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AnyMind Group’s FourM introduces micro-payments to Japan’s “Football Critique Online” and enables the launch of premium paid content

The introduction of micropayments enabled Football Critique Online to improve cost-per-page ad RPM by 3.5 times

AnyMind Group, a technology company for the business supply chain, has today announced that its Japan-based publisher trading desk, FourM, completed a trial implementation of micro-payment services on Japanese web-based football news publisher, Football Critique Online, operated by KANZEN Corp., Ltd., which will now be implemented on a full-scale basis alongside existing advertising monetization efforts through AnyManager.

Through the trial implementation, FourM was able to enhance the user experience of Football Critique Online whilst establishing revenue models beyond advertising monetization, resulting in a higher revenue-per-page compared to advertising revenue per mille (RPM). The publisher was also able to perform integrated analysis of subscription and ad revenue through AnyManager, and optimize initiatives taken to increase monetization efforts.

With few successful cases of subscription model implementation for web-based media in Japan, there were uncertainties around the volume of users willing to pay additional fees to consume high-quality content and user drop offs after the introduction of a subscription model. As a result, Football Critique Online, through the use of Fewcents’ micropayment service, initially implemented a small volume of paid content but gradually increased paid content volume. Although concerns existed about user drop-offs from having both advertising and paid article offerings, ongoing validation of appropriate pricing for different articles led to a 3.5 times increase in the page unit price (RPM) for paid content articles compared to RPM.

Kato, editor-in-chief of Football Critique Online, said: “The introduction of Fewcents’ micro-payments revealed the willingness of Japanese users to pay for digital content. Additionally, the profitability from micro-payments was found to be higher than advertising. While KANZEN primarily relied on advertising for monetization in other media operations, this result suggests that micro-payments could become a low-risk method to initiate payment models in the future. Moreover, micro-payments enable effective data collection, aiding in understanding suitable content types and optimal pricing strategies. Leveraging this data, we plan to focus on high-revenue articles, enhancing the coexistence of advertising monetization and paid content.”

Football Critique Online started off as a print magazine called Football Critique in 2014, and transitioned onto web in March 2023. To deliver magazine-like content online, an additional revenue model beyond existing advertising revenue was necessary, resulting in Football Critique Online working with FourM to provide a wider range of solutions.

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