Donations, ads, memberships, paid newsletters—what's next?

In the '90s, 56 kbps modems dialed a special number to connect to some websites. Paywalls were how webmasters made money back then in a shady way—it's funny how tags evolve, and now there aren't webmasters anymore but developers and software engineers.

Then, ads arrived, and the internet became this battlefield where everyone tried to clickbait each other. The attention arena is still widespread, especially in social platforms or newspapers. However, as ad blockers and cross-site tracking prevention are becoming common, the days of this model might be numbered.

Then donations platforms such as Patreon, Ko-Fi, Buy Me a Coffe, and so emerged. Patreon seems to work if the audience is big enough, but the latter two aren't sufficient to sustain creators.

The internet is now in the middle of the membership/paid newsletter age: Ghost memberships, OnlyFans, Substack. Individuals are putting a wall between you and the content, trying to seduce you into a monthly subscription.

Here we are again in the paywalled 90's model. Sometimes internet trends seem as cyclical as fashion.

My concern regarding this monetization model is whether it'll eventually saturate as monthly subscriptions pill up. Nowadays, people have not only to pay for electricity, water, internet, but also for Netflix, HBO, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Google Photos, creator A, creator B, creator C, app 1, app 2, app 3...

What comes after the subscription model? A better form of ads?

Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.