Linked by David Adams on Sun 11th Jul 2010 18:54 UTC
Internet & Networking There's an article today at that looks at recent trends around net-based pay-for services and the smattering of paywalls from News Corp to the NYT that are up or threatening to be put up, and speculating that this could be the beginning of a trend. Of course, a YouTube video rental site and a few large publishers putting up paywalls will make zero difference to the "free internet" on their own. But if they're successful, it could spark emulation. But could this be a trend that could snowball enough to change the nature of the net?
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Micropayments or montly subscription?
by Yamin on Wed 14th Jul 2010 23:14 UTC
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The problem with micropayments is a few fold.

1. Getting a universal payment system is hard. It's not a difficult technical challenge per se, but it's hard to get everyone to agree on how billing is done and where the bill goes. Not a huge problem. The ISPs could do it.

2. People hate micro-payments. I hate text message charges. oh 10 cents a message. I avoided text messaging like the plague until I got a text message plan for $5.00 a month. I still don't have data on my cell phone for this very reason. I'll wait until I can be confident that I won't go over and be charged up the ying ynag. The last thing I want is to sit there and watch my webusage keeping track of what websites I go to.

Whatever payment system evolves... and I think there will be one, will probably involve a monthly payment like you have for the internet/cable.

Let's say your ISP gets together with media companies and says we offer you free access to NYTimes, washington post, XYZ, DEF... for an extra $5.00 a month. They can figure out behind the scenes how to divvy up the money (maybe google analytics on usage or something).

During the world cup, my ISP offered special 'streaming' for the world cup for ISP customers. They just need to extend the model. You needed to login. I wish they made it automatically detect if they're your isp ;) If you're out of your home, then you could logon somehow.

Best of all, it had better be reasonably cheap. I can't figure out the pricing model for some sites.
I visit a fair bit. It's like ted ( an educational youtube). Recently they introduced subscribing to channels. Like you can get access to special 'Christian Science Monitor' videos for 14.95 a month. Jesus. Are they mentally insane? 14.95 a month not for full access to Oh no. 14.95 for access to a specific channel within it. Ummm... how about hell no.

However, what is interesting, is that you can't find all their content elsewhere. It is a really good site. One I would pay for. Just not $14.95 for a single channel. Even cable doesn't rip me off that much ;)

Edited 2010-07-14 23:17 UTC

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