To the delight of online content publishers everywhere, nanopayment processing company SatoshiPay, a Coinsilium investee company, has today released its long-awaited WordPress plugin.
Nanopayments stand to transform a number of industries, however it is the content and publishing industry that is set to first feel the benefits from SatoshiPay’s newest venture.
Nanopayments are often discussed in the world of online content, where journalists, their publishers and information providers struggle to fund themselves without engaging with advertisers.
Are ads inevitable?
There must be very few people who have not experienced the frustration that comes with online adverts. For many they are a bitter but necessary pill to swallow. Without them we would not be able to access the millions of sources of information we take for granted on a daily basis.
But, this can raise many issues; not only do readers find online ads distracting and clunky, but they can also leave us wondering who is really driving the ideas behind the content.
The frustration that comes with ads has lead to the development of a new product and market: ad blockers. Ad blockers have seen a boom in downloads (Adblock Plus is now at 500 million downloads) as advertising gets savvy to the readers. However, this has created a problem in itself; readers feel alienated as publishers think about the ability to provide free content, but neglect the reader experience.
Ad blockers, bankrupting publishers
Last year Apple ‘flipped the switch’ on ad-blocking apps, allowing users to choose whether or not they wanted to put up with the inevitable ads that now run alongside content.
Apple’s move was a step-too-far for the publishers and marketers who are now feeling the pinch thanks to the huge growth experienced by ad-blockers. A report produced by Adobe and PageFair estimated that 48% of Americans use ad-blockers, with a cost in 2015 of $1 billion and $22 billion from smart phone and desktop computer use, respectively, an increase of 41% since 2014.
An alternative to allowing adverts alongside your carefully written and curated content, is to set up a paywall. Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive of WPP, believes that paywalls are ‘the way to go’, whilst Business Insider is set to become yet another online digital content providers to place a paywall around its general content.
A study in 2014 found that of 45 online newspapers, 73% were using paywalls to charge for at least some content. Paywalls can, however result in retention rates as low as 15%.
So, a paywall can result in loss of readership and therefore a loss in revenue. Whilst ads are also likely to lead to questions about the impartiality of your content. What is driving your content? Click-rates, a desire to please your advertisers or quality?
This is where micropayments have been touted as the ultimate solution. Prior to online content, we bought newspapers. We ‘voted’ for our content with our money, without expecting it to be free but expecting good quality journalism at the same time.
Yet, as we moved to online, few have found a way to truly allow readers to ‘vote’ for the content they like, in a low fee manner even with micropayments.
SatoshiPay – vote for your content, ad free
SatoshiPay, whilst in the world of micropayments, is arguably ‘nanopayments’ thanks to the transaction amounts coming to as little as $0.01 or less.
All good digital marketers know that the fewer the number of clicks the better when it comes to converting users, that’s why SatoshiPay’s frictionless payment process is genius. It is a two-way payment solution. It does not rely on the reader or end user to sign-up to a subscription or any paywall solution the website has chosen.
Instead it just requires bitcoin. The technology runs on the bitcoin blockchain, using smart contracts.
Publishers can sell individual articles for nanopayments, within minutes of them signing up to the SatoshiPay service. What’s really neat about the service is that by using the WordPress plugin, users who use ad blockers can be automatically asked to pay for their articles without the inconvenience of ads.
Thanks to the ‘beautiful publisher dashboard’ (direct quote from Meinhard Benn, SatoshiPay Founder) the user experience will be improved from that that they currently are faced with. Publishers will have access to the stats coming from their content, such as articles that have sold, helping them to improve how the quality of their content.
Nanopayments can do far more than just help us level the playing field when it comes to online content. But this first step by SatoshiPay is a true demonstration of what can be achieved. Well done to SatoshiPay for rolling out this solution in a market that is looking for solutions right now, and well done for finding a brilliant one.