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Google launches Contributor, a crowdfunding tool for publishers

Stashed in: Google!, Awesome, Crowdfunding, Monetization, MetaPanda, Mashable!, Imgur!, Google, @om, Urban Dictionary

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PW, get thee to a crowdfundery!

Crowdfunding for publishers?! Whoa.

Okay, I signed up for their waitlist:

Btw, launch partners are Science Daily, Wikihow, Urban Dictionary, Mashable, The Onion, and Imgur.

That's really a who's who of content creators on the web.

If anyone can prove the subscription model can support websites, it's those companies. 

Fascinating that Google would experiment with monetizing websites by removing ads:

Google often gets criticized by publishers for taking their content without asking them first, but the web giant has probably done more to experiment with alternative monetization options for content than any other media entity. On Thursday it starts rolling out a new one called Google Contributor, which is designed to allow web users to pay sites that they visit a monthly fee, and in return see no Google ads when they visit those sites.

Google said the new feature is launching with 10 publishing partners, including Mashable, Imgur, WikiHow and Science Daily. When a user goes to the Google Contributor website (initial access is by invitation only), they see a list of the publishers that are participating in the beta version and they can choose whether they want to contribute $1, $2 or $3 a month.

For publishers, the contributions are handled through their existing Google advertising accounts, with the search giant taking a small cut of the proceeds. In effect, the contributions are an alternative to just relying on Google AdSense. The company said it chose partners who didn’t have too much traffic (with the exception of Mashable, which gets 40 million uniques a month) because it wanted to start small and see how much the feature would get used.

One of the most interesting features of the project is that after the Google Contributor payment is triggered, a user will no longer see the usual advertising from Google on the pages of the site they are visiting — instead, they will see a message from the publisher, thanking them for their contribution. And in some cases, on mobile versions of the site, ads may disappear altogether.

The Google spokesperson who described the project said Contributor was another example of the company’s attempts to help web publishers and content companies monetize their readership more easily, along with similar experiments like Google Consumer Surveys, which allows websites to require that readers fill out a survey before they get access to content.

Earlier this year, Google also launched a contribution system for YouTube video creators called “Fan Funding,” which allows viewers to donate anywhere from $1 to $500 to the channel of their choice.

I like it! But as always, their price point is too high.  I think consumers don't think in terms of monthly subscriptions, in fact, they only want to pay a flat fee and use it up as they consume. It's more equivalent to a variable rate/month subscription, but averages out closer to around $.30 to be acceptable, even with those types of premium content sites they mention.

Encryptanet pitched our Paycloud service to the Google Payments and Google News groups which had client-side certificates as a hidden mechanism to 1) separate premium users from non-premium users without either having to log in, nor lose their cookies, and 2) the ability to separate the cost, money, and stored value from the actual use of it in such a way you could spit a single dollar into millions of micro-content accesses that were cryptographically secure and also not have to centrally verify every single Web URL access.  

I think I have the original slide deck we presented to them:

Unfortunately, it was way too early for them and they weren't ready to experiment with the stuff as their ad sales were a juggernaut that needed no other alternatives.

Perhaps we have to move to a cybercurrency like Bitcoin bits?

That seems to be the model of ChangeTip for example:

No, I think the normal currency works just fine.  People keep trying to solve the currency problem that doesn't exist.  They need to solve the operational, automated provisioning, decentralized, micro-access problem tying it to the currency that is causing the largest part of the problem.

Oh, I thought paying 1000 bits a month sounds substantial whereas paying 30 cents a month seems weak. But perhaps that's a spurious distinction. 

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