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Top 10 Things People Don’t Pay For Anymore

Ryan Thomas . . . Comments

The internet is just another circle of life. With it has come the life and death of many an industry, and plenty of joy and suffering in between. While the casual user sees nothing but vibrant green grass and limitless potential, the Stone-Age dwellers and businesses of yesteryear curse it’s very existence on a daily basis. It both alleviates and requires work, depending on who is kneeling before it, and with so many under its dominion, there’s no use in defiance. The key word that applies so often to the internet is “free.” How can money be made on free goods? That’s for the smoke-stacks to figure out (though advertising is really the numero uno), but otherwise, for those who don’t have a habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth, here are the top ten things people don’t pay for anymore.


Talking Long Distance

Queen-Phone-460A 1127984C

“Yes operator, put me through to Tokyo. Yes, I’ll accept the charges.” These words are seldom spoken anymore in the age of the internet; communication is very much a free activity with such social utilities as AIM, Facebook, email (although it’s been around for ages), and most notably Skype. Skype allows users to call each other for free through the service (which is free to sign up for) and even allows video calling a la every movie set in the not-too-distant future. Hell, even CNN uses Skype to talk to on-location journalists embedded in areas of turmoil. That and their frequent uses of cell phone camera-captured footage begs the question, what’s up with all the cost-cutting maneuvers.



Goal Setting Software

Hackers and gamers have been largely one-in-the-same since the first Doom came out. It’s a matter of being so in cahoots with a cyber-world that it eventually starts whispering its forbidden secrets. Accordingly, games have found their way to being pirated just as movies before them (only more “cut and paste” and disc-burning and less “bring a video camera into a movie theater” goes into software piracy). Sharing websites such as Napster and Kazaa, before the ever-effective torrents we have today, leaked all sorts of video games people just didn’t want to pay for. To adapt, smart industries like Sony blacked out the bottom of their Playstation discs; and this is precisely why the Dreamcast no longer exists and Sega hangs on by a thread.



The Movies1 800

Sure boot-legging allowed movies to be viewed sans an admission ticket, in “shake-o-vision” more often than not, but DVD ripping is really what’s hurting the industry (namely big renters like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video who’ve largely crumbled in physical storefront form). The theater experience is still enough of a draw for outrageous ticket prices however, and the implementation of 3D gives viewers an even bigger incentive to shell it out.



Screen Shot 2011-12-24 At 08.41.43

Hardly legal 3rd-party streaming sites (usually via Megavideo) make virtually any television show episode viewable and commercial-free (that is without needing to pay the cable bill or subscribe to HBO or Showtime). Accordingly, television shows which rely on such pesky nuisances to pay their overhead can’t afford to court television shows that don’t pull in viable ratings. They’ve been forced, like most every other industry, to adapt to the internet and find ways to keep the dollars they lose to impatient viewers. Steaming websites like Hulu do the industry a solid by inserting commercials into the videos they stream, while still clipping off the price tag. Cable providers, themselves, even allow cable subscribers to watch programming online, another incentive to carry the service in-home. Nonetheless, there’s always a way around every friendly anti-theft measure.


Adult Entertainment

Ss Top 20 Dvds Cover

No longer do naughty boys keep a stack of dirty magazines in their sock drawer, and no more do responsible adults input their credit card info in to subscribe to niche novelty sites to satisfy their need to self-please. Full length, albeit budget-less (though sometimes plot-driven), adult films are widely available for free, and are one Google search away from access. Better than anyone, they’ve adapted to the ad-orientation (being a friend of all orientations) of the internet’s green side. And being a rampant commodity, there’s no shortage of impulsive clicking on each of the 18,000 ads that show up in any given site. That’s not to mention the ol’ industry-favorite pop-up ad.




Finding a date can be as easy as looking up a hot name on Facebook. Going on a date can be as easy as watching T.V. Effort and chivalrous convention don’t apply to the present young generation. Men don’t pay for dates as part of a mandatory social rule, as the term Double-Dutch frequently applies, and going out to a restaurant or movie is best enjoyed as an established couple, anyway (then the guy might decide to pay as a sign of affection, or at least of having just gotten paid that week). After all, if you like someone, and want to get to know them, who needs the white table cloths and fancy attire to do so. Better to chat to the tune of agreed upon background music, or flip through each others’ record collections to find out about that person (at least as far as music relates to their personality).


General Information


Remember when online encyclopedias like allowed you to look up anything you could in a multi-volume set (plus video and soundbites!), at least up to the second paragraph before it demanded you pay a monthly subscription fee. More often than not you merely learned two facts about something at a time then walked away. Now that is a thing of the past, along with glancing at actual encyclopedias, as Wikipedia, which covers virtually everything with a holistic entry and is constantly expanding, is the new household reference book. While it isn’t any good for scholarly research, though it often requires every fact be cited and attributed to a source, it is unrivaled as a source of instant enlightenment.


Website Urls


Bands almost exclusively network through Myspace, a free place to post tour schedules, stream their songs and connect to their fans, a thousand at a time. It’s the most economic, and effective, means for both up-and-comers and established acts to draw new fans and maintain their core. The other expendable bastion of cyber-presence construction is Facebook. Fan pages, beyond individual profiles, have taken the place of actual website operation as businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs. And what better way to connect to your clientele than to swim in the same water-body almost everyone on Earth does.




Another industry in agony is the newspaper industry. The internet has taken a huge toll, kicking them while cable news already had them down in the first place. What internet-savvy consumer would pay to read what can be read, on a more timely basis, for free? Adaptation has been tough for a lot of the rags, partly because it’s run by complacent old men, who’d rather keep their leather chairs than type their columns in a Starbucks. When will they learn?




A huge devastation on behalf of the internet – more than most every other industry – has befallen the music industry, where digital music has rendered the purchasing of physical CDs obsolete (except to dedicated album art enthusiasts). Music piracy has existed for over a decade, and through torrents it is a virtually invisible crime, but being as how easy it is to “steal” digital music, who in their right minds would pay a dollar per song for the same lousy song file. Truth be told, the only music format experiencing any growth in recent times (while still not the most common means of experiencing music) is vinyl, which, by nature, is actually deserving of the money (the what, two dollars per album at your local record store?). Where the industry, and subsequently every beleaguered band, is really making up for blows and lost profits is the concert industry, which trumps any other way to absorb music, bar none. Not to mention the humility that comes with such a mandate.

  • This list should be titled “The Top 10 Industries screwed by the Internet”. That’s right: Cracked style.

    • corinthian0430

      serves them right- karma’s a b*tch ain’t it :P

      • TRUTH

        What karma would that be for? Ignorance like this is spoken like the true unproductive retard you very likely are.

        Big ol’ “bad” corporations aren’t the only ones who get screwed over by piracy. Independent game designers, unsigned musicians, and grassroots filmmakers all starve even harder thanks to internet piracy — guys and gals who are literally doing things out of their own pockets and imprints, trying to make a living doing what they love, only to be stolen from by jackasses like you who don’t know the difference between major and minor publishing.

        Get a life, you non-contributing failure. Yet I’m sure you’ll come up with some transparent self-defense to justify or soften what is essentially THOUGHTLESS STEALING just like countless other swine of your generation.

        • aronthehun

          Dude. Shut up and relax. Nobody gives a fuck about your opinion.

        • Pixie

          Indie game developers, independent musicians and all sorts of other small-time workers in the arts have done better since the trend of piracy emerged as they don’t have to get all their publicity through a record label that shafts its consumers and they can instead get all the promotion done for free.

          Furthermore, those smaller-scale creative enterprises are, unlike the big corporations, learning how to adapt to the internet and it’s culture of pirating things so they can be free. They’re finding other ways to make profits now, and they’re working.

      • nelson

        real karma’s going to be when your a.s.s. gets stolen from along with the mass of ppl like you by something like who knows, the government and jacked up taxes. LOL

    • Pauly

      xenologic, you hit the nail right on the head. The record companies, Blockbuster Video, Hollywood and cable has been shafting their customers for decades. What goes around comes around. Wall Street is next.

      • TRUTH

        BULLSH!T. That type of generic smear in thinking is on par with ignorance in countless other forms. My reply to the a$$ above ^ suffices.

    • Sgt. York

      Maybe…but Cracked has good writers. So Thomas wouldn’t qualify.

  • Neil

    What about books?

    • corinthian0430

      Must be at #11 :)

  • corinthian0430

    It’s evolution baby!!! :)

    • More like de-evolution, thanks to the fact there are more unaccomplished self-embarassing internet dwellers like you, than there are hardworking content producers within any of the aforementioned trades.

  • corinthian0430

    people used to be held captive by the these (imagine, buying the whole crappy album – when there’s only 1 or 2 songs that makes sense), or getting ripped off at the movie house for a crap film.

    now that audiences have the technology, the industries will be forced to come up with really good stuff to earn every penny they will get.

    • Anno Nymus

      Actually, the effects are completely opposite. Having the technology to steal movies and songs have cost the industry a huge loss of income; meaning, they’re less likely to invest their money based on artistic endeavor but rather, focuses more on marketability. In other words, how much can this artist/film make in short term is their main priority.

      Then again, it’s partially our fault, too. We’ve gone too comfortable with piracy that we forgot to give our support to deserving artists just because the prices of the albums are expensive.

      • Anonymous

        Umm hello, the artist want their music heard the label want to make profit, they create CD’s and DVD’s that do not last and charge top dollar for it. For too long have they price gouged the consumer, the artist makes money from touring. For too long have they charged us high prices for something that doesn’t last, a single scratch and the product is ruined. Sony for example build DVD burners and profit from them but don’t want you to use them to burn any of there stuff, ye they still produce and seel burners.. Hypocrits!!

      • Sgt. York

        Anno Nymus: Wrong. The Recording industry as a whole is making only 9% less in total revenue than they were fifteen years ago. The film and television industries are thriving, despite Box Office ticket sales being down 12% from last year. These industries aren’t hurting…only their monopolies on the technologies to reach mass audiences are suffering.

    • Bernie

      I don’t know what you do for a living or whether you create anything at all other than smart assed comments but hey, why don’t you work for nothing while someone else takes all fruits of your toil for nothing. I don’t like the recording industry, never did but all that “free” stuff comes at a price eventually and with your attitude we no longer have any bands worth listening to so that answers your 1 or 2 songs argument.

      • gav

        And the end result is Bieber. A 10-year old girl-boy who supplements his-her income by selling perfumes, bookbags and laundry soap to other 10-year old girl-boys.

        Internet killed the video star

        • Angela

          So what? The video star wasn’t worth it anyway…being in my 40’s, I remember when bands had to have a little thing called TALENT and didn’t base that ‘talent’ on their look(s)…

          • Selective Thinking, you have.

            Yeah and when the hell was that? What do you think made Michael Jackson half as successful as he became? Video is huge in promoting artists, period.

  • Andromeda

    Who broke up the Smiths???

    • Will Trame

      I believe it was ego that broke up the Smiths. I never really cared for their music; the majority of their songs were too short.

    • Drac

      The Smiths broke up? Nooooo…

    • Sgt. York

      The internet broke up the Smiths.

  • Stu Miller’s Gust

    Even if internet users aren’t paying directly for the goods and services on this list, there is a steep cost, namely the loss of jobs and the communities they sustain.

    Admittedly, I still live in a cave, but I’m so grateful to God to be old enough to have enjoyed reading the newspaper in the morning over a cup of coffee or going on a real date with a sweet smelling gal, taking her to dinner and a movie, then making out with her in my car while listening to The Smiths on the radio. The internet is a carnival of dead souls. That vibrant green grass is only an illusion, it’s really the dirt being shoveled over our coffins.

    • Sasha

      im 26 and ive never been on an ‘internet date’. i love real dates.

      • mom424

        That might have something to do with your snarky attitude. :)

        Maybe previously snarky?

      • Pauly

        Before the internet, dating on that plain usually involved a van with tinted windows and out-of-state plates.

  • Sasha

    what about books?

  • Chep


  • VintageObsessive

    Is that Queen Elizabeth in #10’sthe photo?

    • The Mick

      good get

  • Ben

    Hi Ryan. I just wanted to offer a couple of corrections:

    Introduction: “curse it’s very existence”

    No need to for the apostrophe on that ‘its’ there. Think of it as the word ‘his’. Only needs one if it means ‘it is’.

    Number 10: “begs the question”

    This phrase doesn’t mean ‘raises the question’. It’s a weird phrase that so rarely needs to be used that it is better to avoid it entirely.

    Number 9: “one-in-the-same”

    You mean ‘one and the same’ and you don’t need the hyphens.

    “smart industries like Sony”

    Sony aren’t an industry.

    ” this is precisely why the Dreamcast no longer exists”

    Sounds like the Dreamcast failed because of Sony’s black discs. Also oversimplifies the reasons for the Dreamcast’s early cancellation.

    Number 7: “Steaming websites”


    ” do the industry a solid”

    A solid what?

    Number 6: “input their credit card info in to subscribe”

    You don’t need the ‘in’ as the verb ‘input’ takes care of it.


    Doesn’t need the hyphen, and is incorrect anyway. They must have a budget in order to be made and distributed.

    “Better than anyone, they’ve adapted”

    Who has? Naughty boys, responsible adults? ‘They have’ is the subject of that sentence, but you haven’t clearly defined who ‘they’ are in your previous sentences.

    Number 5: ” the term Double-Dutch frequently applies”

    Double dutch is nonsensical or confusing language, which aptly applies to your list. I think you’ve got confused somewhere with the action of ‘going dutch’, which is splitting the cost of a meal equally.

    “who needs the white table cloths and fancy attire to do so.”

    Needs a question mark.

    Number 4: ” look up anything you could”

    Could think of? That rambling opening paragraph also needs a question mark, but I would have rewritten it anyway.

    Number 3: “Bands almost exclusively network through Myspace”

    From your previous lists, I know that you do know a lot about music and the industry, but I just don’t believe that sentence is factual.

    “And what better way to connect to your clientele than to swim in the same water-body almost everyone on Earth does.”

    Question mark needed. Again.

    Number 2: A bit too much of your own negative opinion made its way into this point. I only point it out as it sticks out and highlights the point as being empty and under-developed.

    Number 1: ” Music piracy has existed for over a decade”

    Way longer than a decade. That only takes us to 2001/2002. What about CD burners, taping off the radio, bootlegs, etc?

    “who in their right minds would pay a dollar per song for the same lousy song file.”

    Needs a question mark. I’d also get rid of ‘per song’ as it isn’t necessary and just prolongs the reader’s pain.

    Those are the errors from a quick read through. I’d also reduce you usage of parenthesis, because it’s annoying to read.

    Above all that, you should also address the common themes that crop up in your lists — namely ‘The modern world is crap’, ‘I hate newspapers’, ‘I love the music industry’, ‘I’m a snide bastard’ — because these, along with your array of mistakes and opinion-only material are the reasons that people hate reading your lists. Plus I might add a heavy tone of ‘superiority’ that comes across from your text, which never sits well with readers.

    • Liz

      Ugh. Really?? I’m picking up a heavy tone of superiority from your post, and incidentally, it was extremely annoying to read.

      I would offer some corrections myself on your behalf, but I would rather lick my own a$$. :-)

      • tavarus

        And people liking his lists , i think he is either in denial or he never reads the comments, isn’t he the guy that wrote the loss to humanity list?

        • Totally Ryan Thomas

          OR, you know, someone used his name to post.

      • Ben

        Oh Liz do go away you wilted old trout. If there’s one thing worse than Ryan Thomas it’s Ryan Thomas defenders. You read my comment and you responded, so I win.

        I hate you extra for saying ‘Ugh’ though. What part of human speech does that actually express? I picture you slouched in your computer chair, face scrunched up with your head slanted and eyes rolling, letting out a deep-lung sigh of morning breath and nasally indignation. Is that what you mean by ‘Ugh’?

        Love the imagery at the end by the way. Shame though that I just can’t picture you as a tanned, lithe, attractive twenty-something

        • Ben

          There’s things called time zones non-Ryan, which means it’s not the same time in every place of the world.

          • odin

            blockbuster’s downfall has got nothing to do with just became obsolete in this digital age the success of netflix shows can’t blame the dvd for VHS becoming extinct. same goes with CD sales. iTunes sold 16 billion songs as of the end of 2011 and accounts for 28% of music sales and it is is only going to increase as time goes. what we are seeing is a shift of business model and the copyright czars cant bear it because unlike the past the author can take complete control of their products without paying them a’s only a matter of time before most of the major artists follow the louis ck line.

      • cblouin

        I hope you realize that if indeed, you are able to lick your own ass.

        You are more talented than anyone here, myself included.

    • Catie

      Ok ryan I totally agree his post was totally unnecessary, and really annoying to read. But your reply sounded like it came from a 5 year old. And even if everyone does really enjoy reading your lists….you sound like a total tool stating it like that. So just calm down, and quit adding fuel to the fire.

      • Ryan Thomas

        Listen Catie,

        I cant help it if I am so much better at making lists on Listverse!

        A 5 year old? Are you serious?! I’m a freaking Listverst Author! Anything I say is of the upmost important.

        I am not adding fuel to the fire! I am only defending my good name because all of my fans want me to. I majored in ENglish at college. So I think I, know, how to write an article.

        • DanF

          Just a point but to say you majored in English the following sentence isn’t brilliant.

          ‘So I think I, know, how to write an article’


        • anon

          *utmost importance

          • Mob

            LOL LOL LOL

        • fragge

          I <3 this comment. hahahahaha

    • Truth-Monger

      Wow imposter alert…Same as the guy who made the date comment.

      • Jessie

        Who is this Ryan Thomas guy?
        where did he come from? he’s been here before?
        I read listverse everyday but I’ve never noticed him before.
        He’s a bit full of himself isn’t he?
        It’s amusing, though..

      • Maggot

        @Jessie: I read listverse everyday but I’ve never noticed him before.

        Lol. “Every day” starting when? A couple days ago?

        • jessie

          starting years ago, douchebag
          i’ve noticed your annoying comments though

          • Maggot

            Lol, a little sensitive are we? I find it quite hard to believe that if you’ve been “reading lists every day” starting from “years ago” and have noticed my annoying comments as you cheerily pointed out, that you haven’t also noticed the millions of other comments trashing Ryan on his previous lists. You can feebly try to insult me all you want (you should also have noticed by now that tactic doesn’t work on me) in effort to deflect attention away from that puzzling lack of observation on your part, but the question remains. You would’ve been better off just ignoring the question than drawing even more attention to it and making yourself look even worse in the process.

          • inconspicuousdetective

            i don’t like him either, but what are ya gonna do?

          • Maggot

            Gee, I wonder if I change my ways, will “inconspicuousdetective” provide me with the validation I so desperately need? Please love me inconspicuousdetective…I am nothing without you…

          • Jessie

            dude i’m don’t study these lists like you do..
            i also don’t keep track of who says what or when he says it..
            unlike you, maggot, i have something called: a life
            You have one too.. you’re just not using it.
            oh and i notice your comments because of the picture. stands out.

          • Maggot

            And out comes the clichéd “get a life” chestnut. Whatever dude. I can’t believe ye of the oh so rich life is drawing this out for so long. Using your logic, you just called 90% of the people who post here no-lifers, based on the amount of attention Ryan’s gotten. There have been so many comments about him and his flood of poor lists in the past couple months that I just thought it funny that a person who “reads listverse every day” hadn’t noticed him before. That’s all it was. It’s not my problem that you can’t handle being made fun of, after dishing on someone else. Just let it go, man…

    • Did you really just expend that much effort tallying up typos. Where’s your life?

      • Ben

        It took about ten minutes. And most aren’t typos, but bad writing, ignorance and pitfalls that people who can’t write fall down. After reading so many of Ryan’s terrible lists, I don’t think ten minutes to point them out to him is too bad really.

        Listverse is going down the pan because of terrible writing and lazy listers, you’ve got a choice to pretend it’s all brilliant and enlightening or point out the crap and try to get rid of it.

        • mom424

          By the way – double dutch is a skipping game; two ropes swung alternately and overlapping, a third person jumping both – thought you’d like to know. Not quite a mixed metaphor, but nearly.
          And a little credit is due; this list is not near as nasty/sarcastic as many other Ryan offerings. Maybe he’s been paying attention and is toning it down some? Here’s hoping.

        • CMPunk

          Thanks Ben,

          I’ve noticed shit lists leaking through the cracks for a few months. I just wish JFrater or whoever runs the show would listen to the comments.

    • Troll feeder

      Dammit another troll got loose, apologies everyone.

    • ARSE

      I hate peices of sh!t that will not spend time to make their own “superior” list but spend an hour correcting someone else’s. Ben your a f**king idiot.

      • Ben

        Hey thanks for your feedback ARSE, it is good to know that I’ve provoked an emotional response. What you’ve described is basically what editors do, and they get paid. They exist because a lot of writers write bollocks that needs tidying up. And it took 10 minutes.

        • Jessie

          you annoy me.. ya really do

          • inconspicuousdetective

            it’s not tuesday yet.

        • R-Awesome85

          You are dull and exhausting to listen to. I am also going to assume people can’t stand you in real life either…

          It’s not your job to “correct the internet”.

          • Schmick

            Arguments are free for everyone online.. If i could figure out how to advertise in the middle of an internet blue I’d make millions..

          • Ben

            Yeah people hate me in real life too. That’s why I follow Ryan around the internet correcting his work. I’m doing him a favour really; he has aspirations to become a paid writer, so I’m just helping him out on that quest. Because nobody will pay for this kind of crap in its current form.

      • Sgt. York

        ARSE: You are aptly named.

    • Sgt. York

      “Ryan Thomas”: I smell a troll…and a pretty good one too…unless this is the actual Ryan Thomas in which case you are WAY more retarded than I first suspected

    • Douchy McDoucherson

      Hahahaha. This is excellent. I love grammar Nazis. Also, Ryan Thomas stinks.

    • TL; DR.

    • brian

      Ben, good points. You are now the anti-Thomas hero.

  • Metalwrath

    Internet started becoming mainstream when I was around 12, but it was 56k and on the slow family computer which my parents would use most of the time.

    Aaaah, the good ol’ days when I had to suffer the embarrassment of buying an erotic magazine in a shop so I could experience the joys of female anatomy.

    And in case you’re wondering, I live in France so yeah, most shop owners will sell a pRon mag to a minor.. just like most won’t ask your ID card to buy cigarettes and alcohol, even if it’s illegal. :D Some do refuse though, and that’s when it gets even more embarrassing.

  • odin

    yeah right no one is paying for movies anymore the 10 billiob dollar gross this year is just imaginary monopoly money.what is this an ad for SOPA? none of the industries mentioned above have declared a loss this year, infact digital music sales have spiked sharply and piracy has decreased in countries where there is an alternative like spotify or netflix is is not the users fault that the idiot companies are still stuck in the 20th century when it comes to geographical restrictions.why can’t someone in india buy the same music available in america when he is ready to pay the same amout???

  • karl

    That’s it, good bye Listverse. only top tenz from now on for me.

    • Just saying.

      He writes for them too.

      • karl

        Maybe but they seem to have some quality control.

        • Lrak

          You won’t be missed, good bye indignant person.

    • Selena

      cracked can be fun too sometimes!

    • Ironman

      Nobody cares..go somewhere else…

      • fragge

        Your comment is as inane as his – surely he does not care that nobody at the site that he doesn’t care about cares that he is leaving said site. #pointingouttheobvious

        • Ironman

          Your comment is as insane as his and mine put together…enough said.

  • Will Trame

    That photo of Colliers encyclopedias brought back memories. I still have a set of yearbooks dating back from 1960 to 1989, as well as the initial encyclopedic set. I know with the Net they’re obsolete (a pity) as they were valuable during my high school and college days when doing many a term paper. There was no Wikipedia then and such projects required much more time, discipline and numerous trips to the library. I recall those days with fondness and frustration. Yes, the Net can be both a blessing and a bane.

  • conglomonary

    hmmm i think you need to actualyy read this list to see it is much better written than previous ones, so don’t jump on bandwagon

    • odin

      how is this better? seems like a mpaa and riaa manual more than a list

  • Jay2FreshFoSho

    another rasist list dat ignores africans n black people, this site is effed up yo

    • qwerty

      #0. Peace and Love
      People nowadays don’t pay for peace and love anymore. They give it away freely with all their heart and soul. Let us share peace and love with anyone and everyone we know and don’t know. We must love and be at peace with one another. We must all be one and wait for the arrival of our alien masters to come and harvest all our hearts and brains for their feast of ecstasy..

    • Pauly

      …cuz da’ man is keepin’ ya down with spellcheck?

      • Sgt. York

        No…just intellectual standards.

        • Pauly


  • This list is flawed at a basic level, most of the things people still pay for and things that have other alternatives. Talking long distance, it still costs more, people still use phones, some phone companies have plans that allow people to have long distance calls for cheaper. It was going to happen eventually with the proliferation of phones. Also, born before the age of the internet, never spoken to an operator.

    People still watch movies/buy DVD’s, people still buy programmes and games, people still watch television. Most of the people I know that use streaming services use them to watch television shows that are being shown in America and will not be available to us for a few weeks/months.

    with the general information point, there are libraries.

    Also music piracy has been around longer than a decade, it’s been around since people could use a tape recorder to record songs from the radio.

    The list is flawed from the start. Also, technically, with theft and fraud, people still didn’t pay for those things when there were no other alternatives.

  • Surya

    Hey, I do pay for watching cable and satellite TV. Even for making a call over Skype one needs to have a broadband connection that costs money.

  • tavarus

    Just look at what louie ck did, people still buy your things as long as you are not a dick about it and the current model needs to change the industries are still stuck in the past

  • hastalavistababy

    What about textbooks, We download 99% of our textbooks free from filestube,ebookie etc and end up saving thousands of bucks .

    No wonder the publishers are pissed off, but these bastards started jacking up textbook prices;so I guess it is justice served.

    • Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS


      While I agree that textbooks cost a lot of money, I cannot agree that it is the publishers just ripping us off. If you ever notice in a textbook the list of all the people who reviewed the book beside the author, many if not all of these people were paid to do so. I have reviewed textbook chapters for companies and we get paid sometimes in the hundreds of dollars to review these chapters, because of the amount of time, fact checking, typing up of feedback, etc. that goes into it. If they did not have a team of experts proofread and make suggestions, the quality and reliability of the textbooks would be diminished. It costs publishing companies a surprising amount of money to make any new edition of a textbook, more than I would have realized as a student. Then, because of file versions shared illegal as well as the amount of used books sold, the new copies of books almost have to have a high price in order for the companies to make a profit let alone stay in business.

  • The Mick

    gotta comment, only because i disagree with a few things…

    10) talking long distance, by phone, is still the only option for many people as the recipient may not have internet access, or a computer for that matter. While there is competition between phone companies, the fact is that you still pay to call overseas.

    9) many things wrong here. hackers and Gamers are not largely one and the same. how fkn insulting.

    Top shelf games like Battlefield Bad Company or Call Of Duty for example, have their own serial number for every disc. Although you might be able to copy the disc, you almost certainly wont be able to play the online content of the game, which is primarily the main attraction.

    As for Sony blackening the discs, well, they were easily read (and reproduced) by a standard cd-rom drive. It wasnt a special dye. You had to modify the Playstation, and although Sony changed the circuit boards many times during its life cycle, the new cracking hardware was sometimes available as early as 5 days after the new release from Sony. I dont think Sony cared that much, they were selling consoles, not software, and they were selling by the millions. Dreamcast lost market favor because of lack of titles, not piracy. Sega is now a software-only company.

    7) television is free-to-air in Australia, we have never paid for it.

    5) here’s a tip for all males. pay for everything on the first date. if she really insists that she pays for her share, tell her she can pay on the second date. If she agrees, it means 1) you get a second date (!) and 2) she actually likes you and had fun on the first.

    2) circulation figures for popular newspapers are still strong, suggesting people still want the old format. Not everyone has an iPad or tablet PC.

    1)music (and movie) sales have been hurt by illegal downloads, sure. Cant disagree. But where the recording companies failed was in overcharging people for so many years. The big chiefs were far too well paid. To combat the illegal downloads, these same recording companies are now offering digital downloads but at a much cheaper cost. My question is: if an album used to cost $25 instore but now costs $7 to download, was the remaining $18 really for transport and retail outlet?

    • Schmick

      Very good Point The Mick, in Australia we pay top dollar for everything new CD $35-DVD $30-$49- movies $15+ pay TV is more expensive than unlimited internet and you can also have access to gaming as well as downloadable movies music & television.. Shows that run for 7-8 seasons like entourage and weeds start on freee to air and move tp pay tv as soon as there is fan base, sons of anarchy pay tv only, Boardwalk Emoire I never would have heard of but saw advertised for pay tv at a train station and east bound and down was on free to air but after 11pm then disappeared after few episodes..

      Retailers here are complaining that they are not getting customers and loosing sales to the internet especially at christmas, but why buy a CD here when I can have it delivered in 3 days for $17- and they expect us to pay $35- better yet I can download a digital copy free that is never broken or wrecked or scratched. Start making cheap long lasting content for the internet like apple and adapt to the market like netflix and people will pay for quality. I can’t say how many movies i have downloaded that i never would have watched had I had to pay (BTW $7- for a new release DVD overnight at video ezy). But the consumer will consume for free if content is available, so steal it all now soon they will work out how to charge the consumer as much as possible and make billions off us as per usual.

  • Julius

    “What internet-savvy consumer would pay to read what can be read, on a more timely basis, for free? ”

    As long as the quality of journalism available online is as inferior to the one available in news papers as it is now, I’m going to keep paying for news.

  • SwampRob

    Kind of a misleading title. Some of the things on this list aren’t free, it’s just that their theft is more common.
    Skype is a truly free product, and can be used as such with breaking the law. That’s not true for several items on this list.

  • meg

    love how people here leave nasty comments instead of having genuine conversation.

  • Dalton

    Why aren’t video games on this list?

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      ……because we still pay for them

    • Judd

      Software is listed. Technically it counts.

      The only reason videogames are pirated less in general is because the files and disc images are way more Gigs to download than, say, a single file of a film or group of MP3 songs.

  • karl

    people still pay for newspapers . Such a pessimistict, modern and first world view. Im a jounralism student and im literally in the middle of writing an assessment on the decline of newspapers due to the internet and other factors

    Yes newspapers have lost their edge but they are still around. Millions of pounds/dollars/euros etc. are being spent on newspapers because they still get a return. You can charge more for advertisising on a paper than on the internet new site. There honestly so many factors in this arugment that its impossible to predict the outcome. Yes the internet is seemingly killing newspapers but they are still here and the drop in sales isnt anyting too dramatic to say newspapers will be dead in the next few years.

    Its in the exact same situation as cinema, Cinema viewings over the last 90 or so years have dropped dramacitcally but yet there is still silly amounts of money being paided to see films.

    Just a small and simple comparison whilst i take my 10 min break from this essay as i really cant be arsed to re write everything ive just written ha.

    NB. dont be surprised by a lot of spelling, grammer mistakes and all of that, cbb with re reading what ive just written

    • Jésus

      You can tell you’re a journalist with an attitude towards spelling and grammar like that

  • cblouin

    The big parasites of the entertainment industry are even now rallying an army of law degree toting mouthpieces for the final attack!
    The SOPA laws are coming and if that doesn’t work the simple re-positioning of a comma or perhaps and added word in the bill will bring them right back to the front.
    The nature of this particular beast accords no rest, no respite and certainly no quarter.
    They will not stop until total control has been re-established.

    Shakespeare was right!

    Unfortunately it’s too late to hang all the lawyers now….

  • Still_Paying

    It’s an interesting list, but I’d amend the title slightly to read “Top 10 Things People Don’t HAVE TO Pay For Anymore,” or “Top 10 Things SOME People Don’t Pay For Anymore,” since there ARE people who still pay for many or all of these services and products.

    For instance, I currently pay for my internet and phone service, as well as office related, so-called “productivity” software. I’ll admit to watching “free” movies posted on YouTube, though. (There are literally thousands at any given time, though they disappear quickly once the copyright holders spot them.)

    I think your comment about Wikipedia is on the mark — “…while it isn’t any good for scholarly research…” Unfortunately, many people take the information provided in a Wikipedia article at face value, and go no further to check or validate the “facts” provided about a given topic. (Students–take note!)


  • chikius


  • GrammerNazi

    Ryan is starting to really piss me off. I do not take advantage of any of the stealing on this list. Half of this list is nothing but stealing, and it’s not the internets fault it’s the lazy ass generation who do not understand the value of hard work and buying their own mechandise. They do not understand that they are hurting other people when they steal. If you cannot afford a movie you shouldn’t be watching them, you should be re-evaluating your life. I work, than reward myself with a movie that I paid for. Your title is way off, not all people do these things. And free news and a pirated movie are completely different, someone is getting paid for the commercials on the news. Blockbuster went out of business because they used to be the only move store around so they could charge whatever they wanted. I go to Family Video now and get three times the amount of movie for the price of blockbusters. Blockbuster was greedy and over charged people so they lost their customers to a cheaper retialer

  • Jon

    The title is so misleading.

    The author seems like a try-hard at writing.

    This is the first list I’ve hated

  • Sbtier

    Is this free dating thing common? ‘Watching TV’ seems really lame for a first date.

  • Bassbait

    I still pay for 8, 7, and 1. Because I think it’s right to.

  • This list is just stupid. Obviously the list writer doesn’t understand the first thing about marketing or economics. If people aren’t paying for these things then how are they multibillion dollar industries? Somebody is paying and paying small fortunes for some of this stuff..

    Don’t believe the hype!! For every illegal download doesn’t count as a loss sale. Most of these people would have never bought this crap in the first place and are actually more likely to buy more in the future if they get a chance to try it first..

    The real issue is that every time a new technology allows people consume things in different ways, the corporations that produce these products and services don’t want to change. They only are interested in raking in as much profit as they can without ever adding any value or adapting to change in any way.. The concert promoters fought against recording, The recording industry fought against Radio, and radio fought against cassette tape. The same with The theater fought The movie studios, Studios fought television, and television fought beta-max and VHS. This is only business not reality. They don’t care about “the greater good”. They only care about profit period..

    What they all know, but won’t admit though, is that change is inevitable. The only thing we have to decide is how long are we going to let them rip us off with outdated, inferior, replications of the same old thing they push on us before demanding they accept and adapt to the changes that we want and need…..

  • Maggot

    I see several comments framing their critique of this list around the theme of “wtf, people still pay for these things!”, but IMO that’s misdirected. It’s a mistake to assume that saying “people…” means “ALL people…” It’s just a bit of creative rhetoric in the title, but in almost every entry, it is mentioned or pointed out that revenue is still being generated by the industries in question.

    The more pertinent flaw (mentioned a couple times already) is that some of these items are truly legitimately “free” now, when they didn’t used to be, and that others are just a proliferation of easier ways to steal something. Focusing entirely on the former premise would’ve been more interesting IMO. Though I suppose it could be argued that few things are truly free in this world, thus adding to the intrigue. I mean, you still have to buy a computer to have access to these “free” things. I know, using a library, school, or workplace computer is “free”, but…are they really?

    Anyway, I would add that the Dating entry doesn’t even make sense. What’s changed there is only that there are, according to the entry, easier ways to meet and get to know potential dates now (via social media, etc.). But meeting people has always been free. The act of actually going out on a date still costs money though. Or not, depending on how creative or adventurous the couple wants to be, but that has always been the case as well.

  • Kat

    A. It’s called going Dutch. Double Dutch is a form of jump rope.

    B. It’s nice how you stole the “music” image from a site which appears to be called “shutterstock,” but I’m not sure I can read the watermark. Maybe your bonus item should be how no one pays for stock images anymore.

    • The Mick

      LOL Kat, well spotted !! Indeed, how many of these images have been used by the author of this list without permission?…

  • Lasnit

    LOL. I just have to comment on this: World Within’s Hyun Bin and Song Hye Ko! Another thing people don’t have to pay for anymore: K-Dramas.

    • sorcy79au


      Hyun Bin…*drool*

  • Darren

    Most of this is wrong and incorrect. Movies, music, software etc you still have to pay for. If you steal it then you don’t but that’s the same with everything else. Obviously the author has accepted that stealing these items are now acceptable.

  • 504KO

    I think this list was entertaing. some of you guys really need to take the stick out your butt and relax a little… just yank it out and BREATHE!!

  • poopman

    The picture used for Movies is actually the cover art for the game ‘The Movies’.

  • John V. Karavitis Excellent post, Listverse! What we’re seeing here, of course, is how our world has changed over the last quarter century. Information has become free, and short of draconian measures being taken by the government, there is no “putting the genie back in the bottle”. The next “change” is being driven by the ubiquitous presence of cellphones and tablet PCs, where information about social trends will fly faster than the wind. Expect a lot more chaos, a lot more “cocooning” of social groups, and even more polarization of ideas. There’s been a lot of good, there’s going to be a lot of bad, too. John V. Karavitis, John Karavitis, Karavitis

  • ConstableDubs

    Seeing how a single video game holds the record for largest entertainment launch ever ($360 million sold in 24 hours, over $1 billion in the first month) I’d say software is still going pretty strong.

  • SallySalimander

    Thank GAWD Segues hasn’t commented on this list. A Segues comment on a Ryan Thomas list would just be overkill.

  • Lexia

    What is funny in most cases like Movies and Music it was their own anti-piracy tactics that ruined them. Yes tell the millions of PAYING customers that they can get the stuff for free, that sounded like a great idea at the start. Tell the paying customers that you can find the stuff online for free of course they will just follow that, it got worst when they announced it.

    And newspapers is just as what was said, they was very slow with the times, why pay 1$ (for my local paper) for news that was old when it was printed on the paper! The paper is thin and out dated with no real information that has not been told online or on TV a million times over. It is just pointless, their moves to go online are to slow and not working, it is funny really.

  • Jericho

    howabout email eliminating the mailmen and the whole post services? this should be number1.

  • Jim Oliver

    “who in their right minds would pay a dollar per song for the same lousy song file”
    Apparently a lot of people. Check out how well iTunes does when it comes to selling music.

  • tata.

    …hmmm ‘listverse’!!!!! To word to describe tht sentence!

  • “This is precisely why the Dreamcast no longer exists”

    Most of my original DC discs are scratched beyond repair, but it’s okay because my backups still work like a charm. I wonder how many people can do that on their Playstation systems at no cost more than a blank disc? …hmmmm?

    Also, it should be mentioned that the GDs are different from CDs, but that was sadly not enough for copyright protection purposes.

    • TRUTH

      Yeah the Dreamcast claim is outright falsehood and spin.

      Dreamcast failed because of lagging third-party support and competition in market from the PS2 which ultimately killed it off. Not because of piracy.

      Shockingly untrue and invented comment in this list, just to support its thesis.

      They should start fact-checking these things before publishing.

  • Sgt. York

    …aaaaand Ryan Thomas continues to fail miserably at being a good writer or making a decent list.

  • James

    This list is terrible! Are you a SOPA supporter Thomas?!?!?

  • Stranno

    The Listverse Book


  • Novac

    I still pay for music and software. I love buying albums.

  • Andeee

    Long distance phone calls? I don’t think that the phone companies are worried considering how much they make from broadband connection fees. That’s something pretty much everyone still has to pay for these days.

  • slaterson

    I still pay for all my music. I love to see all the artwork and lyrics that come with the CDs. I also like to support the artists that create the great music I enjoy so much. I don’t feel like I “deserve” to have their creations for free. Most musicians I have read statements/interviews with don’t want their music stolen. I think it is ok to share some stuff, they want to be heard, but if you like the band then I think it is worth paying a little bit of cash for the enjoyment you get out of the music. I also like to have a hard copy because if my computer/ipod craps out or is stolen, I still have all my tunes. As far as only having “one or two good songs” there is always itunes, you can purchase those songs you like. Support the musicians you love.

  • gigi

    Downloading music is not theft. It is physically impossible, since it is the copying of data. Downloading, at most, is plagiarism. People who claim “Oh, but It’s free entertainment!” are morons. You can borrow books, movies, music and much more from the library, yet you don’t see industries having a fit over patrons borrowing the material for free entertainment.

    Fact of the matter is the entertainment industry is not losing anything. They are making proportionately more than ever even while selling albums even cheaper, and while I agree that the artists should be able to protect themselves, this is not what the anti-downloading propaganda is all about. This whole mess is about nothing more than the execs bitching because they have ten Bentleys in their garage instead of twelve.

    The industry didn’t give a damn when people were making their mix tapes and taped movies off their local broadcast station for free.

    • Maggot

      Downloading music is not theft. It is physically impossible, since it is the copying of data.

      Stop mincing words. Simply put, if you reproduce copyrighted material without the owner’s permission in order to avoid having to pay for it, that’s akin to stealing it. What’s so hard to understand about that?

      Downloading, at most, is plagiarism.

      Don’t be dumb. Plagiarism is entirely different. Plagiarism is copying someone else’s intellectual property and claiming it as your own creative work.

      You can borrow books, movies, music and much more from the library, yet you don’t see industries having a fit over patrons borrowing the material for free entertainment.

      Do you not understand the difference between authorized borrowing of something from its rightful owner and the unauthorized taking permanent possession of something from its rightful owner?

      The industry didn’t give a damn when people were making their mix tapes and taped movies off their local broadcast station for free.

      It’s only logical that when the trickle became a raging torrent (no pun intended), “the industry” started giving a damn. Yeah the industry reacted too late and has been playing catch up ever since, but that’s beside the point.

      • Polly7

        Thank you Maggot for pretty much saying everything I wanted to say first. What an idiot: what reality do you live in, “gigi”?

  • Comgallsmith

    These type of Person are more selfish and Stingy therefore There does not believe in this Person .

  • john

    Every single one of these things is paid for by someone as they all require resources to be generated and someone had to provide those resources.

  • Dennis

    I still buy CDs all the time. It’s not the same experience without the physical copy. Especially for concept albums!

  • Celia

    Every time I read a Ryan Thomas list’s TITLE I know it’s his. People don’t pay for the Smiths.

  • Sooty

    Would just like to add that Myspace is pretty much dead even for musicians nowadays. All of the musicians I know use Soundcloud; it isn’t covered in flashy gifs & ads and is focused more on producing music rather than adding fans.

  • Thegiantcookie

    this article implies that piracy actually is harming these industries.
    good one :D

  • memebase

    Listverse is full of faggets. Y’all be some douches, ya heard!

  • Kennoth

    This article is BS. So now that there’s internet, nobody’s single anymore? This particularly struck a nerve. Finding date easy? Yeah right.

    As for the musicians: you want money? Tour. That’s how most of bands revenue comes from anyway, not from the album sales (from which they only get around 30%).

  • Kyle

    Everyones looking at music the wrong way, so what if the entire music industry collapses? I can’t imagine anyone would say “Well, we tried that music thing, that didn’t work, lets not do that again” sure a lot of people would lose jobs etc, but the music industry has turned into something that is far removed to how music as art should be viewed, less than 1% of people making money in the music industry are the artists themselves. It’s the natural progression of something, humans will feed on music with or without major 5-record deals, or 15 year old boys being sold for profit. (That sounds about as horrific as it is)

  • brian

    A lot of these things people still pay for. I dont know anyone who watches TV on the internet.

  • J

    Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, etc seem to be getting very rich. Avatar made a bit of money if I recall. Wasn’t Sheen making a million an episode before splitting with 2 and 1/2 men?

    Strange, wonder where all that money can be coming from if we don’t pay for music, movies or tv anymore.

    I think there might be some misrepresented “facts” on this list.

  • Htos1

    Why is everyone killing the messenger here?Seems about right to me.I worked in entertainment for almost 30 years,and I saw the same thing happen.

  • artmsbrass


  • Kong Lor

    Blame SOPA and PIPA

  • Andrea Velasquez!

    Hy Ryan…

    I ‘m interested in develop an interview for a important radial program in Colombia, is posible?



  • Andrea Velàsquez

    Hi Ryan;

    I’m a producer “the originals” radial program in Colombia. This program is the most important for young people. All days like as: restaurants, music, movies, and diferentes interviews of relevant aspects.

    I want made a interview for tomorrow esastern time, about your article TOP 10 THINGS DON`T PAY FOR ANYMORE…..

    For this program is very important this interview, I`m wait for your just anwser….


  • bethany

    This is interesting and seemingly true. I’ve seen a lot of people stop buying these things listed here. That’s why people can’t trust in careers anymore, they have to trust God like the dollar says

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  • Arjun

    Perfect list

  • Nikki

    Only two I agree with you on is movies and music the rest not really