Every time the issue of micropayments — small amounts of money charged for access to content — arises, we’re inundated with blog posts about why they won’t work for media.
I read those posts and I nod my head in agreement with some of the points that are made, but I keep going back to the thought that for me — a consumer of media — they would work just fine.
I’m not alone. Steve Outing has a new post, Newsday’s pay wall: From bad to worse, about his frustration over not being able to get at some interesting content in Newsday. After explaining that the single video he wanted to watch was only available if he bought a full subscription, he writes:
Since I live in Colorado, I of course have no interest in any of those [subscription] options. But if I could have paid 25 cents, or may 50, I might have done so to watch the video. Newsday.com ignores money from non-local online users who might be willing to pay a one-off fee.
That pretty much nails my attraction to micropayments, or small payments or one-off fees. I don’t mind paying for content, but in many cases I’m unwilling to pay for all your content just to get to the little bits of it that I want. (Yeah, I know I can’t subscribe to individual pages of your newspaper, but this ain’t the print age anymore.)
It’s not just media organizations that are missing out on some cash from me. Occassionally, I would like to watch a hockey game through nhl.com’s online service. But I haven’t discovered any way at their site to buy access to only a single game. They want me to buy a package.
One-off fees, for whatever reason, may not make sense to media organizations, but they make sense to me as a consumer. I have money to give you: you’re going to have to figure out a way from me to get it to you.
Updated on Tuesday, Nov. 10 @ 6:12 p.m.: Steve Outing has some more thoughts on what Newsday could do to attarct has money.