“I predict that most sites that are not financed through traditional product sales will move to micropayments in less than two years. Users should be willing to pay, say, one cent per Web page in return for getting quality content and an optimal user experience with less intrusive ads.”
The quote is from an essay by Jakob Nielsen, one of the early web UX and usability experts. Published in January 1998, about eight months before Google, the company, came into being.
The idea for paying for news, or any other content, in bits and pieces online is not new by any means. Nielsen, for one, argued over two decades ago that advertising was not a good enough business model for a lot of websites (something news publishers only really accepted much more recently), but also that subscription fees were a hindrance, and that “micropayments” were the solution.
Needless to say, though, his prediction