Monday, May 29th, 2017

Cable-model analogy to Clickshare cited in PEJ annual report

The online section of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism annual report on the U.S. news media, out March 16, 2010, included a reference to Clickshare. Scroll down to the “Micropayments” section:  

“Another discussed revenue stream has been the kind of subscriber access-fee that exists for cable. Cable news networks receive about half of their revenues from fees per subscriber charged to the cable service providers. These providers then pass that fee along to the consumer on their monthly cable bills. A similar model could potentially be implemented on the Internet, where fees are built into the internet access charge that users already pay. The idea remains hypothetical at this point, though, and there would be large hurdles to implementing it.  One hurdle is that content providers would have to band together to lobby the broadband internet providers (Comcast, Verizon, etc.) to get a cut of the revenue the ISP’s get from broadband fees. Another is a myriad of legal issues that would need to be addressed involving the control of information.  In 2008, Clickshare Service Corp. received a patent  on a system for managing information transactions on the web and the company, which has been serving newspaper and other clients for more than a decade, believes it can implement a service in which consumers have an account at one service (such as a news, cable or Internet service provider site, and can be periodically billed for access to information from a plethora of other affiliated content sites.

The next section, reporting on surveyed attitudes on paying for content, also includes a reference to “microaccounting.”

“There is evidence that some kind of flat fee — a networked microaccounting system rather than a pay-per-click system — might have better success in marketplace. We asked people if they had to pay for content from their favorite site, would they prefer a subscription that would allow them to access all the content from the site or a pay-as-you-go plan where they would pay only for the articles and features they wanted to see. A substantial majority of those with a favorite site (54%) opted for the subscription model while less than half as many (24%) picked the a-la-carte option. (Footnote No. 3, below)

“One technical and business challenge here is this: If people want to pay by subscription, but information is increasingly disaggregated across the web — then how could they do so without having to have multiple, confusing, subscription relationships?”

Footnote No. 3 reads:

“3. Those with annual incomes of $75,000 or more are only slightly more likely to favor a subscription plan, while the lowest-income respondents (those earning less than $30,000 annually) are more likely to prefer a pay-as-you-go-plan.”

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