Web Publishers Rejoice - Check Out MediaPass

A compelling new service rolls out this week that is sure to attract the attention of Web publishers, merchants and marketers. MediaPass is a startup company that offers custom content subscription tools for websites, and its new product may provide the answer to the question that every Web professional asks at some point - how much is my content worth?

The new feature is an automatic price-point testing mechanism that estimates the dollar amount users will pay to access certain content, thus giving website owners the ability to set the optimal prices for maximum revenues. The service analyzes market feedback and conversion rates to determine the price that visitors are willing to pay - whether it be for content from an independent blogger, a major publisher, a small retailer or a Fortune 100 company.

The platform lets website owners test up to three separate price points to determine the popular choice, replacing the "losers" and repeating the process until establishing the optimal number. The paid portion can make up 5 percent of a site's content or 95 percent, but for the first time it will be the users who ultimately make that determination by essentially telling the publishers what they are willing to pay.

It is an interesting and a potentially important concept for Web businesses across the board, and the idea comes from MediaPass founder Matthew Mitchell. He has taken his experience in online subscriptions with companies such as Reunion.com and Like.com to form the basis for his new venture, which he likens to something similar to Google's AdSense for Web content.

"Subscription models earn five to 20 times more per user than advertising revenue models - and yet the publishing industry has been slow to adopt because there hasn't been a simple or cost-effective means of implementation," says Mitchell. "MediaPass is helping bloggers and publishers crack the code with our custom paywall and price-point testing solutions."

The implementation of a partial paywall is of less critical importance here than is the implementation of a user-generated automatic price-testing feature. Merchants as well as publishers can appreciate the possibilities such a tool might create, and every marketer on the Web has reason enough to pay attention as this unfolds.

An interesting footnote to the story is that MediaPass has its own affiliate marketing program that it touts as potentially very lucrative. For every customer an affiliate partner refers to MediaPass, the partner earns 10 percent of the subscription revenues for the lifetime of the campaign.