The traditional media model was turned on its head by the proliferation of digital media. This is just a well-established fact, and some of us have spent our entire careers navigating as best we can as the ground shifts constantly beneath us — cycling through subscriptions, eyeballs for advertisers, pay-per-click, native content, paywalls and other models. The simplified dinner table version of this debate swings between “Why pay for something you can get for free?” and “You get what you pay for”. But both parties are trying to address a slippery question: what is the value of content?

Ignoring genre for a minute, whether you’re into podcasts or newspapers, fiction or biography, you’re a content consumer. Some of us like the physical and cerebral bulk of a tome — think War And Peace — and some of us are addicted to animal rescue videos on Instagram. You may make a judgment call on which is a productive use of your time and mental energy, but in the era of digital content I’m t...

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