The dream of the internet died when people realized that, while information might want to be free, it’s also expensive to create. And yet, for a long time, many publishers tried to keep their sites open, not embracing or realizing that charging for content might actually be an option.
There were exceptions, of course. For example, the FT introduced its first digital paywall in 2002. But it wasn’t until The New York Times released its innovation report in 2014 that the conversation shifted, and people realized that, perhaps, information could be directly monetized. Since then, there has been debate about the different paywall strategies to maximize revenue.