Paying for Content, Simplified

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By: Kristina Ackermann

Paying for Content, Simplified

As more and more publishers start eyeballing paywalls as a legitimate means of boosting revenue, it’s only a matter of time before a cost-effective strategy for premium content is in high demand. Sure, The New York Times can (arguably) afford to spend $50 million developing a paywall, but what about the rest of us? How can a small-time publisher charge for online content without going bankrupt in the process?

TinyPass is the company looking to solve the paid content dilemma.

TinyPass is user-friendly for both publishers and readers. The platform integrates easily with existing websites. The publisher specifies which stories a reader must pay to read and how much each of those stories will cost. The system can process payments as low as two cents.

For readers, TinyPass works similarly to the already-popular payment platform PayPal. Readers deposit money into their TinyPass account for the low startup cost of $1. When they want to read a story, they can easily see how much it will cost, along with how much money they have available to spend. Once their funds run out, they just deposit more money in order to keep reading.

Perhaps the most exciting prospect is that, once they’re signed up, readers can use their TinyPass accounts to pay for content at any website that uses the TinyPass platform — so the value of the service actually goes up as more publishers sign on to charge for access to their content.

Co-founder Will Coghlan told Business Insider that the goal is to create a solution for publishers that is as simple as Adsense. Publishers specify the parameters of the payment options, and the API works as a server-to-server authentication, unlocking content when it has been properly paid for by a user. TinyPass currently works on WordPress, Drupal, Java, and PHP and will come to Ruby soon.

The service is the latest project from Hudson Media Ventures, which specializes in premium solutions for online media publishers. Its flagship product is the Dynamo Player premium video platform.

A demo is available at TinyPass.com.

Published: June 9, 2011

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