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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  464 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Social and media will split

"Micro-transactions" were all the rage back about 15 years ago. (IIRC) The biggest hurdle at that time is that the credit card providers required vendors to charge each transaction individually. So that $0.05/article would actually cost $0.40, with the $0.35 transaction fee.

Internet businesses pushed the CC providers to allow batch processing, but the CC providers said no. They wanted their thirty-five cents per transaction.

Nowadays? This is TOTALLY feasible! And I would LOVE this.

I don't want a subscription to The Economist again. I want to pay $0.10/article. I'll happily read $10 worth of articles, because they are well-written, insightful, and valuable. But buy a subscription? Never again. (And I am not sure why I am so against getting another subscription. I was a subscriber for 10 or more years.)

romkeh  ·  464 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Kickstarter recently relauched Drip as a Patreon-style backer platform. I was invited to be one of their first projects at launch, but declined once I saw their payment processing fees. The usual 8% but with 20c per transaction, which they said was Stripe's demand. By the way, I wanted to launch a yearly subscription thing, which I found out wasn't going to be possible in their framework (only monthly and per-post, just like Patreon). For what I wanted to do, which was based on microtransactions, I just couldn't agree to it.

Funnily enough, Patreon last week announced a change to their processing fees that was really similar to what Drip was at launch this November. Patreon users balked. Just an hour or two ago, the CEO sent out an email apologizing and announcing they weren't going to roll it out after all. They're sticking with monthly batch processing.

kleinbl00  ·  464 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Microtransactions were seen as a way to prevent spam: if you charge .001 cents per email, average users can pay Google a dollar or whatever and never pay another dime for twenty years. The average 10 million email per day spammer, however, would be eating $100k per day. It bloody well better be profitable at that point.

What blows my mind is that people could look at that model and go "yeah! cut the spam!" but then look at 50,000 Instagram followers and go "no, no, all that shit is valuable!" or look at 85 Huffington Post articles and go "no no, totally worthwhile journalism!" or look at CPM and go "no, no, we should totally be paying seven cents per click this shit is valuable!"

Paul Carr argued, first at NSFWCorp and then at Pando, that a thousand readers at a dollar a month counted more than a hundred thousand clicks at a penny a month. But then, Pando mostly serves up sour grapes and hatorade so we'll never know. There's a reason I let my Mother Jones subscription lapse.

Meanwhile, The New York Times is doing fine.