How Viable is Content as a Business?

business models

I had an interesting conversation with a friend over the weekend, about reading books. My friend - who is not as connected as I am - said he was still purchasing & reading loads of physical books, whereas I had to admit that it has been years since I last purchased a physical book.

The thing is, whilst I've purchased quite a few digital copies of books in the last year, I've not finished many of them. Yet I'm probably reading more than any other time in my life, because I have such a vast amount of quality content that I get via Twitter or my RSS subscriptions and especially when coupled with Instapaper, I have more than enough content to consume.

So how viable is content creation still as a business model?

In my opinion, I'm a perfect example of how it is becoming increasingly difficult to monetize content. I'm definitely reading more than I ever have, yet I'm spending less & less money on paying for that content purely because there's no need to pay to access quality content. I really like Readability's initiative to get content creators paid, yet this surely isn't a mainstream, viable option yet. We also know for a fact that it's incredibly difficult to get your share of the limited ad spend that is out there, which makes it difficult to monetize in that way.

Where is content going?