There is a term that has been gaining traction in the discussion about digital revenues: micropayments. A micropayment is a small online transaction, most times less than a dollar. While currently less than a mainstream trend, micropayments are starting to gain popularity, and for good reason. Micropayments are more important than ever to those building sustainable digital revenue strategies. Let’s look at three ways that micropayments are important to the future of digital revenue strategies.
The way that consumers choose to engage with online content is becoming diverse. Quite a few websites offer digital subscriptions, either monthly or yearly. Though, that does not satisfy the needs
of all users. For example, someone who is not a frequent user, perhaps only interested in reading one article or visiting your site for the first time, does not see a subscription as a good choice. This could result in not only losing a possible chunk of revenue, but also a user.
However, by leveraging micropayments, a site could offer the option to purchase a single article alongside their subscription options. At this point the website is meeting the consumer and saying, “Here are a few choices you have to access this content.” This approach is more user friendly than saying, “Here’s your choice, take it or leave it”. Micropayments give the opportunity to offer a better user experience by increasing user choices.
As print revenues continue to decline, publishers are scrambling to augment those losses with digital revenues. Traditional digital ad placements are still an opportunity, but with the rise of ad-blockers, there is a fear that significant portions of that revenue could be lost. It is also a risky bet to say that all digital revenue can be satisfied from digital ads alone. By leveraging micropayments, publishers can more easily access reader funded revenues; previously unrealized revenue. The ideal situation would be for publisher to offer a reader funded model alongside their current ad placement campaigns, getting the best of both worlds.
A sound digital revenue strategy has many components, a digital arsenal if you will. Publishers will not attain long-term digital revenues if the solutions are quick fixes. Micropayments play an integral role as a powerful tool in a publisher’s digital arsenal. The key to a successful strategy is not placing all stock in one aspect of digital revenue. While they might not earn equally, a solid strategy will successfully leverage micropayments, subscriptions, digital ads, native ads and more. Whatever combination, make sure to stick with the strategy.
Micropayments are a new opportunity for publishers to offer their users with the right options while also bringing in otherwise unrealized revenue streams. And while $.25 might not seem like much, many purchases made over the course of several months could result in substantial revenues. Could the opportunity to sell a single article help publishers more quickly recover lost print revenues?