Rent-Based Business Model
Advertising/Renting: You might think that advertising and renting are totally different concepts, but I think they are quite similar. I am a landlord. I spent a ton of money up front and bought an apartment building. As long as I make more in rental income than my monthly mortgage, I can make a profit. Lots of businesses work this way. Buy a building, then rent it out to others. As long as the renters pay more than the regular costs of ownership, you make money. The risk is that you can't find renters.
Advertising is similar. Lets say you buy a billboard on the highway. All you have to do is find a "renter" who is willing to pay money to post their ad on your sign. You are essentially renting it to others. Or TV. If you own a TV station you can show whatever programs you want. If you can find people who will pay money to use some of your television time for an ad, then you can make money. If you can't find enough advertisers, you lose. Thats why I think advertising and renting are the same thing. The only difference is what your people do with the space they rent from you.
The Internet can also be rented. Think about Google. All Google is is a massive search engine that rents space to advertisers. Advertisers pick a word that they want to rent, and everytime someone searches for that word, their ad appears. Its not a building, its not a billboard, and its not a television station, but its the same principle. As long as enough tenants are willing to pay for a spot, you make money. The key is to keep your space well maintained. If my building falls apart, no one will rent it. If Google gets outdated, no one will advertise on it.