"In the old days newsgroups - rather than web pages - were a major source of everything. It soon became obvious that only a few big players had the resources to catch all the postings in all the possible groups. That was worth a subscription"
Until recently I paid a subscription for a newsgroup service as, unlike the ISP bundled service they did a reasonable job of spam filtering. A few months ago one of my regular groups started to get lots of spam which they failed to filter. I didn't renew the subscription. I do, of course, still pay for newsgroups - it's part of my ISP sub.