The Cable Model

I was thinking today about the problems newspapers are having making money. Their subscriptions and advertisements are plunging and they can’t figure out a way to make the internet pay. The NYT is a perfect example — their web operation is stunning, but it’s not making money.

The solution? How about charging the ISP’s? That’s roughly how cable companies work. I pay Time Warner X dollars for access to channels. They turn around and pay each channel Y_i dollars for content. It’s turned out to work pretty well. So the New York Times and other sites should start charging ISPs for access. They are, after all, the reason I pay Time Warner such an outrageous amount of money for internet access in the first place.

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