Is it really a good deal to be able to get our media for free because it is paid for with advertisements?
No! It is a Big Rip Off costing us much more than what it costs to produce.
The economic arguments for having a Digital Public Library:
Some people claim they are not affected by advertising and perhaps this is true regarding what they purchase; however, we are all affected because the price of things we buy includes advertising costs.
This is how the rip off works. We are led to believe that we get “free” media because advertisers pay for the production of the media content but the consumer pays for advertising when they make a purchase. The advertising cost is built into the price. This is a little bit sneaky but nothing is free. One way or another we should pay for our media content. If that was all there is to the story you could not really call it a rip off, just a deception. Not only does the consumer pay for the advertising that goes to pay for their media content but they pay again when their time is wasted by being interrupted or distracted with ads. Not even accounting for our lost time, we are paying two to three times what this so-called “free media” actually costs.
note from the author
I see the democracy argument as most important for pitching media reform but strategically important is the economic argument. No one is going to believe an old hippie guitar player who says the public at large and people like you who create content are being ripped off by the marketing-led advertising-funded media. Consequently I am on a mission to commission a media economics study to show the extent of the rip off. Two things I hope the study will show are:
• 1) that the value of people’s time consumed by advertising is greater than the cost of producing the content people wish to experience (no one has every tried to quantify time consumed by advertising).
• 2) that the profit gouge taken by advertisers and the advertising industry is a cost to both workers creating content and people experiencing their content (the profit gouge is 2 -3 times more than the sum of funds that go to producing content).
Media Economics is a relatively new discipline. I am looking for a media economics expert to do the study and am turning to the unions to fund the study.
I want facts and hard numbers analyzed by an expert media economist. There is no visible study proving that traditional ways of funding media are efficient from society’s point of view.