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That brings me to the “old” mindset. Clearly, a precedent was set for giving away product (or selling at a loss) in order to build audience that could otherwise be monetized. Of course, they didn’t really refer to content consumers as “audience” back then; they were “readers” or “subscribers.” And the only real path to monetization was print advertising.
I guess no one told him about the Internet. An upstate New York man has achieved fame for his misguided attempt to do precisely the opposite — buying roughly 1,000 copies of his local newspaper in order to cover up his drunk-driving arrest.