disruption e-commerce monetisation

How to get people to pay for content: make it easier

The web is awash with reaction to Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for newspaper content online. Is he a rare voice of reason or does he just not get it?

I think people will pay for digital content – if it’s easy enough.

The problem with handing over £0.99 to read a newspaper online is not the price – it’s just too much hassle. You have to fill in your details, confirm your email address, enter your credit cards etc. Urgh. Simple micropayments have never been cracked on the web.

Apple have shown the way forward. No-one was buying digital music till they made it easy. No-one bought mobile apps till it became a breeze to do so. The sweet integration of device (iPhone), content (apps, music, tv) and store (iTunes) removes all the barriers. They’ve made it almost fun to spend.

When paying for good content on the web is this easy, people will do it.


btw, would anyone have bought iFart on the web using a credit card?

4 replies on “How to get people to pay for content: make it easier”

Spot on observation about iTunes making online shopping so easy and fun. I regularly make a 99p purchase. Within seconds the purchase is done. It’s instant gratification.

My question. Why hasn’t PayPal bridged this gap for other websites? Surely that would have been part of their mission?

Now, far be it for me to question Mr Murdoch, but he’s got a much harder job getting people to pay for content than Apple had getting people to pay for music.

I’ll always be able to get my news for free from the BBC or other newspapers. Why would I pay for it? My brand loyalty to The Times would need to be immense.

With iTunes, it’s not just the ease of their shopping experience. I want my music digitally… and I have unease at downloading it illegally. I practically have no choice.

The same is not true for newspapers. Although clearly it is for niche publishers. I guess the porn industry is proof of that… people are already paying for content. The question is, will newspapers be able to differentiate themselves from all the free content enough to charge?
Tough one that.

Leave a Reply