Sydney fintech startup Tapview has started trialling its technology with two Fairfax newspaper websites, to allow them to eventually charge 10 cents per article online rather than put readers off with full paywalls.
“Converting casual free readers to paying customers is the holy grail of digital content publishing,” said Tapview founder and chief James Jansson.
“The ultimate goal is to create a content access system that’s available everywhere where people say ‘I’ll just Tapview it’. It’s something that’s not impossible to achieve.”
Two Fairfax regional newspapers, the Moruya/Batemans Bay Post and Milton Ulladulla Times, are trying the micropayment technology, which embeds a Tapview button into online articles for users to instantly access content for 10 cents.
However, as of Friday morning Tapview has only enabled traditional subscriptions on the sites. Business Insider understands per-article charging was enabled on the Milton Ulladulla Times but was withdrawn for undisclosed reasons.
Jansson said that user feedback has been positive and the company would look to spread the model to other online publishers, with the UK market as “good first step” for international expansion.
“Having a model where people can register for free and make micropayments works for the audience,” he said.
“If we can implement Tapview on a paper that satisfies a particular region then other papers in that region will jump on. It’s not easy to say no to thousands of registered credit card users who are ready to pay.”
State government programme Jobs For NSW chipped in a minimal viable product grant of $14,685 to develop Tapview’s analytics capabilities. Deputy premier and small business minister John Barilaro said that Tapview was a “fantastic idea” that had snowballed after the government contribution.
“The NSW government funding for Tapview has also led to a further $100,000 in seed funding from fintech accelerator H2 Ventures as well as an additional $60,000 from private investors,” he said.
Tapview was started in late 2015 by friends Jasson, Alexey Feigin and Jordan Rastrick with no office and no capital. Business Insider journalist Chris Pash serves on its advisory board.
Disclosure: Allure Media, the publisher of Business Insider Australia, is 100% owned by Fairfax Media.