Paying for Digital Content

Dave Winer mentioned today that the New York Times has changed their layout to include mostly Reuters and AP articles, which as Dave mentions, may allude to an upcoming subscription requirement.

Dave also mentions that he can't point into subscription services. For various reasons I assume this is because one, he either doesn't have a subscription or two, he feels that he shouldn't point as his readers might not have a subscription.

I personally wouldn't want to subscribe to all the possible content sources that are available online, however it is possible for content providers to offer micro-payment services on a per-article basis. Content providers could offer either a summary or better yet the first third or half of an article and offer the remainder for a small price using either PayPal or the other available micropayment services.

Now micro-payments are an entirely separate discussion but offer various options for readers. You can pay on a per article basis, per topic (general news, business, sports, etc), or a network of publications could offer a unified discount package.

Perhaps content marketers knows what I would rather not believe. Readers are used to subscriptions. Anything else is either too complex for them, or not profitable.