By @SimonCocking

Describe the company

ContentKid is a platform (app interface) concept where consumers can access and pay for short-lived subscriptions to any participating digital provider’s premium content (entertainment, news, gaming, information, etc.) via one account, one password, and one secure place for their bank/credit-card/PayPal account information. Hyperledger blockchain technology would provide the security of the digital transaction to both the consumer and content providers. The platform would allow the consumer to pay a small amount for the ‘subscriber only’ content they want to view, when they want it, with no long-term financial obligation or multiple log-in’s. In short, customers could essentially ‘rent’ a subscription for hours, or as a day-pass (depending on what is negotiated with the digital media providers). ContentKid will be the first digital superstore where consumers can buy short-lived access to the premium entertainment, information, news, gaming, sports, or other content they want that is protected by a paywall.

What is the elevator pitch?

Tired of hitting website paywalls and wish there were an easier way to access the subscriber-only information or entertainment you want without the long-term financial obligation? What if I told you that for less than a cup of coffee, you could purchase a 2 hour subscription with full-access to your favorite website, as if you were a subscriber. ContentKid technology would allow you to, basically, ‘rent’ a short subscription to virtually any website – all from one account! You can pay for what you want when you want it, with only one log-in to ContentKid. This new subscription platform also creates a new revenue stream to digital content providers that doesn’t currently exist.

How are you different?

While there are some companies like Blendle and Magzter.com that allow consumers to buy an individual news article or a magazine online, ContentKid will offer a way for consumers to pay for access (rent) a subscription to a content provider of their choosing. ContentKid will incorporate Distributor Ledger Technology (hyperledger blockchain) into its method of securing the payments and identities of the payer (customers) and the digital content providers. Once registered and logged-in, consumers could either pay for subscriber-only access from the landing page of the provider, or find a provider of their choice through the ContentKid app/portal.

Why will the company / product do well?

1. The ContentKid concept reduces friction, inefficiencies and security issues for digital content providers, while providing convenience for consumers of digital media. Currently, less than 10% of unique visitors to any given news, sports or entertainment site are paying subscribers; while Google and Facebook make over 85% of the ad revenue generated.

2. Critical mass: millions of digital content consumers frustrated with paywall obstacles, clickbait and diluted content. Also, the majority of digital media providers are struggling to find a more sustainable way to monetize their content.

3. Pricing: the per diem rate (1/365) of an annual digital subscription ranges $0.30 to $0.60. The market could bear a 100+% markup over cost and pay the $1 – $2 cost for 2 hours of a subscription to the entertainment or information provider they want.

4. Ecosystem: Any digital content provider interested in monetizing their content for the 90% of viewers that have been unwilling to pay for an annual subscription. Any cannibalization of existing subscribers would be offset by the new revenue stream.

5. User Experience: consumers could buy 2 hours (or day pass) of premium content from a variety of choices with two or three clicks. Providers could reduce their overhead expenses by using ContentKid as an outsourced paywall / secure system.

Where are you based?

Wichita, Kansas (USA)

When was the company launched?

Summer of 2016

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Earlier this month I received a market validation (feasibility) study that was completed by a student team at our local university, Wichita State University. I’ve taken it about as far as I can by myself. My short-term goal is to build a team that wants to ‘take the ball and run with it’.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

I will have two market segments:
1) Digital Media Content Consumers:

People that exhaust the ‘five free views’ or ‘free trial periods’ with a digital provider (e.g. Rivals.com, ConsumerReports.org) who would be willing to pay less than a dollar for short-lived on-demand access to premium content on those favored sites. Currently only 11% of viewers of online news and entertainment sites are subscribers. Of the remaining 89% that log-off after hitting the pay wall, a majority of whom may be willing to pay less than a cup of coffee for a short-lived subscription using ContentKid.
Early adopters: the valued ‘cord cutter’ 18-35 year old millennial demographic who prefer ‘access’ rather than ownership. The cord-cutters are averse to long-term contracts with cable/satellite TV, cellular phone service, or even buying cars (Uber).

2) Digital Content Providers:

Entertainment and news/information providers in need of new revenue stream to compensate for stagnant subscription rates and declining print circulation. Content providers set the pricing and time limit of the mini-subscription, and enjoy payment for all the mini-subscriptions from a single payer (ContentKid). Basically, the providers can enjoy a new distribution channel and revenue stream by using ContentKid as an outsourced ‘paywall’ and consumer metadata provider. Distributed ledger technology (hyperledger blockchain) will provide the media companies the assurance that transactions are valid and secure.

Tell us about your team?

I hired a tech studio to provide me the scope/discovery of the software architecture. A marketing professional helped with the logo/brand. I am currently looking for a group interested in developing the concept further. I believe the concept could provide an excellent application for hyperledger blockchain, as the digital transactions of access to copyrighted material are highly scalable – and the permissions (smart contracts) for each party in the transaction must be secure and encrypted.

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

My goal is for ContentKid to offer access to premium digital media and information from a large variety of genres. The more choices of entertainment, news and information available for 2-hour (or day pass) subscriptions, the more valuable the ContentKid platform will be.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

I’m enjoying my wearable tech (Fitbit) currently.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

Rather than a gadget, I wish for a tech team that is currently exploring how to apply its distributed ledger technology, to contact me.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

Where did I get the idea?

I developed this ‘micro-subscription’ idea in early 2006 while creating a business plan assignment for an entrepreneurship class in graduate school. The original concept involved an internet-connected kiosk placed in airports and coffee shops that allowed consumers to pay for ‘digital’ copies of newspapers or other periodicals that would be downloaded via wire connection (as wireless technology was expensive and weak back then) to their laptop, so consumers could pay a small amount of money for any periodical or newspaper they want, when they want it, without multiple log-in’s or long term financial obligations to each provider.

What is your motivation for developing this concept?

I believe this concept will provide a new source of revenue that could strengthen our independent/free press, which has been ailing for over a decade. The ContentKid (or whatever it is called in the end) concept will disrupt the current paradigm of how digital content is monetized by ushering in a new revenue stream to media providers. The selling (renting) of short-lived access to the premium content will boost customer engagement, potentially lead to more annual subscriptions from those customers, and hopefully result in a more informed electorate. Without a strong independent press, I fear our society may be doomed to repeat some dark history.

How do people get in touch with you?

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Content_Kid
Phone: 1-316-616-5538 (US Central Time Zone, -6 UTC, or -0600)


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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