As media owners find advertising revenue alone will not sustain their businesses, they face a battle to convince freeloading consumers to pay, writes Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson:
For well over a decade, the prevailing orthodoxy of the internet has been that information wants to be free. Publishers, broadcasters and games developers alike are beginning to discover, however, that advertising alone is not providing the sustainable digital business model they expected for their expensively produced content. Read more
This scenario is familiar. The US and Europe start to fall behind Asian competitors in a key technology. Big capital spending and lower costs help the Asian leaders in the new technology to reach a scale that is hard for rivals to match. The products spewed out by these mega-fabs flood the world market, leading to rapid commoditisation, collapsing prices and accusations of anti-competitive dumping. The US, galvanised into action, launches an industry-wide initiative to try to regain the lead.
This was the chip industry in the mid-1980s. It is also starting to look like lithium ion batteries a quarter of a century later (the dumping charges haven’t come yet, but no doubt will follow.) But while the US managed to regain an edge in silicon technology, and while some are trying to apply the lessons from the chip wars to the latest strategically important tech battle, the comparisons are of only limited use. Read more