The Alternative

My sketch of what a free culture media consumption model would look like:

It starts with something like #mastodonsocial – distributed social media with no ads & no algorithm. No outside control of what shows up in your feed, cause that is now solely determined by who you follow and what they share. Perhaps there is a view for the most popular posts, but of course that’s only from the people you follow and customizable by the user. Same with muting or blocking or hiding, that’s your choice and responsibility.

And all media player apps incorporate that feed as the recommendation engine, and allow you to contribute to the feed from the app as well. No black box recommendation algorithms. All your media players talk to each other, mobile to box on the television etc, helping you keep track of what you’ve seen/heard/read but not sharing that information with others unless you choose to. They all manage episodic content and streams as well as playing almost all file formats.

And creators host their own content and let you access it for free without ads or paywalls, because we’ve made supporting creators simple and automatic and people understand the trade-offs involved. To help with distribution, media players support torrents. Content is well-documented and easy to find/access, directly from any media player. There is a one step process to share anything with anyone.

Broadcast TV and radio and cable and satellite go away. We use that spectrum to get everyone high-speed internet access as a public service. All media playing hardware connects to the internet with media player apps as described above, with access to your own content and everything that is shared on the internet.

No gatekeepers. We decide what goes viral. We’ve done the cultural cost-benefit analysis and are now willing to pay.