What’s new in Publishing has an article today about Micropayments “unlocking an entire economy” between ads and subscriptions, which really resonates with me because it’s something I’ve really wanted, and something I’ve invested time and money into developing.
As far back as my earliest days on the Internet on the Media 100 User email Group (still alive and well BTW) I realized I’d make a nice side income if anyone I’d helped could tip me 5c or 10c. That wasn’t possible in the early 1990’s, but come to early this century we tried to bring micropayments to podcasts (via KlickTab).
KlickTab, and the Open TV Network, suffered from the classic bind of not enough content to be attractive for potential users, and not enough users to be attractive to potential content providers.
If we can find a cost effective way of allowing small “tips” (aka Patreon) or charges for an article, or a video or segment of video, that is also frictionless then it might, as the article suggests, open new streams of revenue for content creators.
Subscriptions require a regular, ongoing supply of fresh content, and a long term commitment making them less attractive for creators and consumers, but small – and appropriate – amounts for specific content requires no commitment on either side.