In the hunt for reader revenue, publishers give micropayments another look

Micropayments haven’t delivered on their promise to save the publishing business. But publishers are finding new uses for them in the hunt for new subscribers. Both publishers and vendors are driving this shift, and it’s an early step in a long walk publishers have started to augment their advertising business.

Some companies, including LaterPay, have tried to get around this problem by letting users run up tabs and then pay for their consumption later. Others, like the Winnipeg Free Press, started using micropayments as an addendum to a paywall. The Free Press began selling its content for 27 Canadian cents (21 U.S. cents) per article about two years ago. It still does but now sees micropayments less as a revenue stream and more as a way to see who to target for digital subscriptions.