Gossip website Popbitch ditches banner ads for partial paywall charging 10p for articles


The gossip website Popbitch has ditched banner advertising in favour of a partial paywall charging readers in pence not pounds.

Readers pay 10p for select articles which then caps at 30p for the week. Once they reach the cap, readers will have full access to the website for the week.

Also, once a reader has paid for an article, they will be able to access it in the future without paying again.

In a story in its weekly newsletter, Popbitch said: “After decades of trying to make digital pay, the media industry still doesn’t really seem to know what it’s doing about online. So we’re going to try something new.

“We’ve partnered with a company called Agate, who we think have come up with a rather neat, fair and equitable solution to the industry’s problem.

“Essentially, they’ve created a digital pay-as-you-go wallet that lets you automatically pay a small fixed amount for certain articles.

“That means no monthly subscriptions, no being charged for any of the sections you don’t read, no impenetrable full-screen ads. Just a simple, frictionless way to pay a micro-fee on a page-by-page basis.”

The new payment system has been rolled out across long-form stories published on the Popbitch website. Popbitch says its newsletter will continue to be available for free, despite the changes to its website.

To make the 10p payments, readers add money to an online balance which can be topped up at anytime. Popbitch is the first publisher to sign up to the Agate micro-payment scheme.



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