Micro-payment, for example. There are a few prototypes out there already, sadly they don't have the reach they need. But I am absolutely willing to pay for things I like. If hitting a universal "I like this" button means an automatic, behind-the-scenes transfer of a few cents to the content creator, why not?
We don't notice that this "everything for free" attitude is also in parts a result of this advertisement poisoning the well. They've told us for years that we can get cool things for free, but they were lying to us. It's not for free at all. The price is just not in dollars.
The LotR movies made, according to a quick googling, a world-wide total of 2.9 billion $. Let's be honest with ourselves and say that a LOT of people saw them without paying. I know a bunch of people who did, because I bought the extended version DVDs and made a big home-cinema event for my friends.
I would dare to say close to a billion people probably watched these movies. That's $3 for everyone. Apparently, there is a lot of inefficiency in the system, because no legal source offers the movies for $1 a piece.
With less overhead in the system, we could bring these movies to everyone interested for a few bucks per person and without taking any revenue away from the creators. Sure, I didn't figure in the costs for operating a cinema or pressing DVDs. But I sincerely hope you are not trying to tell me that in those $15 cinema tickets only $1 is going to the studio?
My "I like" button is easily applied to media of all kinds. Duration of consumation is a perfectly good criterium. If I watch most or all of the movie, I pay a bit for it. If I watch it a second or third time, I pay less than for the first time, or not. Details TBD.
It is absolutely possible and normal to pay for content, and if it were priced correctly, I doubt so many people would opt out. We have seen it with iTunes already, which has made music reasonably cheap and comfortable to get and most people prefer it over hunting for a torrent.
We are beginning to see it with movies now with Netflix, and HBO and again iTunes / Apple TV.
We are beginning to see it with books as well. It won't work as well because physical books still have the better form factor, haptics and general appeal.
But the point is: People are ready to pay, if they don't feel extorted. People don't like to pay for movies because they are not priced fairly. 30 bucks to watch a movie with your GF? Seriously? For students, that's a lot of money. They could just pay the Hollywood stars a few millions less and make the movie half as expensive. Most people do not trick people of similar wealth, but when you see these guys driving to dream holiday locations in supercars, wearing designer clothes that cost more than you make in a month, there is much less of an ethical issue. That's just applied psychology. Heck, even Hollywood has understood this already and changed their anti-piracy messages to pointing out how many normal jobs depend on movies. It won't work if they don't make these normal people visible, though, but don't tell them.