Dan Mitchell, writing Aug. 27, 2007 in The New York Times, has revived the conversation about so-called "micropayments," noting that iTunes is working and suggesting larger small-payment aggregation networks which facilitate advertising and user exchange might be feasible. The piece ends with a quote
from Bill Densmore.
"Bill Densmore, a founder of the payments firm Clickshare, a former newspaper publisher and now a consultant and a director of a citizens' media project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has been promoting micropayments from the beginning. He envisions Web publishers joining with one another and with producers of other content to create huge networks, sharing users and, in effect, revenue.
"For example, he said, a large newspaper could sell subscriptions that would allow its readers to download music from iTunes or Rhapsody, read articles from regional papers, and watch movies and TV shows from YouTube or Comedy Central. Some material would be sold for a fee -- with the payments managed internally by the network. Mr. Densmore acknowledged that this is all pie-in-the-sky at this point. But, he said, for newspapers in particular, the status quo is not good enough. In that business, he said, there are "enough people feeling enough pain that they need to be open to asking what models might work."