Has the tide turned for free online content?

I don’t think we’re about to see the death of free. Once you don’t charge it’s going to be hard to charge because there’ll be somebody else with a free carrot.

Has the tide turned for free online content? AOL Time Warner has announced that a number of its properties will move away from offering free web-content. Much of that content is to move onto AOL:

We are making the move from the content being available for free, and (instead are) making it so you have to have a relationship with us, said Peter Costiglio, a Time Inc. spokesman [Source]

I’d love to see all web content free but it’s not practical and I take it as a sign that the industry is growing up and getting real. It will be interesting to see what happens in a year from now when, hopefully advertising revenues are up a little. Will it swing back in favour of ad-revenues?

Luckily, I don’t want to read them!