We are moving towards an a la carte media consumption model. Pay just for what you want. Where and when you want it. If you don’t care for any of the pro-wrestling or home improvement programming bundled in your “super-bonus-expanded digital tier service, why should you be forced to underwrite it? Some believe that the total price for Cable or Sat service will go down when users are able to just buy just what they want. Previously subsidized programming may become more costly, perhaps prohibitively so.
Is that the role of Public Media? To produce and distribute content no one is willing to pay for? There are other issues regarding what content should be made and available, even if most people won’t pay for it – like News. It is like taking medicine that tastes terrible or going to the dentist. You’d rather not do it and certainly aren’t happy about paying for it, yet it’s good for you so you comply. Or maybe most comply, but those who don’t suffer the consequences.
Living in the middle of the Information revolution, these are the issues at hand. Too many of us are familiar with the the language – “long tail, fragmented viewership, lean forward/ lean back, attention marketplace” but not the ramifications of the information economy propelled by information workers. The U.S. is undeniably the leading exporter of information. With no close second. As we figure out how to make this all work, you really have to be open to alternative methods and experimentation – even if it doesn’t taste very good going down.