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posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 25 2023, @03:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the circle-of-life dept.

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a "two sided market," where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.

[...] Search Amazon for "cat beds" and the entire first screen is ads, including ads for products Amazon cloned from its own sellers, putting them out of business (third parties have to pay 45% in junk fees to Amazon, but Amazon doesn't charge itself these fees). All told, the first five screens of results for "cat bed" are 50% ads.

This is enshittification: surpluses are first directed to users; then, once they're locked in, surpluses go to suppliers; then once they're locked in, the surplus is handed to shareholders and the platform becomes a useless pile of shit. From mobile app stores to Steam, from Facebook to Twitter, this is the enshittification lifecycle.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by owl on Thursday January 26 2023, @05:02PM

    by owl (15206) on Thursday January 26 2023, @05:02PM (#1288725)

    At first, songs were varied, commercials were few.

    Then 'monitization' and 'unlocking of value' resulted tons of commercials, getting rid of the exotic DJs and mixes ('canned' hits only now).

    In my listening area, it was: the success of Howard Stern resulted in every FM radio station trying to create its own version of a "shock jock" with the result that one got 35 minutes of listening to the DJ whine about how a Harley Davidson dealer would not sell him a jacket, with 20 minutes of commercials interspersed, and 5 minutes of music (i.e., that stuff for why I had tuned in on the car radio in the first place) every hour each morning during "drive time".

    I very quickly found a way to play my own music in the car, starting out years ago with a portable CD player and simple FM transmitter, and ending up today with my cell phone providing "DJ free music" in the car 100% of the time.

    I had a brief de-tour through XM radio when XM had DJ free stations. Then Sirrius bought out XM, and the Sirrius DJ's needed something to do to justify being paid their salary, so Sirrius added talking DJ's to all the old XM channels. I promptly cancelled my subscription.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +2  
       Interesting=1, Informative=1, Total=2
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   4