Those of us that have been using the Internet for a while now have seen the topics of paid content and micropayments (which would enable paid content) come in and go out of fashion several times.
There has been a standard objection to the idea of paid content as a business model, namely that users will not pay for content because they expect everything on the Internet to be free. Equally unless you’re a big media site (think The Times or New York Times) you’re unlikely to be able to charge a significant yearly access fee and small one off payments (micropayments) haven’t been cost effective.
All that could change however as the New York Times is reporting that Google is planning to develop a micropayment system that will be an extension of Google Checkout. Google is quoted as saying:
The idea is to allow viable payments of a penny to several dollars by aggregating purchases across merchants and over time.
Which is interesting. If Google does develop a micropayment system then they have the brand credibility and marketing budget to make it widely accepted and it could enable a wide range of online business models – i.e. blogs could charge a penny per page for access or they could offer a free version that is ad supported whilst for a few pennies per page the reader has the ability to view it without ads.
E-book authors could post their content as websites and allow a per page or per chapter fee. For that matter traditional authors/publishers could do the same.
So get thinking, what new business opportunities would a micropayment system operated by Google afford you?Email This Post