The Bitcoin Cheque payment system will enable new types of services.
Pay per news articles
Most newspapers have moved some of its business to the Internet. And most of them are trying to make money in the old fashion way, by selling ads and subscriptions. Ads are seldom enough to cover the newsdesk’s expenses, so selling subscriptions to read articles behind a wall has become a common way of doing the business. But, if you are only interested in reading one or a few articles, you may not be willing to pay for a whole expensive subscription. Since most online news sites are trying to profit this way, it will naturally be a limit for how many subscriptions you can effort.
The Bitcoin Cheque and Payment links will open the way for selling single articles by accepting micro-payments to read one page. No need to for signing up a subscription, not even to register a user account at the site. Click on the payment link and your Payment App will open and ask you to confirm the payment. Once the confirmation button is clicked, the page will reload with your article. Such a link can be like the following:
(This is just a normal link without payment, only to illustrate.)
The price here is 10 microbitcoin, which equals 0.00001 BTC, or approximately 8 US cents. As micro-payments become a daily affair, we need to get used to the mBTC (milliBTC) and uBTC (microBTC) units.
For trusted sites, and to read faster, you can configure the Payment App to automatically pay the payment link when clicked, without doing the confirmation ahead. Off course a maximum price for the automatic payment should be set.
Being able to pay a small price to read a single article, is probably a more profitable and easier way of selling news. Signing up for a costly subscription to read one page, is a huge barrier potential reader. But only pay a small amount for the same page, is something most of us can accept.
The price of an article can be set to reflect the value of it. Cheap news and gossip will be priced cheaply. Informative and insightful articles of higher value can be priced higher. The price will in most cases reflect the time and cost it took to write it. Being able to differentiate articles by payment price, will lead to a more specialization in the way articles are produced to better serve different readers.
The pay-per-article concept will not only be interesting for newspapers. Also, bloggers, info-sites or for those that just have something fun to say, can profit by adding payment links to tier sites. Today most of these web sites rely on ads for making a little profit. Being able to take a price from the reader, it may encourage them to make higher-quality content, as that can be priced higher. This effect may very well lead to the production of better and more interesting content on the web.