Selling Digital Content Just Got a Whole Lot…Freer

For immediate release

The #1 Metered Paywall for WordPress is Now Free

In a welcome and unexpected move made early this year, ZEEN101 published their landmark—and formerly un-free—Leaky Paywall plugin to the Plugin Repository—making it free of the developer fees that accompany other paywall plugins or services.

A paywall is a programmatic wall that publishers use to keep non-paying customers out of certain sections of a web site. A metered paywall “leaks” a defined amount of the protected content out through the paywall to the non-paying masses as “teasers,” as sales pitches, as search-engine fodder. Because quality content takes time and effort to create, many publishers are turning to metered paywalls as a way to remain accessible to general surfing audience, while earning revenue from a core subscriber base.

All of the leading metered paywall solutions on the market charge publishers for the use of their software. It is an industry convention for developers to charge customers for any service or software that leads to new revenue streams. This move of releasing a fully-operational paywall—but restricting publishers to offering only one level of subscription—bucks that convention.

It should be noted that, though Leaky Paywall can be integrated with any payment gateway, it—out of the box—offers Stripe and PayPal integration. And, like any payment gateway, those two services charge their own per transaction fees.

“Metered paywalls are a great way to keep the web open while helping publishers to create new revenue, new jobs, and more content. Leaky Paywall has been a foundational plugin for publishers and a solid performer for us,” Peter Ericson, ZEEN101’s founder and CEO, says. “A few of our key Leaky Paywall competitors abandoned the small publisher market recently for a chance at the ‘big guys.’ We decided that move gave us a great opportunity to fill the void they’ve left behind. By releasing Leaky Paywall and some of the add-ons for free we, of course, hope to increase our user base and introduce folks to our other plugins for publishers—but our mission has always been to help small publishers make a smooth and profitable transition to digital publishing. Making a metered paywall freely available  is directly in-line with our mission.”

ZEEN101 has been focused, since its launch, on helping the small publisher market. It’s first product to market was IssueM—a WordPress-based issue management plugin for issue-based publishers such as magazines, newspapers, and newsletters. Since then ZEEN101 has followed up with innovative advertising management plugins (Ad Dropper, AccessAds) and an impressive WordPress-to-mobile web/app hybrid service called UniPress which allows publishers to create standalone iOS and Android apps for their WordPress-managed publications.

Ericson says he has high hopes for the future of publishing. “Publishers are starting to figure out the digital world. And the consumers’ ‘expectation of free content’ that accompanied the early web—and crippled publishers for so long—is fading away. As publishers build solid revenue streams from digital content, both the quality and quantity of what we’re reading online will soar.”

Find the Leaky Paywall plugin here

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