bitcents introduces the world’s first news micropayment service

October 7th, 2009

bitcents, inc. today announced the launch of the first fully-functional micropayments platform for news publishers. bitcents will allow publishers to charge on a per-story basis. It is easy for publishers to integrate and easy for consumers to use. It also provides a platform on which developers can build new products and services.

Aimed at publishers of specialised content, like trade or local news, bitcents will allow readers to purchase premium content across the web using a single account. bitcents is focused on high quality, original content as a first step in making micropayments a viable, sustainable revenue stream for the news industry.

“News publishers should be optimistic about the opportunities they have online,” said Andrew Brennan, the founder of bitcents. “They are perfectly placed to learn from how other content industries have approached the web. The lessons are clear: for paid content to work, the payment system must provide breadth of coverage and ease of use, but consumers must also feel they are paying a fair price.

“We’ve built bitcents to make it fast and intuitive for consumers to buy news content across any number of sites, and we’re committed to helping publishers make the best use of this new tool. The advent of news micropayments will reward those who provide their readers original, high-quality content at a reasonable price.”

bitcents believes that high-quality content is valuable and that the web is good for content creators. Traditional subscription paywalls isolate a publisher’s site from the rest of the web, making it difficult for potential readers to discover or share the content. bitcents, in contrast, recognises that traffic is essential for news to thrive online.

bitcents helps publishers monetise content whilst keeping it discoverable through news aggregators and search engines, which send billions of visits to news sites monthly. That means publishers benefit from both regular and casual traffic. bitcents also provides flexibility and transparency in pricing: publishers set their own prices, which can vary according to the age or type of story, and those prices are communicated clearly to consumers.

bitcents is committed to making news micropayments work for publishers, consumers, and the web as a whole. That’s why, at its core, bitcents is a platform: consumers will not register with bitcents directly, but with a developer-built subscriber network. Every subscriber network will give its users full access to the sites of bitcents publishing partners, retaining a portion of the revenue that they help publishers generate. Developers can build new tools for their users to discover, share and consume premium content.

By creating an ecosystem of innovation around news micropayments, bitcents will help micropayments become more valuable to publishers and consumers alike.

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