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“Easy pay” web publishing model

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday February 24, 2010 )

Monetizing online content is never easy if you’re looking for big bucks. Many big name newspapers are considering paid access models and now the IAB board of directors chairman is suggesting a broader implementation of paid content.

David Moore suggests thinks the online publishing industry, well the big players anyway, need to set up a toll gate for content” that will allow users to access a myriad of sites.

He suggests publishers could charge 10 cents per session or a penny a page, backing the idea with evidence from a recent Nielsen survey that suggests that 52% of consumers would not object to a business model built on micro payments.

While 10c a session might be a bit rich, the basic concept isn’t such a silly or for that matter, new, idea. I mentioned back in April last year the adult industry has been doing this for a very long time.

In the adult web site “toll gate” type model, you usually pay $X and get access to Y number of sites for Z period – sometimes it can be hundreds of sites. How the revenue split occurs is something I’m not sure of and I guess in some cases the multiple sites are owned by a single company anyway – however, obviously the model works.

David Moore wasn’t suggesting a monthly subscription, more a bulk buy of credits to be used as the consumer sees fit. I can see this working if a bunch of top quality sites covering a wide range of interests got together – although, I can see fights over revenue shares being a real hurdle. It would probably need to work on the basis of the site that referred the initial signup getting a larger share than the rest in the network.

For we small-time web publishers, we likely won’t get to play or benefit from this – except for perhaps more visitors; those who refuse to pay under any circumstances.


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