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Word on the Street...

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John Doe
Manager

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James Stevens
Manager

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Featured Blog Posts

There are a great number of media sites on the internet, and a lot of them are now putting their content behind paywalls. But is it realistic to expect users to get a subscription for every article they want to access? Slushmoney was created to solve this problem by allowing users to pay per article for many sites at once,  as simply as a subscription – with much more flexibility:

  • Users pay for all of their online activity in one simple invoice.
  • Media companies are paid for all user activity on their site in one periodic payment.
  • User experience, site flow, and site branding are retained on the client site.
  • Existing paywalls/subscription services are not effected.

The user experience is as follows on a typical site: A user navigates to a media site and is asked to authenticate.  If they have an existing subscription to the site, they are allowed entry through the subscription.  If not, they are given the option of entering with Slushmoney.  The media site then communicates with the Slushmoney API to determine if the user is blocked from the site, which would indicate that they have not paid their bill.  If this is the case, the site gives the user the option of going to Slushmoney.net for payment, or purchasing a subscription through the site (if the site offers subscriptions).  If it is not the case, the user enters the site with Slushmoney.  If they do not have a Slushmoney account, one is created for them automatically.

There are various Ssettings that the media company can control on their Sushmoney dashboard. Primarily the article rate is set, as well as the monthly rate, which is the maximum charge a user can incur per month.

The client can also set the number of free articles per month for users, and the ‘blocking threshold’.  The blocking threshold allows the user a number of  charged article views before they are blocked from entry. These charged articles are entered on the users invoice to be paid later. Charged articles are also entered from other slushmoney registered sites (as well as donations from some sites).

A free article may also be granted if a user spends below a set number of seconds on the site (aborted visits).

Also at the Client Dashboard, the client sets the total amount paid in by all users that will trigger a payment out to the client.  In this way the media company gets all the benefits of per article access while still getting a simple lump sum payment.

Users can add credit to their account, but are not required to.  Media companies are generally encouraged to set a fairly high ‘blocking threshold’ so users are not forced to pay after ever few visits.   This is similar to the way some utilities are charged – you use the service and then pay for what you use.  There is always a balance between ‘pre-paid’ accounts and account where an invoice is provided for a service allready used.  It is up to the media company to decide how they want to approach this.  A low blocking threshold would force some users to add credit to their account to avoid frequent payments.

For a media consumer, there is nothing more frustrating than to click on an interesting link  only to find it is locked behind a paywall! Slushmoney gives users a very simple and easy way to access and pay for content on a per view basis. 

It also gives media companies a significant new and ongoing revenue source, increases exposure,  and builds a positive relationship with users,  likely leading to more subscription sales.

For those involved in straightforward journalism, the nature of the media crisis is clear – make enough revenue to stay in business!

Advertising revenue is now a fraction of what it used to be, and subscription based services run the risk of pushing readers away. This dynamic has spawned all sorts of content models that are financially supported by various means, but in the process of chasing the dollar, the core principals of journalism have become more and more degraded.  Legitimate media entities are now competing with numerous sites  so influenced by their funding model that the content often becomes little more than advertising or propaganda.

The other problem is of course capacity.  Delivering legitimate news takes real work, and the journalists who do that work need to get paid.  Without adequate financial resources, capacity to deliver a quality product diminishes.  A downward spiral is being experienced by many news and media organizations – local, regional, and national.  The tragic part of the story is these are usually the same organization that the public has trusted for years to deliver their daily news. Caught in this dynamic, the public continue to desire quality media,  but are struggling trying to find it. 

As traditional news sources turn more and more to subscription models, the public have two options – go with low quality media or pay for a subscription. Even though there are a large number of quality, paywalled media sources available on the internet,  buying multiple subscriptions is out of reach for most.  Who can afford hundreds of dollars in subscriptions every month?  

So people continue to  hold back  – a frustrating situation for everyone!

Some observers have suggested that in the age of the internet the public do not want to pay for journalism.  The argument is that  up until recently they have been able to access it largely for free, as media companies have  struggled with trying to establish a working funding model. Why would they want to pay now?

Advertising is now being de-emphasized as a primary funding source. It is a funding source that needs to be replaced, but that does not mean the public is not willing to pay.  Up until now, there has not been a model that allows the public to pay in a way that works in the way that online journalism demands. While the journalism crisis continues to dominate the news, the public is becoming keenly aware of the differences between quality journalism and ‘the free stuff’ that inundates their feeds.  This is creating a distinct market for quality journalism, something that the larger national sites are taking advantage of by establishing subscription models.  The New York Times, for example, has seen a market rise in subscriptions as the era of ‘fake news’ dominates.

Slushmoney was established on the premise that people not only will pay, but want to pay for quality journalism.  Getting the payment model right is the problem  – and solution. Expecting users to purchase subscriptions for all the content they want to access on the internet is unrealistic.

We feel that giving people the option to pay-per article in a user friendly, straightforward, and flexible way is the the answer.   Where a monthly subscription may or may not reflect a users actual site use, a Slushmoney invoice always reflects exactly what a user has accessed.  It provides all media activity on one invoice, and allows the user control over what they pay for. It is a simple and effective way for media sites to get paid outside of the traditional subscription model. It allows sites to retain all of their site branding, flow, and user experience.  

Full customization is attained through the use of an API.

Most of all, it allows for a seamless user experience which facilitates continued use.

We feel Slushmoney is the answer to the media crisis, since the media crisis is actually a revenue crisis, and that revenue crisis can be solved by an effective revenue model.    

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