AMHERST, Mass., Dec. 13, 2010 – Clickshare Service Corp., a provider of user registration, authentication, access control and e-commerce services, today announced that The Virginian-Pilot newspaper has selected Clickshare as the payments vendor for its iPad app. The Virginian-Pilot, the flagship newspaper of Landmark Media Enterprises, has already deployed the system, which enables payments to flow directly from consumers to the publisher, eliminating the current wait for Apple to enable content subscriptions through its iTunes store.
“The main reason that we’re doing this is to make The Pilot available to other mediums,” said Danielle Rodier, The Pilot’s circulation marketing manager. “It’s really important for us to diversify how we get information out to the public.”
The new iPad tablet app has several advantages over other payments and subscription management systems: By eliminating the wait for Apple to enable content subscriptions through its iTunes store, it also eliminates any fees Apple may charge in that service; and, it provides the publisher direct access to customer data.
Besides this new service, Clickshare has been providing its online subscription management solution to the Virginian-Pilot since March of 2008, controlling access to its digital edition (PilotOnline) under a “Freemium” approach which allows print subscribers free access to premium content while charging web-only customers. Expanding on that history, The Virginian-Pilot is one of the first daily newspapers to use Apple’s popular tablet computer/e-reader as a platform to deliver content.
In addition to Landmark Media Enterprises, Clickshare’s clients include The New York Times Company, Crain Communications, The McClatchy Company, A.H. Belo, Journal Register Company, Sun-Times Media, the Rutland Herald and a number of independently-owned newspapers along with other websites, magazines and government entities.
With the addition of the Virginian-Pilot, the combined circulation of Clickshare-serviced newspapers, magazines and trade publications has now passed the 2 million mark, including 1.3 million in daily newspaper circulation and 775,000 in trade publications. In all, Clickshare has surpassed the 3-million mark for registered accounts.
Mobilizing its service tools, and responding to the needs of its clients during the last 15 years, Clickshare has implemented and provided all of the various options being considered by daily newspapers currently exploring paid content solutions, including metered access, variable-term subscriptions, per-item or “daypass” pricing, and ecommerce payments for merchandise sales.
Ultimately, the company envisions sharing of news and other content within a network of affiliated Clickshare-enabled websites, providing free or reduced rate access to registered customers, while charging for access to non-customers.
Clickshare’s suite of paid content tools allows publishers to control access to content based on:
- user type (including geographic location, device in use or the affiliations or known attributes of the user);
- content type (including premium content, email services, commenting rights or viewing a preview rather than a full content item);
- payment type (content can be sold by subscription or per click, charged per event, by hours, day, week, month or year); or
- bundled packages (publishers can sell content in bundled packages which can include print, web, mobile or tablet services).
Clickshare has integrated with numerous content management solutions including Saxotech Online, Olive Software, Tecnavia, DTI, Handmark and Drupal.
In order to grow their businesses in the new Internet era, daily newspapers have been exploring paid various approaches to and requirements for content solutions, including metered access, variable-term subscriptions, per-item or “daypass” pricing, and ecommerce payments for merchandise sales. All these capabilities are included in the current Clickshare platform:
- Metered access – allows access to specific number of pages with gradual messages leading to registration and payment requests. Clickshare allows publishers to establish all of the threshold variables and parameters.
- Subscriptions for any type of term (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)
- IP-number-based access control — this is designed to allow global access in enterprise solutions such as master subscriptions for businesses or colleges.
- Multi-seat subscriptions — this allows master and subsidiary accounts for enterprise or family solutions
- Automatic renewal option for credit card payments
- Daypass pricing, or other limited-duration access
- Token pack — redeemable tokens for day or article access
- Free trials — limited-duration free access for registered customers
- Special pricing for different customer categories , such as print, geographic, etc.
- Newspapers In Education (NIE) access
- Voluntary payments or donations, or membership models
- Event registration and e-commerce payments for merchandise sales
Clickshare Service Corp., based in Amherst, Massachusetts, has been providing user registration, authentication, access control and e-commerce services to web and print publishers for more than 10 years, registering over 3.3 million accounts. Clickshare was formed in 1997, raised $2.9 million in equity capital through 2001, and has operated on revenues since. Shareholders include the University of Massachusetts, venture investors, PeopleSoft founder David Duffield and former publishing executives of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and Philadelphia Inquirer. More information on Clickshare may be found at: www.clickshare.com.