#Paywalls12: Technology solutions for publishers, from paywalls to micropayments

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Neha-tamara Patel, Paywall Strategies 2012, TheMediaBriefing Experts' Blog, Advertising, B2B Media, Broadcast, Consumer Media, Digital Media, Finance and Deals, Mobile, Newspapers

There are probably as many technologies to make money from online content as there are ways to make money.

Ian Eckert, project director of Abacus e-Media, spoke on how to implement a successful paid strategy by capturing and understanding big data on how users act and who they are, which he described as “critical to businesses.”

Data collected when people subscribe to a site, fill out registration forms and buy apps all matters a great deal, he said. And by understanding and utilising this data, a business can get an accurate and detailed picture of the market.

"If you can start to build up this data, you can get a real sense of your audience. This is where data-driven product development starts. Capture data from your audience and feed it into your development cycle.”

"If you can segment your audience, you can increase revenue by tailoring and making content-use specific", he said. Eckert also suggests the possibility of different access strategies for different users; if you can personalise the process of using your site, you can increase engagement and interaction."

Greg Golebiewski, CEO and founder of micropayments technology provider Znak-it, pointed out that although they have some benefits, paywalls can be expensive to start and technologically challenging to run.

He pointed out it took the New York Times two years and between $25 million and $45 million to launch its metered wall. However, the site accrued 390,000 new subscribers in 2011 alone.

"The system has to be user-friendly. You have to think about user engagement. People don’t want pin codes when they’re using their phones," he says.

“Try and incorporate all stake-holders into one system. The best solution for us, instead of expensive and closed, is open to everyone and easy to use.”

Abacus eMedia and Znak-It are both sponsors of Paywall Strategies.

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