A Micro-Payment Solution for Ad-Free Websites

by Colin Berkshire

News and content websites need to stay in business somehow.

But I hate ads. I just hate them, especially the ones that take 5~10 seconds to pop-over what I am reading, and the ones that bounce my page around while I am reading it. Nasty things, these are.

I have a solution.

Somebody needs to develop a micro-payment system for websites.

You deposit some amount like $5 with the micro-payment company. You pay for web pages you visit at a rate of 1-cent per page viewed.

When you visit a content-based website there is an initial pop-up. You have a choice: See ads or pay 1-cent per page. You choose the one you want. Your preference is remembered for next time, and you can change it anytime. Now, news and other websites can stay in business and worry about good layout.

Apple could do this by just building it into Safai and then opening up the technical standard.

It would work in a simple way: A website would first send a page in a special format to sense if the browser can handle micro-payments and present the offer. If it cannot, then Javascript on the page would load the normal ad-filled page. If it can handle micro-payments the user is prompted (or their preference is looked up.)

If the browser supports micropayments, then it issues a one-time-only token that the content publisher collects and can cash in for a 1-cent credit. Ads are then suppressed and you get a premium version of the website.

The user basically buys blocks of 1-cent tokens from Apple or whomever has the browser plug-in. So the user pays $5 and gets 500 ad-free page tokens. The browser doles those out, one at a time.

I would gladly pay $1 to have 100 web pages be ad-free. And, I bet content providers would just love it, too.

Right now, ads tend to run about $10 per 1,000 presentations. That works out to about 1-cent. So, really this could be done.

How about it, somebody?