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.


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 thus prevents overpayment, underuse or any concern over the same that prevents the purchase in first place. 

For publishers, allowing readers to start at a lower charge for low usage attracts consumers willing to pay the price instead of discount/trial seekers. Readers pay full if they find it worth and make full use of the offering. This leads to higher adoption and revenue growth.


Measuring digital readers is technically easier than conventional mediums. Page views and Unique visitors provide information about the reach of content but are not able to measure the true value a reader gets by the same. Thus, promote click-bait over quality content.

Time Spent provides a true insight of the value a reader derives from the content. It distinguishes a standard read from a quick click away and from an in-depth read. It tells you how much did a user engage with the content in a measurable form. Shares, another important metric to gauge the value, is also reflected by means of increase in the Total Time Spent on the content. The point is validated by adoption of the metric by YouTube (Watch Time), Medium (Total Time Reading), Chartbeat (Engaged Time), Upworthy (Attention minutes), The Economist (time based ad sales), and more.


Some interesting findings from a survey done across readers of different magazines and newspapers of major media corporations, Hearst and Conde Nast, include:

People read multiple publications.

Instead of consuming most content from one, people prefer the best from all. For media houses, Hearst and Conde Nast, about 90% of readers are exposed to more than one and 50% of readers to five or more publications of the company but majority of paying readers only subscribe to one publication (which they use mostly). PAYG allows accessing premium content by paying across all publications based on respective usage.

People read few articles per publication.

About 40% read less than five articles and 90% read less than twenty articles from any single publication. A full price is infeasible for most. PAYG makes the paid option viable. 


Data and opinions available at https://twitter.com/i/moments/1091565355271626757


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