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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : July 12, 2011

Widget gives more weight to offered content

As people consume more content online, content providers, brands and advertisers are looking for more ways to engage. One recent addition to the online space may help with that. Called CPALead, it is a widget-based platform which helps turn premium content into a profitable revenue stream.

by Kristina Knight

cpalead.pngThe platform works like this: Consumer A visits a content website; to obtain access to that content, they complete a survey, quiz, game or offer. The offers are sponsored by advertisers who pay the publisher. I recently had the chance to chat with CPALead's Peter Tarr, Chief Global Strategist about the platform and trends in content.

Kristina: Buzz is all around about creating unique content - which is more important: the uniqueness of content or the quality of the content?

Peter: I think both are equally important today. Of course the content has to be unique to initially draw people in, but the quality also needs to be high so that people stay interested. For example, web publishers need to have unique content that visitors won't be able to find anywhere else, but they also need to maintain their site's appearance. Today, people expect more from the web and will be turned off if a website does not look legitimate.

Kristina: For quite awhile it's been thought that consumers wouldn't pay for content online; tablets and smartdevices are beginning to change that. What are the options for content monetization at this point?

Peter: We actually came across some interesting research recently - according to a Harris poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, 80 percent of respondents are not willing to pay to read a daily newspaper's online content. With the majority of Americans rejecting paywalls, web publishers need to find another way to monetize content. Aside from creating a paywall, the options for content monetization today include Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Cost Per Mile (CPM) advertising or Cost Per Action (CPA). With a solution like the CPAlead Widget, the web publisher, advertiser and consumer all win. When a person visits a website, they just have to complete a brief survey, quiz or game before they are able to view content. These surveys, quizzes, games and other offers are sponsored by advertisers who then pay the website publisher for each one that is completed. Web publishers can also custom design these widgets to blend in with their website theme - this keeps branding consistent and makes visitors even more likely to stay and complete the survey.

Kristina: For publishers, is there a right way convert from free to paid content?

Peter: Yes, if a publisher is planning to convert from free to paid content, they need to make sure to inform their audience ahead of time about the change. The situation will be slightly different for every publisher, but it really depends on how you are asking your visitors to pay for content. As I mentioned earlier, many people seem to be opposed to paywalls, but if you offer them an alternative option, such as completing a quick survey that is tailored to their interests, they may be less resistant. Most website visitors will be upset when they suddenly have to pay for content on a website they visit often that was once free. For example, the "New York Times" received some backlash when they first introduced a paywall although now are reporting an increase in print subscriptions. The most important thing for publishers is that they know their audiences and offer them the best option based on their needs and interests.

Tags: content monetization, content paywalls, CPALead, online content, Peter Tarr

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