This service should be free. But the archiving capability costs could add up. So a yearly charge for the aggregation and storage of your life media could make sense. Single charges for disk space could also work. 100 GB is x amount, if you need more, you buy more. You keep adding on as you need it. But disk space is rapidly becoming an undifferentiated product. The cost of space could be trivial very soon. Everyone seems to be giving gigs away now anyway. And why not? Today it's 1 gig or 2 gigs, soon it might be 1 terabyte or 2 terabytes. So the long-term viability of charging for space or usage probably won't hold up. Frankly storage might not be part of the service, that could happen outside of the DLM.
What about advertising? Here's how I see it working. At this time, we have Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing (Overture) ruling the keyword/content matching bidded ad space. Google even introduced sponsored listings into their Gmail application. This has been somewhat controversial as they essentially are delivering ads based on the content of your email.
I see a day when ads like this could also be delivered according to time. U.S marketers spent about $152 billion on event based marketing in 2003. This kind of spending has been growing at about 15% to 20% annually. Event marketing is the marketing that occurs at a particular event (sporting events, conventions, etc.) or marketing that is the event. A good example of that is the launch of the Scion car. Events took place at amusement parks across the country to promote the new vehicle designed for a more youthful market. All of these events happen at a particular place and a particular time.
There is also untold (I don't have a figure handy) dollars being spent on time-based/temporal advertising. Some examples include the advertising created for movies, special sales for retail (Labor Day Sale!), and the automobile industry ("Toyota Truck Month," etc.). Imagine how much more effective these ads could be in the context of time and dealing with your daily life and life media.
Now I'm not saying that this thing should be littered with ads, but there could be creative ways to include this kind of sponsorship that actually might be considered beneficial to the user. What if a movie's trailer played right in your DLM on the day it was released, with links to purchase tix at your local theater? What if you spent time at an autos site (Y! Autos?) researching a vehicle and an announcement appeared in your DLM featuring a special sales event from the manufacturer or dealer that you were considering? I could go on, but you get the idea. The more contextual the ad is, the more meaningful it becomes. Advertisers would eat this up. The question is how much will the user accept.
I do like the Flickr model. I don't know how successful it is, but the idea of showing ads to non subscribers and turning them off when the user pays is appealing. Maybe this could work here as well. It's funny, I almost forgot Flickr had ads.
None of this might be new (or make any sense). But I think it's worth exploring the power of temporal advertising in the context of the DLM and/or calendar.
These are just some thoughts. The truth is, we don't know what this is yet. The Digital Life manager or Digital Lifestyle Aggregator can take many forms. Monetization certainly should be thought through, but defining the optimum experience and implementation is most important.
Thanks for your time. :)