How many pennies might you passively pay to read an article?
Here I’ll outline a model for what micropayments for content could look like with some numbers.
According to this link, people in the US spend 32 hours online per month, and 20% of that time reading content. So say people spend 6 hours per month reading content. Medium says that the best length of a blog post is 7 minutes long, but you can also see from their data that most of the posts are shorter than that. A 7 minute post is about 1600 words, so a 5 minute post is about 1100 words a 2 minute post is about 500 words and a 3 minute post is about 700 words.
Ok. So lets just say most people read shorter articles and the average article someone reads is 3 minutes. Then this average US online reader reads 120 articles per month. Great.
Now say you pay $10/month to someone to contribute money back directly to the authors of this content, and you contribute it back based on the number of minutes you spend reading their articles. This contribution would be made passively and automatically.
So if you are spending 360 minutes reading, then you are paying 2.78 cents for every minute you read an article. So reading a nice, enjoyable 3 minute article costs me 8 cents. Seems like a good deal.
Now from the author side: say I write a 3 minute article and I get 1,000 people to read it. Then you get $80. Not great. But definitely a start. But if you are getting into the 1,000,000 reader range, then you are getting $80,000/article which is very different.
My Medium posts have 575 reads in the last 30 days so assuming the average article is 3 minutes, that is $46. Not enough to become a professional blogger, but also not 0.
I think I’d be willing to pay $25–50/month right now to pay money back to good content creators that I spend time reading. At $50/month, that is closer to paying 50 cents per article.
Could this be built with a browser extension + bitcoin? Yeah, that could be cool . Here’s a Google Spreadsheet to play around with the model.
Published previously at: https://medium.com/p/e1cbf9b8172e