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What is Web Monetization?
We're talking streaming payments.
Web Monetization is a protocol and proposed standard for the web that allows users to stream micropayments to content creators. Payments stream according to a user’s attention. For every second a user spends on a Web Monetized site, micropayments will stream to that site’s creator.
With Web Monetization, creators sidestep the tradeoff between visibility and monetization that a traditional paywall creates.
Web Monetization therefore allows you to put content online, keeping it visible for everyone if you choose, while simultaneously turning it into an additional revenue stream. Web Monetization is additive: you will still be free to use various platforms to collect donations, sell merchandise, and add subscribers.
Once you enable Web Monetization on your website, any Web Monetized visitor to your site will automatically stream micropayments to your account as they watch your content. Web Monetization will stream payments from Web Monetized users. Payments stream for every second a user consumes your content.
There are three steps to getting started with Web Monetization.
Sign up for Coil.
Open an Interledger Protocol-enabled digital wallet.
Find and link your Payment Pointer to your content.
If you want to try Web Monetization as a consumer only, you can stop after step #1, sign up for Coil.
If you want to try Web Monetization as a creator, you need a digital wallet and a payment pointer.
This course will go over these steps in detail. Some of the terms might be unfamiliar, so we’ve included a glossary of terms for reference.
Once you have completed these steps, you can begin to implement Web Monetization on your content. In this series we’ll look specifically at implementing Web Monetization with YouTube, Free Music Archive, Monetized, and WordPress.
For those of you who learn more visually, we’ll be linking to some videos that explain the content further. These videos were created by Artist Rescue Trust (A.R.T.), a philanthropically funded program created to provide financial relief to Professional Artists and Creatives affected by COVID-19.
In order to make the most of Web Monetization, it helps to have a large audience of Web Monetization browser-enabled users. We’ll give you documentation that you can share with your fans and fellow artists to get them started. Getting set up as a Web Monetized user is easy. Once they fully understand the economics of digital content, chances are that your supporters will be more likely to join. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have been studying the effect of the visibility of Web Monetization on user preferences. The team found that “when users are aware that their online browsing provides monetary compensation to content creators, they prefer to consume content from non-profit organizations or independent creators and activists over that of mainstream media outlets.”
Web Monetization for the Arts is a course on streaming payments designed for classical musicians and small performing arts groups. The project is funded by Grant for the Web.