Macro version of micropayments

I don’t object to Web sites charging for access — it’s better than having them throwing you dubious ads from a dozen different sources every single time you visit — but there are few of them I visit often enough to justify paying the full rate. Is this the solution?

Everybody wants you to subscribe. I wouldn’t mind subscribing, but once you subscribe to one it’s much easier to justify subscribing to another, and then another and pretty soon you’re shelling out 50 or 100 bucks a month, and I ain’t gonna do that, so I don’t subscribe to anything. I wouldn’t mind paying $10 a month in order to get access to everything. I mean, if I have a subscription to one place, like the WSJ, I would spend all my time there. If I had two subscriptions my time would be split between the two, so I would be accessing each one only half as much. Likewise if I had ten subscriptions. The ISP should collect $10 a month from you and then dole it out to the websites on the basis of how many times you visit that site.

I’m pretty sure ISPs won’t like the idea, but hey, they have the information: they have to have it to figure how close you are to your monthly data cap.



  1. fillyjonk »

    30 October 2016 · 4:09 pm

    Donation model, though I suppose that’s a way to get stiffed via the Tragedy of the Commons. (One site I frequent – Christ and Pop Culture – does this. I throw a little money their way each month, I figure it’s worth the price of “admission” for the articles I’ve read on there).

    Though I also like your idea.

    I am also okay with the “You have x free articles per month,” provided x>1 for the big sites.

  2. CGHill »

    30 October 2016 · 5:47 pm

    I am paying for the WaPo, and I am contemplating going for TotalFark, which actually costs more than the WaPo. There have been instances where a single-read model was offered (usually in the 50-cent range) which I found satisfactory.

  3. McG »

    31 October 2016 · 9:41 am

    If I’m going to pay to subscribe to something they’d darn well better make sure it ends up in my physical mailbox once a month, and I’d better enjoy leafing through it for the ten minutes I’m liable to spend on it.

    The one exception is that Wyoming newspaper, but I collect it in PDF so I can see what the actual physical paper would look like if it arrived in my physical mailbox a week later, minus the missing words in the headlines.

    I’m not above hitting a tipjar now and then, or whatever such that someone I like reading might have going.

  4. The Other McCain »

    31 October 2016 · 9:36 pm

    In The Mailbox: All Saints’ Eve

    Dustbury: Strange Search Engine Queries, also, Macro Version Of Micropayments

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