I am reminded tangentially of an axiom of belief of silicon Valley.
I'm not sure if that's a supply sider's argument or if people championing economic stimulus at any cost tend to favor the sentiment. But I am rather sure that it's a sucker's bet. But I must confess that I am thinking particularly about Web 2.0 and 3.0 and social network software in general.
One is iTunes which is, as far as I can see, the only real client server application out there with a fat client. The problem with iTunes is that the client is a real pig, which is rather what all the champions of thin clients used to say when that whole thin client megatrend began around the limitations of Windows 95.
Amazon is B2C personified. It is online retail perfected and with nary a brick, has shown the perfectability of that thing everyone once said could not be done. Jeff Bezos is one of the very few high tech moguls that I would dare to call an industrialist. The other is Larry Ellison. I continue to think that Bill Gates was just lucky. If Linus Torvalds had been born first, Microsoft would not exist any more than Lotus Development. It is poetic justice the Ray Ozzie is (sorta) running things at Microsoft.
Google is really the only game in town for eyeballs. Back in the day it was easy to understand that DoubleClick ruled the internet with regards to selling online advertising. But all of the content on the planet, which is to say, the disintermediation of print and video which is bankrolled by the monetization of clicks and impressions, all goes to Google. That basically means every site that is Googlable and does not charge a subscription. News, weather, sports, all that. In the end, it is searched, and in the end it is Google.
I don't know what the most successful online subscription model is, but I tend to believe that it is something like Bloomberg or Lexis/Nexis. This is people paying for a real online service. But it also would include Verizon FIOS HD Pay Per View. The bottom line it it's some big piece of data or many small pieces of data you consume but don't keep (as contrasted to iTunes, which you keep).