USER-CENTRIC ONLINE REVENUE MODEL (pat. pend.)

The site owner (Publisher) establishes a base price or value, say $4.99 per month, for unrestricted use of the site or service.

The user arrives at the website and views the homepage. At that point, or at a later point designated by the Publisher, the user is asked to log in or register to proceed.

To register with the site, the user must provide a username, password and email address. An email is then sent to the user’s email address to confirm the signup.

When the user returns to the site and logs in, he is presented with a box or page that asks him to choose how he will pay for or support the site content and/or services.

The choices presented include (but are not limited to):

a.) Straight subscription (in this example, $4.99 per month)
b.) Pay-per-view of articles, video or other content (with a maximum of $4.99 per month)
c.) Voluntary donation (with a minimum of $4.99 per month)
d.) Ad viewing (where the ad revenue yields a minimum of $4.99 per month)
e.) Affiliate or commission sales, through the use of embedded modules, coupon codes or other methods (totaling a minimum of $4.99 per month)
f.) Contribution of content or services (valued at $4.99 per month)
g.) Any combination of the above, with the mix or proportion adjusted by the user, to achieve the minimum payment of $4.99 per month.

Once the user has selected his preferred payment/support method, the system keeps track of his usage and serves the content in the appropriate way. Each time the user visits the site and logs in, the site recognizes him and displays the progress of payment, and prompts the user if necessary (e.g., “please donate $2 more by such-and-such a date”).

The payment system can be revised by the user at any time so long as it meets the price or value requirement (i.e., the user must ultimately generate $4.99 per month). For those methods that require direct payment, a secure credit-card or PayPal transaction will be executed.

If the user does not meet the minimum payment agreed to within the specified time, he will no longer have access to the site until the balance is paid.

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11 responses to “USER-CENTRIC ONLINE REVENUE MODEL (pat. pend.)

  1. Seems very complicated list of choices for the customer. There has to be an easier way to present the concept. It feels like trying to pick a cell phone plan which has a million ways to put together a “package” of services all aimed at giving you, the customer, value.

  2. Good point, Phill, thanks. Maybe we could show them a short list of the most popular choices with a link to “More ways to support this site” that expands the box to reveal more choices?

  3. This will take some brain storming and model drawing.

  4. could it be done on the Amazon AWS platform?

  5. Richard A. Langevin

    From a marketing perspective this is not being communicated as well as it could be. It’s analogous to me trying to buy an airplane from you and instead of your helping me to understand how it’s will help me to meet MY needs, you are explaining to me how the plane operates. I encourage owners to give me an example of a problem that their “solution” can solve. If I can relate to that problem, I will be interested in your solution. If not, then you don’t want to spend any more time with me as I’m not a prospect.

  6. I’m pretty sure that viewing ads just to gain entrance to a site would violate most TOS agreements. Contributing content would be a logistical nightmare and most likely not desirable for most websites, which leaves paying the money up front or ppv, which is what we already have without the whole user centric revenue model. Ads are still king, as long as you view them with no strings attached.

  7. Thanks, Richard and Jeremy, you both make good points. Jeremy, is the current model working for you now? If so, can you please point me to your site?

  8. I agree with Phill. The number of options will be daunting for any potential customer. You also need to think about how the potential customer can sample the content before putting up a payment barrier. Depending on the content and your audience you need to decide which would be the best payment option — either annual/monthly subscription or pay as you go. Perhaps market test your payment options before launching.

  9. Perhaps some sort of meter like the ones for measuring residential electric use, except you pre-pay. You pay for how much content you access, paying upfront for Viewing Credits (VCs)”. You get free viewing credits towards new or un-viewed material. The more you credits you buy, the less a credit cost. I guess it can be by page-view. Kind of like a debit card, you have to pay into the account before you can draw down VCs.

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