Publishers throw a Hail Mary

April 15, 2009

Some guys are going to try a micropayment/subscription system for news content.

Looks like a terrible idea just judging from their name (Journalism Online L.L.C), their backgrounds (mainly attorneys and newspaper execs), and the extent of their ‘innovation’:

“The most important thing is it’s simple to use,” Mr. Brill said in an interview. “Much of the barrier to charging online is the transaction friction, as opposed to the actual cost. With this system, you’d have a single password, give your credit card number just once.”

He said that for the unlimited subscriptions, “we’re playing with a figure of $15 a month.”

…which is too bad.  Micropayments could work, but the more botched attempts the harder it is for someone new to try.  Looks like the best chance is still Apple and Amazon and their handhelds/bookreaders.

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