How to pay for the web?
I believe you should pay for stuff on the web, and the reason for that is that the alternative option seem to be ad networks with tracking. Which I don't feel like there's a need to explain why it's bad. You can't just have everything be for free as people who make stuff need to earn their bread somehow, and you can't do that from thin air.
Of course though, I don't know if I would say you should go out there and buy youtube premium. I don't think I would ever do it, mostly because I don't trust youtube that much. I have paid for music though. I bought books for my ereader. I guess buying games counts as well? The issue I guess with these things is (for most part) that they are finished once they are put out. And a lot of things on the web are expected to be continuously worked on.
One of an interesting solution to that kind of issue could be micropayments. Imagine kinda like how a taxi fare counts up the longer you drive in it. It would keep the cost manageable (if implemented correctly). If you played a video on youtube and that video used someone's song while also showing imgages that someone else took, you could send both of these people and the main creator of the video a tiny bit of cash automatically. Obviously, something like opening a page and getting dozens of bucks taken away from you just shouldn't be possible to happen. Which probably would happen if any big tech organisation like facebook or google would attempt to implement this.
An other important factor is sharing of risk. Something like insurance for online work should exist. As these kind of jobs don't pay you a constant wage. You can have bad times come your way where a video you made just failed. What it now means is that hours of your work went down the drain for little or no compensation. Having something to balance that risk is good thing to have, as when you share the risk, one person can fail one time and nothing bad happens. It's unlikely that in a group of, let's say 100 people, all of them fail all at once. It's entirely possible though for a single person to fail without anything to fall back on.
I think I have somewhat of an evidence that paying for stuff works. One thing would be that when most say an online platforms is the best, it's usually the time when they are starting out, which is also the time they are funded by vc money. So someone is paying for it, but it's just not the user. Second one would be Kagi search engine. Which I gave a try for the last week, and you don't see as much garbage on it as you see on google. It feels like how google used to feel decade ago, as when I search for something, I still get links to various forums and non-mainstream websites. Lately I found something like chord.pub on it. Which I don't see myself using, but sites like these never show up with generic searches when I use google. I have to be specific.
Should everything costs something though? I don't think so. I wouldn't ever want anything on my site to be monetized. Lot of things should be ran for free and be accesible to anyone and everyone. The problem is, some things do require tons of effort to do right. And it's best to reward people for these things while also remove the incentive for predatory ad networks to exists. Plus, when money is at stake there's a feeling that you shouldn't waste it. I don't think (although I'm probably wrong) that slop like Mr Beast would be as big as it is now when it would costs something besides your time.
To sum it up though, the big thing is to have a ethical and well implemented way to do shared payments across the web. As that increases the incentive to create good things while also removing the incentives for predatory ad networks and tracking to exist.