Readers have never fully paid for their newspapers, points out Forrester analyst James McQuivey in his blog. Most of the cost of gathering and printing the stories and other features has always been borne by advertising. The same applies for programming on old-fashioned, over-the-air TV and radio.
Today, he says, consumers have grown accustomed to paying for “access” to content – through cable TV, Internet plans, and mobile phone charges – rather than for the content itself. But this means less revenue goes directly to the content creators and more flows to its distributors.