Pun intended. Thinking about newspaper paywalls in 2012, this is from 2009:
“Consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren’t really selling it either… Almost every form of publishing has been organized as if the medium was what they were selling, and the content was irrelevant.” Paul Graham.
McLuhan tells us that a "message" is, "the change of scale or pace or pattern" that a new invention or innovation "introduces into human affairs." Note that it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it. Thus, the message of theatrical production is not the musical or the play being produced, but perhaps the change in tourism that the production may encourage. In the case of a specific theatrical production, its message may be a change in attitude or action on the part of the audience that results from the medium of the play itself, which is quite distinct from the medium of theatrical production in general. Similarly, the messages of a newscast are not the news stories themselves, but a change in the public attitude towards crime, or the creation of a climate of fear. A McLuhan message always tells us to look beyond the obvious and seek the non-obvious changes or effects that are enabled, enhanced, accelerated or extended by the new thing.
Anyway, tonight I was inspired by Shirky - Newspapers, Paywalls and Core Users.