A business model with a future?
Apple's iPhone and iTunes and Amazon's Kindle are onto something very big.
Their approach to making the digital future financially viable represents as much of a psychological break with rampant free content practices as a template for conditioning consumers to pay for relevant content and valuable applications, especially for mobile devices.
Just as important, they dodge reliance on media advertising that will remain in flux as it evolves into interactive marketing and e-commerce. By 2012, the growth of user payments for applications and content will likely outstrip the growth of online advertising (at twice the rate, or an average annual 17%). Although user payments will remain just under 60% of total U.S. offline media, it will top 30% of online media spending in 2012, which advertising will continue to dominate.