This is well put. I think it’s why many people are forced to separate the act of paying from the content itself. Things like Patreon let a consumer support a person as they create content, without feeling (necessarily) like they’re paying for content. (Full disclosure: I have a Patreon. There, now I’m a sell-out.)

Paying for stuff is inherently grating. (Not for everyone. Some of us do go and buy paper books intentionally. But in general.) You start comparing the $12 you spent on that new book, and trying to decide if it was really worth it or not. Other books are only $9, you muse, as you sip your $5 latte. This one wasn’t really worth the extra $3. Screw that author for charging so much, or his publisher, or whoever.

But…we’ve never liked paying for content. “Bring home some records from the library and put a fresh cassette in the tape player!” “I snuck in to see Jaws!” “You’re an idiot if you buy books new — used bookstores have much better deals. Or go to the library sale!” “Wait, you bought a copy of that because you couldn’t wait a week for me to lend it to you?”

This isn’t news, but it’s become really bad because all the other ways to make people pay for content — paying for the paper, paying for the CD, paying for the popcorn, etc. — have evaporated now that we have a ‘perfect’ medium for ‘free’ distribution.

So we’re back to the minstrel model, where we support creators, and then somehow down the line content happens, and we consume it. Spooky action-at-a-distance.

--

--

--

Obligate infovore. All posts made with 100% recycled electrons, sustainably crafted by artisanal artisans. He/him/his.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alex Feinman

Alex Feinman

Obligate infovore. All posts made with 100% recycled electrons, sustainably crafted by artisanal artisans. He/him/his.

More from Medium

Homelessness: ways to fight

The Great Gatsby Review

EXPERIENCE WHAT YOU DREAMT OF WITH INSTADEX.

Letting Go-Fear.