Innovation That Matters

New platform for micropayments to news publishers

Publishing & Media

On most levels, news and the internet are a match made in heaven. Instant publishing, access to a global audience, hyperlinks, multimedia, etc. Nonetheless, many publishers are struggling to create a profitable business based on advertising alone, and are considering moving at least part of their content from free to fee. Aiming to make it simpler for publishers to charge for their content, newly-launched bitcents offers an easy to integrate micropayment system. Instead of each publisher having its own subscription and payment method, readers will be able pay once to access paid content—archived articles, in-depth stories and other types of (premium) material—from all publishers working with bitcents. The company adds an interesting twist: it’s inviting developers to create subscriber networks. Each network will recruit its own readers, who will have access to content from all of bitcents’ publishers. The idea is that subscriber networks will create their own tools and/or methods of content curation to differentiate themselves from other networks and to attract their own audiences. In return, they’ll receive a cut of the revenues created by sending readers to publishers’ paid content. (A sample subscriber network can be found here: tppnce.) Of course, for bitcents to work, it will need to attract enough publishers who produce content that readers are willing to pay for. Meanwhile, other ventures—like the soon-to-be-launched Journalism Online—are also working to create a new economic model for the news industry. Keep a close eye on this space—change is in the air, and business opportunities won’t be far behind. Spotted by: Anne Hansen



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