A Toronto startup wants to change the way publishers use paywalls by adding elements of loyalty marketing to the paywall process.
The company, SlimCut Media, has created a new product called “Smart Paywall” that gives consumers the chance to receive free content and exclusive offers by interacting with a publisher website. For example, a consumer may gain access to a story by watching a video advertisement or sharing an article on social media.
The Smart Paywall, which SlimCut Media will showcase on Sept. 26 during New York City’s Advertising Week, will also allow publishers to prompt consumers to either purchase a subscription or make a micro payment for a single article. By offering a multitude of ways to access content, the product aims to generate additional revenue without losing readers.
“Our platform allows occasional readers, who would not have subscribed, to continue to access the newspapers,” said SlimCut Media co-founder Damien Véran. “So the publisher is able to keep its audience while receiving incremental advertising revenue.”
He added that SlimCut Media studied Starbucks’ popular loyalty program when designing the paywall system, noting the coffee company’s program “enhances the user experience without interrupting it.”
“It is all about rewarding people for what they already do and with things they really care about. Starbucks rewards its clients with coffee. We want to reward engaged readers with content,” he said.
Founded in 2011, SlimCut Media previously created a loyalty program for video advertising that is currently being used by the National Post.