Bill Gates in 1996

I just came across this quote from the Microsoft man himself. It’s amazing to see the amount of foresight this man had into the future (even though banner CTR isn’t exactly stellar in this day in age). And also amazing how many people still don’t understand the true value of the digital space.

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet…. I expect societies will see intense competition-and ample failure as well as success-in all categories of popular content-not just software and news, but also games, entertainment, sports programming, directories, classified advertising, and on-line communities devoted to major interests….

…If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will. They need to have audio, and possibly video…

…For the Internet to thrive, content providers must be paid for their work. The long-term prospects are good, but I expect a lot of disappointment in the short-term as content companies struggle to make money through advertising or subscriptions. It isn’t working yet, and it may not for some time…. In the long run, advertising is promising. An advantage of interactive advertising is that an initial message needs only to attract attention rather than convey much information.

A user can click on the ad to get additional information-and an advertiser can measure whether people are doing so…. …technology will liberate publishers to charge small amounts of money, in the hope of attracting wide audiences.

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