Jun 22, 2005

More Peer-to-Peer Dreaming

From Marketwatch:

A Forrester Research Inc. analyst thinks Google's plan to facilitate payments on the Internet may go much further than helping people sell stuff at virtual yard sales.

Charlene Li wrote on her Web log that since Google Inc.'s AdSense service already puts links on Web pages, why not add micropayment processing?

"Google (GOOG: news, chart, profile) could offer a subscription 'pass' that grants users access to premium content on multiple sites, with each site getting a share of the payment based on usage," she wrote. Such an idea for bundled Web subscriptions was suggested several weeks ago by Martin Nisenholtz, senior vice president for Digital Operations at The New York Times.

The Forrester (FORR: news, chart, profile) principal analyst reasons that with millions of producers of Web logs and podcasts wondering how to make some money, Google's payment services venture might be a solution.

In remarks Tuesday, Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, confirmed the company is working on payment services which are "a natural evolution of Google's existing online products and advertising programs," according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

A service like this could provide serious competition for the current standard of "free" content paid for by advertising revenues. It is not clear to me how many people see this coming but I am guessing it is not too many yet.

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