I’ve repeated from more experienced and educated people than I, while you are online (and otherwise as far as I am concerned), you are either being sold something, or you are the product that is being sold.