Friday, July 12, 2013

New 'soft' approach lets readers pay for access with attention to advertiser's videos

A new approach to paywalls is a "soft" approach whereby publishers give access providing the a story on AdAge, the system is called Content Unlock, from Genesis Media and is being tried out by such titles as Maxim, Guitar World and USA Today. Essentially, instead of giving their credit card number, readers pay with their attention to an advertiser's video. 
The idea is also to squeeze more revenue from readers without actually asking them to pay. "We act as a soft pay wall, which allows users to pay for content and services in a smart way -- with their attention to targeted brand experiences and videos vs. their credit card," said Mark Yackanich, CEO at Genesis Media, a New York-based startup founded in late 2011. "In effect, the brands become sponsors for a readers content consumption, in a very direct and memorable way."
It is also a way to get around readers' "banner blindness" and allows the publisher to decide what to give the reader in exchange for his or her time.

If a person watches a 15 second video, for example, he or she might have access to five free articles or get 24 hours access to a site (as in the illustrated example).
"Right now we're working in conjunction with the publishers to make this determination," said Mr. Yackanich, a former NBC executive. "But as we continue to systematize the platform, this sort of value exchange is something that we're investing and defining at the programmatic level based on an individual and their value."

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