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Micro-payment per article > than full subscriptions?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by floridawriter1981, May 31, 2014.

  1. floridawriter1981

    floridawriter1981 New Member

    What are your thoughts on the viability of an iTunes'-like micro payment (I.E. - 10 cents per article) system for viewing full articles, rather than requiring full site subscriptions? A new company called Niuzly is using this system and I'm curious to see if publishers would consider implementing their system.
  2. HookEm2014

    HookEm2014 Member

    I think it would work rather well, much more assessable than paying a $20-30 chunk a month to access content. That said, it would be difficult to implement for a number of reasons. Most notably, finding a payment system that would universally charge without bringing up a payment system each time.
  3. floridawriter1981

    floridawriter1981 New Member

    Can I link to the site on here or is posting links forbidden by the moderator?
  4. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    The only problem with that is the "sales" are unpredictable and might have too much variance. You have $5000 worth of "clicks" or "buys" one month and only $1000 the next, something like that.

    Seems like a bean counter's nightmare and a hard way to sustain payroll and expenses. It'd have to be completely secondary to print revenue (which I suppose all of these are), but it seems like an easy way they're starting the digital subscription base is by charging a little extra to the folks already getting print and giving them online too.

    I don't know which is more sustainable long term but the second one is more of a sure thing early on, more predictable, easier to graph.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    What kind of content are you providing that I can't get for free a million other places?
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    One paper demands a monthly fee when you go to its Web site (either from the get-go or after some # of "free" visits). Maybe it's $10 a month, maybe it's $20.

    Another paper requires you to pay only for the stories you actually want to read, at a much lower rate (<$1 per).

    I'm more likely to spend real money with the latter option, a little at a time as it serves my purpose, than to fork over a committed monthly fee where I might get only limited benefit in certain months.

    This is a lot like those car wash joints that offer you unlimited washes for a monthly fee. Usually, if you do the math, you realize you get your car washed less than that monthly amount would justify.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I suspect this is one of those situations where consumers say they'd rather have X, but their actual behavior in the wild is otherwise.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    That's a very good point. Otherwise, I think it's a great model. I always wonder how SI would have fared if they charged a penny/nickel/dime per story/issue/whatever in The Vault. I couldn't believe the first time I discovered that and found out it was free. Thought they'd be one entity that could get away with charging for archived material.
  9. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    I believe new posters are restricted from posting links for a certain number of posts.
  10. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I've always thought this was the only hope to get people to pay for content. Something like iRead, and youd have one account and hundreds of publishers would be linked to it (that's the problem). Each could charge whatever it wanted for it's content, but the point is you wouldn't need a million accounts or passwords for each publication you wanted to read. Your CC would just be charged once a month for whatever you read.

    People thought music was dead because of file sharing but then iTunes came along and made it quick and easy and safe to pay 99 cents for a song.
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