It has been a tough year for indie publishers. Not only have hosting prices failed to fall in line with optimistic expectations, but the online advertising market has remained painfully depressed; to the point at which the publication of content-based websites has become a truly risky endeavour.
B.U.D.S. Inc. has responded to this trend by debuting a product that hopes to take some of the risk out of publishing - particularly for bandwidth-intensive properties. Their product, the aptly-named 'No Ad Network' serves as an intermediary between publishers and their visitors in the facilitation of micropayments in exchange for content.
The micropayment concept has been around since the very dawn of the web, with MIT's Nicholas Negroponte and web usability expert Jakob Nielsen amongst the proponents of such a system. Despite this, the payment model has failed to take hold to any significant degree - beyond perhaps the 'tip jars' supported by Amazon.com and PayPal, or the age-verification networks commonplace within the adult industry; both of which are variations upon the theme.
While it had recently been suggested that Microsoft, leveraging the substantial user base of its Passport system, or peer-to-peer payment processor PayPal would spearhead any future micropayment system for independent publishers, neither company has expressed immediate plans to do so. Instead, the task of pioneering micropayments and micro-subscriptions has fallen into the hands of B.U.D.S. Inc., a private-held company based in New York that itself began as an online content publisher prior to embarking on this latest endeavour.
The number of credits charged in exchange for ad-free access, 'members only' subscription, faster downloads or exclusive e-products is at the publisher's discretion, with each point netting the publisher $0.10. Users purchase these for anywhere between $0.11-$0.20, depending on volume purchased, with the balance going to B.U.D.S. Inc. for maintaining the system and processing the payments. Publishers are also afforded an additional $0.50 every time one of their referred users buys more points on the network, regardless of the size of the buy.
To learn more about No Ad Network visit the following URLs:
Web publishers - http://www.noadnetwork.com/publisher/
Web surfers - http://www.noadnetwork.com
Independent discussion - Geek/Talk thread