So I’m hearing that Microsoft will develop an online payment system to help publishers charge small fees for internet content. The idea is that you’ll be able to charge your readers a really small amount, like a few cents of whatever, just with a simple click, and not having to give a big chunk of the dough to credit card companies.
The concept is good. I’m guessing lots of publishers would be happy to shake off the shackle of online advertising. The actual ads on a site would be worth more, since they could be fewer and more premium, you know.
I’d love to be able to charge for content, and in some areas that’s a business model I’d consider. However, most of the time charging for content is something old media does when moving online. Newspapers being the best example of publishers that are having a hard time relocating to new media. I recently blogged about this (starting here with the problem, and solution post one and two).
While I don’t think that it’s such a bad thing that Microsoft is doing this, I will however say that the use of it will be very old media going online. Let’s face it, how many of us have cred enough to charge for our content?
Still, anything that’ll put some pressure on credit card companies and their hilarious fees is good I guess. The real winner here could be the consumers, because internet payment might get cheaper.
Then again Microsoft might chicken out and limit it to small grains, not wanting to harm the established payment giants. We’ll see soon enough.