Siegen, 07.09.2015

Innovative Paid Content Model for Apps: InterRed offers new business models for content on tablet and mobile devices

InterRed GmbH is presenting an innovative way to monetize content in apps. The model is especially exciting for publishers and is based on InterRed AppPublishing, the technological basis for the production and publication of mobile smartphone and tablet editions. The focus is on reducing one of the biggest hurdles of current paid content models: actually completing the sale.

Digital change: challenge for publishers

Paid Content has been discussed a lot in recent years, especially in the publishing industry and is even more relevant than ever. Users are generally willing to pay for digital content, as numerous examples from other industries such as music and film make clear. But there still remain challenges for producers in editorial areas. The questions media houses face include:

How can we earn revenue with digital content? Which simple options do we have to offer readers to achieve this? What hurdles must be overcome to enable app users to pay for content when they're willing and ready to do so?

To find the right answers to these and some other issues, InterRed GmbH has put together forward-looking think tank made up of several experts and linking this to the knowledge gained from years of customer workshops where the challenges facing the publishing industry in an era of digital change have crystallized.

The result is a very flexible model that has been integrated into InterRed AppPublishing. InterRed AppPublishing allows the creation of well-designed media for tablet and smartphone versions of magazines, newspapers, catalogs, brochures, and other print and online media, all with minimal effort. The key aspect of this model is resolving one of the biggest obstacles to the success of paid content: user-friendliness.

InterRed AppPublishing combines Paid Content models

Looking at the obstacles to the success of paid content, studies show that, in addition to ensuring high-quality content, the lack of user-friendliness is the biggest hurdle. The experience needs to be accessible both before and after the purchase of the content and is not restricted to content usability, but also offering quick, easy and secure payment methods. When considering how to accept payment for paid content, most of the time it is considered from the provider perspective with little thought given to the actual users. InterRed goes about this in another way: paid content is conceived from the user's perspective.

The classic sale of entire editions (daily or weekly newspapers, magazines and journals, etc.) as well as various paywall models and the modern unbundling of content for pay-per-article sale are all currently being discussed by many publishers. But micro-payments have to date often meant having to take several steps before reaching the desired content, limited payment methods, and compliance with pricing levels in apps. InterRed AppPublishing, by contrast, combines the advantages of all these models and overcomes the challenges just mentioned.

Rethinking Paid Content: innovative model for apps

With InterRed AppPublishing, the publisher or the editors decide which content in an app-based publication will be provided for free and which will be charged for and for how much. And regardless of platform-specific price scale specifications. Tablet and smartphone users get an individual starting balance per issue that they can use to view the content of their choosing; this is more than just a preview function and is not limited to a certain excerpt. Once the credit is used up, it can be recharged and further content can be acquired; providers can define the name and decide how much to sell credits for at their discretion. Similar models have been very successful with game apps, for example. The balance can then be used, similar to a prepaid model, to acquire an entire issue or individual articles (even for tiny amounts), all with just a tap of the finger within the app, directly embedded in the content.

The advantage of this instant payment is that it allows app users the ability to decide for themselves what exactly they want to read, whether selected articles, entire sections of an edition, or an entire issue, while lowering all of the obstacles that previously blocked them from accessing individual articles. Articles are purchased with a single click, with the price deducted from the user's credit balance, and, consequently, there is no need for burdensome payment transactions. How the paid content is configured is up to you: you can allow only a part of an article to be displayed, make it blur out after a brief moment's preview, or you can choose not to offer any preview at all. The integrated blur effect was chosen as most pleasant way of converting the preview to a purchase of the content. The content is acquired directly inside the content page itself, all with just a tap.

An intelligent use of push functionality makes readers more actively involved and increases reader loyalty. Certain target groups, such as users that have been inactive for some time, can be addressed with offers of extra credits or special discount offers using push notifications to their smartphones or tablets.

Combining content and advertising revenue in apps

Unlike the traditional subscription model, where a fixed amount is paid for a certain number of issues, the InterRed model offers a flexible solution which dissolves the bond between a subscription period and certain issues, because if an issue is not accessed in the app, the credit can then be used for the next issue, either in whole or in part. Every reader can thus use any content as they wish and will no longer be tied to a fixed subscription or publication rhythm.

This unbundling also gives publishers a high level of flexibility as content providers: additional content such as specials, special editions, etc. can now be offered as extra paid content not necessarily included in subscriptions.

In addition, this content revenue model can naturally combine with the other advertising revenue models offered by InterRed AppPublishing. In addition to the integration of affiliate systems and support for common ad servers, this allows advertising to be displayed across any and all editions. This can be configured to display an advertisement after a certain amount of time or number of touch events, regardless of whether the user is located within a specific issue, in the app's live area, or in the app kiosk.

In addition to InterRed AppPublishing, you can take full advantage of the complete solution in conjunction with the entire InterRed multi-channel publishing concept: whether you use the InterRed Print editing system, InterRed Online web content management system, or InterRed AppPublishing, InterRed offers cross-media multiplication of content, with no redundancies, to create a future-proof technological basis for publishers.