The Seed&Spark Blog

Why and When We Pay for Content Online

July 3, 2013

• Martin Thornkvist

On the web, we consume a tremendous amount of content. We click a lot of links to begin to read, watch and listen. In most cases only to find out that the content wasn’t for us. We clicked the link because there was a chance if liking the content, we are curious. 
This is a big part of our online behavior.
Of course, some pieces of content we really like. We value it and would essentially be willing to pay for it. If we could.
When it comes to payment online, it’s like we’re stuck in a bricks and mortar way of looking at things. All we can come up with is walled gardens and paywalls with fixed prices and subscription plans. Not really in line with the way we browse and consume content.
Since we live in a digital era and the cost of making a copy is almost zero, it's fully possible to use a model where you combine the way internet consumers behave (aka an open internet) with creators possibility to get paid for their work.
Just like crowdfunding platforms such as Seed and Spark has made it possible for creators to get fans to pay for work that doesn’t yet exist, services are popping up to make it possible to pay after we read, listened or watch a piece of content.


Both are really good ways to give consumers a reason to buy. In the first case creators can tell supports about new ideas and why they need help. Whereas in the latter, having appreciated what you consumed is the ultimate way to know how valuable a piece of content was for you aka. really good reason to pay.
Startups such as Centup, Tiptheweb and Flattr (which I work for) is in good way of making voluntary payments as easy and rewarding as crowdfunding platforms has done with payment before something exists.
To me paying for what we really like after we consumed something is in line with the way we behave on the internet and the way to go forward. 
The time has come to give back to creators, let’s do it before they all decide to lock their awesome content behind walls and subscription plans.

How Flattr works:

flattr_how-it-works-for creators 2-01_0.png


Martin Thornkvist

Program Director for Media Evolution The Conference, Biz Dev for the social micro payment service Flattr and label for Moto Boy. Check out his work with Media Evolution The Conference here: Follow Martin on Twitt



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