Dirt-Cheap Netbooks Might Save Media Industry
Paying for content, not hardware, is the key
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 12:24 PM CDT
This Acer Aspire one netbook sells for $99.99, provided you subscribe to an AT&T broadband plan.   (PRNewsFoto)
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(Newser) – There might be hope yet for the media industry, “because the tech industry is screwed too,” writes Simon Dumenco for Advertising Age. With light, cheap netbooks squeezing the profit out of the hardware, makers are partnering with media providers (ie, Acer selling netbooks for $100, plus 2-year AT&T contract) to sell subscriptions that subsidize the ever-closer-to-free prices.

“Hardware makers may have no choice but to turn their Internet devices into multi-tier-subscription-based media machines, because there will never again be enough margin in the basic price of the hardware,” Dumenco writes. “And the more we get used to the idea of essentially subscribing to media as a way to pay for hardware ... well, the more hope there is for media.”