Cambridge IELTS 15 Test 2 Writing Task 2:
In the future, nobody will buy printed newspapers or books because they will be able to read everything they want online without paying.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
In this digital world, many presses and publishers have jumped on the bandwagon of electronic commerce and many people have changed their reading habits due to the prevalence of online newspapers and books. However, I believe that it is ridiculous to say that everybody will stop purchasing printed materials and that readers will be able to read everything online for free.
It could be argued that when news and books can be accessed online, people may stop buying them from newspaper stands and bookstores. However, this obviously omits many other situations that people would buy printed newspapers and books. First, individual collectors, private and public libraries, and educational institutions may still need to order newspapers and books for personal, community, and teaching purposes. Even when these demands are gone in the distant future, some parents may still purchase board books for their children due to health concern, some sight-hindered readers may still need Braille materials, and believers may still have a predilection for printed Bible, whose sales volume has not receded since it was first offered on the Internet decades ago.
Even if all newspapers and books are digitalized and everyone turns to online reading, it will not be an everything-for-free world in the future. After all, producing online news and stories, like publishing them in the traditional way, also costs money. If we look into news agencies, such as Wall Street Journal and many alike, they have already adopted a paying scheme to charge online readers. Only with this sustainable income can these companies produce quality reports to keep their business running. This also applies to publishers, who now offer their books on platforms, such as Amazon and Apple Store, for a reduced price but not for free. I believe that future readers will not get free access to published books either, as it is unsustainable for publishers to offer their content for nothing.
In the future, people still have different incentives to buy printed newspapers and books and companies need the revenue from online sales to operate, so I find the idea absurd that everyone will convert to reading online where they can find free content.