Although many newspapers have created digital copies of themselves via websites, more often than not there just isn’t enough revenue from online ads to replace declining subscription papers which has resulted in many journalists being laid off (note: last year 15,000 lost their jobs alone).
Some newspapers have responded to the inevitable decline by either hiding their content behind pay walls, or (worse) blaming Google for all their woes (despite the fact that Google sends them free traffic).
Instead of scaring away users by charging high prices for access, Cleeng is suggesting that they should only hide some of their content and utilized micro payments (as they explain in this video promo below), a feature that might be of interest to bloggers (both large and small).
While Cleeng is probably not the first to come up with this idea (after all there are many notable blogs and news organizations who already charge users for extended access), Cleeng’s goal is to make paying for content as painless as possible.
Instead of charging users an enormous fee, Cleeng goal is to minimize the fee users have to pay per article to as low as 15 cents USD (with the highest price being $0.99 USD).
This allows users to only pay for articles that they are interested in, saving readers money which could help online newspapers (as well as bloggers) to generate some extra revenue on the side without alienating their entire audience through excessive fees.
Newspapers and bloggers can place time limits upon partially protected content in order to benefit from search engines indexing their entire article later on.
Cleeng is currently in private beta right now, and the company has already rolled out support for WordPress blogs (with Joomla and Drupal support on the way).
Users can checkout the (much longer) video below from the company, and while Cleeng’s service may not be of interest to everyone (especially those who loathe pay walls), it could help online news organizations and bloggers help pay the bills.