An Essay by J. Paul Duplantis
As of November 1st, 2019 McMillan Publishing, one of the largest print publishers in the world, placed an 8-week embargo on libraries purchasing more than one copy of new release eBooks limiting an entire branch to loan out one eBook at a time to library patrons. This coupled with the publishing community beginning to limit perpetual access to eBooks and audiobooks, in general, should serve as a warning for what is about to come with the continued siloing and commoditization of information. A new reality favoring publishers and aggregators over creators and consumers closing in not only on the expressions of authors but the reportage of journalists, songs of artists, and the visions of filmmakers.
As much as I like my Netflix subscription and my son likes his Spotify subscription, I have to wonder what the future will bring when important news stories and creative expressions are fenced-in through subscription models and exclusive content deals priced out of reach of the average wage earner. Is there any doubt the total cost of information consumption will rise as more information providers climb on board the gravy train of the subscription model? Consumer choice limited to which silo to choose rather than which creator of information to choose. The flow of information limited at the expense of the consumer. Sound familiar?