Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

02/05/2010

How To Charge for Online Content


From Business Wire: Paid Content Initiative by ClickandBuy with Axel Springer Publishing House.
Leading European Media Company Launches Chargeable Online Services with ClickandBuy, One of the Internet’s Leading Payment Systems.

As a partner of the premium initiative implemented by Axel Springer, ClickandBuy provides readers in Berlin (BERLINER MORGENPOST) and Hamburg (HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT) with a convenient and secure method of paying for chargeable online material. In addition to being Germany’s largest newspaper publishing house and third largest magazine publisher, Axel Springer is also one of Europe’s leading media companies.

The top two regional brands are now providing access to local and regional editorial content via their internet platforms in return for payment. The online archives offered by both regional newspapers are likewise subject to a fee.

The use of all content on morgenpost.de costs EUR 4.95 per month ($7USD) and the premium package offered by abendblatt.de is available for EUR 7.95/$11.30 (USD). When the month has elapsed the user is able to extend his/her subscription on a monthly basis. The payment for these services, as is the case with existing paid content offers, is concluded in a few steps via a secure and reliable payment function provided by ClickandBuy, which has been established in the market as a full service e-payment system since 1999.

The premium initiative from Axel Springer already incorporates numerous fee-based services with attractive content and a simple billing method. Since 9 December 2009 the iPhone Apps from BILD, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, and WELT, one of Germany’s leading newspapers, feature among the best-selling applications on the market (BILD is ranked no. 1 in the AppStore, while DIE WELT is no. 9). As a long-term partner of Apple iTunes and Axel Springer AG, ClickandBuy is seeing evidence of a trend reversal for paid content.

ClickandBuy CEO Charles Fraenkl, commented on this very positive development from the perspective of an Internet payment system with a decade of experience in paid content: “Outstanding products like the new Apps from Bild and Welt have generated a significant degree of enthusiasm, thereby clearly demonstrating that if paid content has a distinctive value, people are willing to pay for information and entertainment when it is convenient, easy and secure. The great age for paid content has just begun”, states Fraenkl.

“With quality offers directed at target groups and the corresponding pricing models, paid content will soon be able to make the breakthrough in Europe and the USA. And, as a partner of major media companies, ClickandBuy is ideally positioned: To successfully implement the various pricing and business models for publishing houses it requires many years of expertise, which only ClickandBuy can offer at the necessary depth and breadth for the online payment market”, continues Fraenkl.

About ClickandBuy

ClickandBuy is one of the leading online payment systems. The online payment system is already being used by more than 14 million people to pay for their purchases on the Internet. After doubling its turnover with retailers and end customers to 922 million euro (TTV) in 2008, the ClickandBuy group was able to break the billion euro barrier for the first time in 2009.

More than 16,000 online retailers use ClickandBuy for their e-commerce, online entertainment and paid content & services transactions, including Apple iTunes, Electronic Arts (EA), McAfee, Panda, Deutsche Telekom, T-Online, Vodafone, Napster, AOL, Telefonica, Orange, Meetic, Parship, AutoScout24, RTL, Axel Springer Publishing Group, Playboy, Financial Times Deutschland, Deutsche Borse Group, KPMG etc.

A study carried out by the E-Commerce-Center Handel at the University of Cologne revealed that online stores are able to benefit significantly and boost their sales by up to 150 percent by using ClickandBuy. The online payment system that was founded in 1999 is operated by ClickandBuy International Ltd. in London. As an e-money institution licensed by the British Financial Services Authority (FSA) ClickandBuy offers its customers 50 national & international payment methods in 30 countries.

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12/20/2009

What’s The Value Of Online Content ?…NOTHING Per Demand Media, Inc


I posted this on my other site but decided it belongs here too. It presents an interesting trend toward greed that I feel must be snipped in the bud.

Demand Media is paying writers, video makers and other media artists pauper wages. The pay rates are actually un-American and smack of master-slave mentality…all for their own damn bottom line at the expense of others…AND their bottom line is substantial enough to pay the ones who create the stuff that makes them their money in the first place a decent, livable wage!

Demand Media is a superficial company and all writers and media artists should boycott them at ALL costs! After all, Artists, you have the power to set your own worth and market value…NOT some stingy, greedy company.

That’s my take on Demand Media and here’s an article by Folio Magazine’s Jason Fell with more details:

‘I was thumbing through the November issue of Wired when I stumbled across an article on Demand Media, penned by senior writer Daniel Roth. It’s a detailed look at how the online network has successfully leveraged a user-generated content model and become the largest supplier of videos to YouTube. According to the report, Demand rakes in roughly $200 million a year and was valued in a recent round of financing at $1 billion.

Demand is reportedly the 15th-most-visited online media property, attracting 52 million visitors in September—bigger than CNN.com, Twitter.com and Weather.com.

But what jumped out wasn’t the soaring profits. It was how co-founder Richard Rosenblatt thinks other media companies, which have been trying to increase the value of their content to at least match the cost of producing it, have the equation backwards. As he’s done with Demand, Rosenblatt said the trick is in cutting costs until they match market value for content.

Demand utilizes an algorithm system that mines search data, traffic patterns and keyword rates to commission stories/videos based on what online users want to know and how much advertisers will pay for it. The company has all but eliminated actual people from the process, other than to make sense of terms the algorithm spits out. (“Demand uses editors in its process, too,” the Wired story says, but “they just aren’t worth very much.”)

$15 Per Article

Another way to cut costs: Pay your content producers squat. Rosenblatt’s massive stable of freelancers earn just $15 per article and $20 per video produced, on average. Some writers opt to earn nothing upfront and instead participate in a profit sharing program, although it can take months to earn even $15 that way. Copy editors take home $2.50 per article, fact-checkers get $1 an article and headline proofers bank a whopping 8 cents a headline, according to the Wired story.

Fifteen dollars a story? Granted, the stories are far from 4,000-word investigative pieces, but only a few years ago I was freelancing for a Boston-area newspaper, writing 300-word lifestyle/entertainment stories at about $100 a pop. That’s more than six times what Demand pays.

The pittance Demand pays multiplied by the volume of content it produces has added up to $17 million in expenses so far. But even so, the idea that online content and its creators have been so devalued is truly astonishing.

Others Weigh In

I asked TheAtlantic.com editorial director Bob Cohn his thoughts about Demand’s business model. He said that even though Demand doesn’t do “journalism,” the downside is that its model might help reduce the amount of money writers and video-makers can charge for their work across the media industry.

“And it could well change the market when it comes to editing by showing that computers rather than people are ‘better’ at making story selections,” Cohn said. “All this could have a negative effect on quality, especially in areas like complex financial reporting, investigations into government corruption, and explanatory journalism.”

At TheAtlantic.com—which is expected to ring up 103 percent digital revenue growth in 2009—Cohn said he and his team “strive for insight and distinction” in its news analysis. I asked Cohn if he thought publishers should be worried about what Demand is doing. “Demand is giving readers what they want, and doing it with ruthless business efficiency,” he said. “That’s a model that’s bound to succeed.”

I guess so, but at what expense!

 

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