If you legalise drugs there’s an argument that you change who gets paid- the government- not the dealers, and that this has a large effect on behaviour and price- decreases crime used to fund the habit etc etc.
Well, I don’t know enough to comment on drugs, but I think ‘celebrity gossip’ should be treated the same way.
If you can’t change the end consumer behaviour- taking drugs or endlessly scrolling through the Daily Mail on-line to find out what Pippa Middletons been up to then at least change who gets paid. Legalising drugs nets government the profits, but for something as vacuous banal and popular as celeb gossip I believe that charity should be the beneficiary.
There would need to be new website and app in a pretty standard format- but the business model would be radically different. Whenever, a story or a picture featuring a celebrity appeared, a charity chosen by them would receive a percentage of the ad revenue generated by the adverts on the page.
Its easy enough to do technology wise- tagging and tracking. Customer acquisition would be harder but this is a $3 billion dollar industry and we have a product that with the charity aspect is something that celebs and consumers would feel obliged to care about and share.
The key is the celebrity, both as the ‘content’ and their ability to influence- spread the news and act as a ‘detonator’ to the whole project.
From their point of view this solves a problem. Their image is getting exploited for OK magazines gain and their privacy is getting invade by some grubby paparazzi.
By becoming partners with the celebrity, we’re giving them a personal cause that benefits from their image. And if I’m Russell Brand or any celebrity that doesn’t like the paparazzi I might choose to try and cut them out of the process, i might take pictures myself or call only paparazzi that deal with our site- I know its going to a good cause and know I have an option I can stop the other paparazzi and magazines profiting from me. And then to ensure my ‘fans’ know, I might tweet about the incident to my 5 million followers.
From the websites point of view, if we offer unique content with the backing of ‘influencers’ bringing in traffic we will gain a loyal fan base and be able to raise revenues by advertising. But if people know why we’re doing it and we become a brand in our right then the corresponding possibilities and direct ‘cost per click’ advertisement prices increase greatly.
If I’m the consumer, I still get my fix, but I may be able to see pictures that I cant see anywhere else- unique content is king. And the best bit, by involving charity it takes away my guilt- I know all this gossip is a waste of time but now, the more I look and the more people send the link to, the more money is raised for charity- the Groupon of gossip.
Without the net, without social media, and without the required tagging and tracking technology this would’t have been possible 5 years ago, but with it all, I can’t see why we shouldn’t do it tomorrow?