Right now, around 15% of Internet users pay for some sort of service, according to Picard’s research. That number continues to grow, with around 30% saying they are willing to pay.
I don’t know if subscriptions are going to be the way things go. Subscriptions, like apps, move the web back to the “walled garden” mediaecosystem. I remember when people that had AOL, didn’t venture out of it into the “http://www” world.
I know that lots of skeptics scoff at micro-payments, but the real block to them is in the minds of the credit card companies who are set up to process hundredths of a cent transactions. Give people a wallet they can put $20 into, include a preference system where you set notifications for a maximum payment amount. Notify the wallet owner when the balance gets low. Then off you go, reading and browsing on an open internet, and when you read a story, the writer who has set a price of .001¢ or some other micro-amount, gets paid.
Kachingle has an interesting model too, with bundles and co-marketing.