Creators have three options for surviving online: closed marketplaces, recurring subscriptions and invasive advertising. It’s time for something new.
You’re in an arcade.
This arcade has a million machines.
Instead of coin slots, the games have different payment methods. Some are ad-supported, frequently pestering you with annoying pop-ups. Others won’t let you play until you enter your credit card. Some require a monthly subscription, and the rest have an up-front cost that is too much for casual use.
Some people will pick a few machines they like, and most will give up. Why can’t you just pay a quarter for a quick match against a friend? Why do you need to buy a game for a whole month, remember to cancel the subscription before it gets automatically renewed, and then go through the same process with another game?
This is the state of online transactions.
A lot of people are leaving the arcade.
There are other ways to do web payments.
We know that modern web experience is mostly terrible. Instead of individual creator sites, most people are living inside social networks that promote templated selves and divisive content.
Creators have three options for surviving online: closed marketplaces, recurring subscriptions and invasive advertising.
Are subscription models, advertising, or closed marketplaces really the best fit for the internet? If not, what might a system of transactions built with the open web look like?
THE MISSING MIDDLE
Recurring payment models are everywhere, but they aren’t a fit for every situation.