You can now add Vint Cerf (pictured, right) to the list of proponents of micropayments as a solution to newspapers’ woes. Speaking at the Innovations in Journalism conference at Stanford University, Cerf, currently chief evangelist at Google (NSDQ: GOOG), said Apple’s iTunes model is a good example of what media companies like newspapers should be looking to as they search for a new revenue model. “Exploring alternative forms of distribution is absolutely essential,” Cerf, quoted by Internet News, said. After all, he suggested, if Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) can make a business selling songs on iTunes for 99 cents, why can’t content producers do the same?
Of course, it’s been noted many times before that Apple’s business is selling iPods and computers — the music e-tailing end is just incremental at best. So it’s not a perfect analogy. And certainly, iTunes has done more for Apple than it’s done for the record industry. Still, Cerf, who is often credited with developing the internet, says someone’s got to pay eventually: “If there’s no way to reward intellectual property, it will be difficult to come by.”
Photo Credit: Flickr/Joi