Google and Facebook Killed Free

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We are constantly being paid to subscribe.

There are all those paid streaming video and music services out there. News organizations, including The New York Times, want customers. Your special Place to Roam, Email service or Messaging app Once free, you can also ask to pay for the goods. Paid subscriptions are not new, but increasingly they find the future of everything.

I wonder, however, that the abundance of membership is driven by a conviction that paying for stuff this way is the best route for us and people trying to survive – and how much other options are lacking. Google and Facebook have dominated advertising systems so well that sponsoring information and entertainment means that membership may be the only realistic option.

Ask me to ask you to revert to the old days. A lot of information and entertainment was free or less expensive due to advertising.

You gave some of your time and brain power to Pepsi, supermarket job listings and local car dealerships, and this helped pay for “Seanfield” on your local newspaper and radio. There were negatives to this approach, but it made news and entertainment relatively inexpensive and widely available.

We also focused on most things on the initial web. News organizations and other sites competed to attract visitors to their pages, as many believed that advertising would be an effective way to pay for the Internet economy. (Many people, especially in the journalism profession, say it was a mistake.)

It has not really turned out like this. Google, Facebook and Amazon pull together About two out of every three dollars Spent on digital advertising in the United States. Everyone is grabbing for scrap.

The result of this is that many people and companies have lost confidence that advertisements can subsidize the stuff we love or try to create an online income for musicians, writers, podcast hosts, and others.

Large music companies once hoped that Pandora, YouTube, or other ways of online listening sponsored by advertisements could replace the money that people once spent on CDs. No. Now record labels have become full-bore in subscription streaming. YouTube and Instagram stars asked people to follow them for membership services like Patreon and Only fan, Where they can generate more income.

Another way to look at it is Bloomberg Opinion columnist Alex Webb Recently written, Is that Google and Facebook are offering us useful free services, but they have made every other digital service more expensive. (And comes at the cost of “free” services from Facebook and Google Data arms race To track everything we do.)

I am excited to see what happens next with the membership economy. This is an opportunity To connect directly with fans of individuals and companies. And we should rejoice at new ideas that can be better. Why is a web search engine Paid for creepy commercials?

But the way the advertising economy has been in severe business-crisis, membership membership probably does too.

Advertising made possible the news and entertainment that everyone could afford. What if we need to buy five subscription streaming services Watch football, Oprah Interview And other things you used to watch on TV for free? Membership Can be expensive.

And I am concerned that we are observing the ability to make a living from the membership of people and organizations. If a small portion makes a steady income from twitch streaming and podcasts on the track, and the rest fussy for peanuts, then there will be a vengeance.

For decades we had wanted business attention to things seemed like a fair deal – until the deal went sour. The same thing can happen with all those people and companies who ask us to subscribe.

Tip of the week

One annoyance of the membership economy is that we sometimes forget to cancel something. I have done this. Brian x. ChainConsumer technology columnist for The New York Times, tells us how to avoid automated subscription renewals that we did not intend to:

Maybe you only had to subscribe to Audible for a month to listen to that new book. Maybe you really wanted to check out Peloton workout app Only during one month free trial. But most digital subscriptions (including news organizations) take advantage of your oblivion and renew automatically.

When it comes to membership I only want to use it for a short time, I have made a habit of canceling a subscription soon after starting it. That way, I don’t worry about canceling an unexpected credit card fee and forgetting to search. (There is no downside to premature cancellation.)

Here’s how to do it with Apple and Android devices:

On an iPhone: Suppose you subscribe to a streaming app such as Crunchyroll, which offers a two-week free trial. Immediately after subscribing, open the Settings app on your Apple device. Click on your name. Tap Subscriptions, select Crunchyroll, and then select Unsubscribe. You will still have service available for two weeks.

On Android devices: Suppose you subscribe to a free trial of the peloton. Immediately after subscribing, open the Google Play Store app. Tap the menu icon and then tap the subscription (some phones have payment and subscription labels). From here, select the peloton and cancel the subscription. You will still have the service available for a month.

If you sign up for a membership on websites like, you can do the same. The methods are not consistent, but there is usually an option to view your membership details under the Account menu and then select an option to change or cancel the subscription.

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