What is EMPAYG?

EMPAYG is a monetisation platform for digital content. It is to digital reader revenues, what AdSense is to online advertisements. A "pay-as-you-go" subscription and payment option that can be integrated into the website by the publisher with a simple piece of code. It allows charging users based on time spent. EMPAYG handles the login, charge, payments, content, and other parts of the interaction with the help of its widget. PAY AS YOU GO (PAYG) PAYG is the payment method where the charge is synchronised with the consumption of the product (goods or service). For digital content, this would mean micropayments based on usage of different services instead of any upfront charge. Adoption of PAYG model for digital content yield unique benefits for readers and publishers: For readers, no upfront charge provides the flexibility to explore and pay as they consume the content. It does away with the uncertainty over expected usage and value. The charge is based on their usage thu

EMPAYG v. Alternatives

Monetisation is one of the key factors in content distribution. News organizations generate revenue for digital from various sources such as pay-per-view, digital tokens, subscriptions, memberships, bundling, and sponsorships. However, the only two major sources are advertisements and paywall. Existing alternatives include:


Advertisements has been the most successful revenue model on the internet but has reached saturation and restricted the returns to competitive rates.

Jon Slade, FT Chief Commercial Officer :

It's extremely clear that advertising alone can no longer pay for the production and distribution of high quality journalism—and at the same time the societal need for sustainable independent journalism has never been greater.  Reader-based revenue, aka paid-content, or subscription services, are therefore not just a nice-to-have, but an essential component of a publisher's revenue composition.

 EMPAYG provides subscription option as flexible as advertisements. It allows charge for content based on rate decided by the publisher and usage by the reader. The returns are proportionate to the value of content instead of the competitive prices.


A major shortcoming for the paywall model has been the low conversion rates. Initiatives like Subscribe with Google reduce the friction from subscriptions but do not solve the challenges like inflexible pricing, uncertainty of value, and high frequency of low usage readers, which make paywall an unattractive option for charging readers online.

World Economic Forum :

The automated serendipity of social media feeds, search engine results, and incidental exposure (where people come across news while doing other things online) drive people to more and more diverse sources of information.

Paywall can succeed in limited cases: publishers with large subscriber base and readers with high usage. Metered paywall provides the best (cream of the content) for free, which makes the paid option even more unappealing.

The Atlantic :

So, as more and more publications try to woo these particular consumers, how will they split up their dollars? […] Maybe the whole model of single sites running their own paywalls will not carry the day. Somebody is going to try to make the process of accessing this paid content easier and cheaper […]

Quartz :

The [metered] paywall is inherently in conflict with journalism’s primary goal […] When the papers say, “this is so important that we’re making it free,” they’re simultaneously saying that all the other stuff they publish doesn’t really matter, so they’ll charge you for it. It’s hard to imagine a business philosophy that’s more upside-down.

EMPAYG works for all. It provides a model that benefits all type of readers and publications.


Many have tried to increase reader revenues through unique models and micropayments, which include:


It allows readers to pay-per-story for partner publications. It allows for refunds (cases of accidental clicks, article length, or below expectation) which involves subjectivity making it difficult to scale efficiently. It does not have a monthly cap on charge per publication. This is economical for casual readers but can become costly for avid readers (link).

EMPAYG charges proportionate to usage but does not involve refunds as charge accumulates along with the reading and not just clicking. This prevents any charge for accidental clicks or encountering low quality content. It also feature a monthly cap per publication. It works perfect for casual as well as regular readers.

Texture.com (Now Apple News+)

It allows user to read more than 200 magazines at a fix monthly subscription of USD 9.99. This makes it an attractive option for avid readers. However, it does not cater to low usage readers. It also limits the revenue generation capacity for magazines from their content.

EMPAYG charges based on usage. So low usage readers may go through a few articles of few magazines and still pay less than a dollar. Publishers decide their own charge rate and monthly cap for their content.


It allows user to incur charges for digital consumption and only pay when it accumulates to USD 5. This has led to revenue growth for publishers via pay-per-article. However, it adds friction to the transaction, as readers need to decide before reading any article whether to LaterPay.

EMPAYG makes the process effortless, as readers do not need to decide but just start reading. The charge accumulates only as they read. So no upfront cost if they do not find the article worth reading.


It allows micropayments for digital content using blockchain technology. However, it does not provide usage based charge.

EMPAYG provides a robust payments and subscription system that lets you use a single account across web and pay proportionate to usage.


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