Wednesday, October 19, 2016
"We Need a New Covenant—A New Deal Between Advertisers and Consumers, to Make Some Times and Places Off Limits"
"The descriptive thesis is that there is a strange business model called advertising-supported media that was once restricted to a small area of our life, like newspapers, but now it is taking over every area of our life. I wanted to understand the history of advertising, because it didn't simply always exist this way. You typically would just pay for stuff, like newspapers or movies. The idea of selling a captive audience had to be invented.
"And the normative question is: What are the costs of everything being free? Are we paying in other ways? There is a covenant that, in exchange for free stuff, we expose ourselves to advertising. But is that covenant broken?"
Derek Thompson at The Atlantic talks with Tim Wu about Wu's new book, The Attention Merchants.