There is a view among the big heads in the digital world that publishing won't be saved by advertising. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban represents the prevailing view that aggregators like Google are vampires that suck dry the creative content of magazines and newspapers and other online sites. And says that advertising cannot be relied upon to pay for journalistic content on the web and on mobile devices of various kinds.
If that is so, what is the alternative? My view has been that it's an either-or proposition. Either advertising will continue to provide the majority of revenue for traditional and online-delivered content; or it won't. And, if it won't, then isn't the only alternative to gradually, or not so gradually, educate end users to pay a larger proportion of the costs of providing robust content? To treat it like they are stakeholders and to seize back control of their favourite publications/sites from the advertisers?Funny thing is, though, that the same big heads who dismiss online advertising also tend to dismiss reader-supported research and journalism. Which leaves publishers with a big head-ache. If they're going to invest in anything, should it be building a business model based on subscriptions or on advertising?