Why Should You Pay for Media Content?
One of the biggest trends that you may have seen in 2019 is the growing number of media articles that are hidden behind paywalls. Unlike free content that everyone can access for free, paid media content is accessible only for people who have paid for subscription fee. The most common way the publishers publish this paid content is by showing a portion of it—usually it’s beginning—as a teaser for the readers and hiding the rest of the content. The entire part of the content can only be read after the readers become paid subscribers.
You are certainly aware that the internet is a massive hub of information. There is a huge assortment of textual, graphic, audio, and video content items that are available online. The majority of them are free and accessible for public, especially because publishers can gain profit from a multitude of online money making channels.
If publishers can make money while providing you with free content, why should you pay to retrieve content that is locked behind paywalls? Paid content is indeed a big trend these years, and there are actually many good reasons why paid media content becomes trendy and why should you consider paying for paid content instead of relying only on free media content.
High-quality content is not free.
High quality content is a result of a professional journalistic endeavor. The content is supported by verifiable data, backed by clear and reputable sources, written by well-known journalists and scholars, and published using professionally edited words and sentences that are unambiguous, clear and understandable. It can be said that every noun in a paid article is a verifiable fact and every verb is an analysis. The arts of writing are effectively and ingeniously employed here to make sure that the final article is enjoyable to read, doesn’t cause confusion, and can be easily understood by common readers even if the article uses a significant number of technical terms.
Paid media content usually tells about actual events and incidences; however, even if it not actual—perhaps it is published a week after the reported event takes place—the delay is usually due to the fact that a thorough investigation has to be carried out to collect valid data to support the content. As a result, the delay doesn’t cause the readers to lose interest in reading the content because what they need is a high-quality report that tells them the real truth about the event.
This high-quality content and the effort to produce it are obviously not cheap. This is why it should be locked behind paywalls. The publishers must focus more on generating high-quality content and focus less on generating money through traditional online money making channels.
Free content may have detrimental effects to the readers.
The quality of free media content cannot be guaranteed because it may be written by people who are not familiar enough with the standards of journalism.
Remember that the most common way to make money online is by creating content based on specific keywords to gain profit from search marketing. The hotter the keywords, the more likely the created content makes big profit. People thus create content not because they want to provide accurate and unbiased information to their audience, but because they want to make money from their content.
In order to generate as much as possible profit, they are forced to publish their content very soon after the reported event takes place. This forced actuality often takes its toll on the accuracy and the neutrality of the content. Because there is simply not enough time—and obviously budget and manpower—to do a comprehensive investigation, the content creators often have to rely on unverifiable data, including hearsays, rumors, and their subjective assessment and judgement. In fact, many amateur publishers actually deliberately publish based content with a genuine motive to incite fear and disharmony.
Free content, especially when it is reporting a very sensitive issue, can have truly detrimental and even dangerous effects to the audience. Media unfairness is often considered the trigger of political turmoil in many places on earth, such as the US presidential election and that in Indonesia (in the latter, poor commitment to the standards of journalism has even caused riot and the death of eight people.).
Paying for paid media content might not be the most cost-effective way to get actual news, but it is definitely the surest way to get factual, unbiased, and high-quality content that meets the standards of journalism and maintains your intellectual and emotional sanity when reading reports of actual events