After having affected nearly all facets of our economy, and penetrating almost every item on our daily news, the Crisis finally starts to weigh on the World Wide Web indirectly. Many large companies cut down their advertisement costs, many of them feeding social applications.
One of them, and also my favorite one is Last.FM. They recently announced that they cannot work according to the add-funded model anymore. In order to pay the royalties of the more than 7M songs they offer, and the maintenance of the supporting servers, in the future they will bill 1, 00 EURper month for each user. Some countries, such as the US, UK, and Germany the model is still rewarding and will not be affected by this new policy.
One euro is of course not a big deal. However, as a good social soul on the Web you are easily engaged in many social applications such as Facebook, Myspace, etc. If for all of them the ad-funded model would fail, the monthly bill to be social is not that trivial anymore. Moreover, the more people then that unsubscribe, the more expensive it becomes for the others to cover the costs.
Will this crisis lead for once and for all to a Web which is not free, but requires your credit card each time you register for a community ? I am sure I did not cover all parameters here, so to be continued.