Many online content providers are struggling with their online business model. Nothing new of course. The same goes up for the scientific publishers. In contrast with the news industry where an off-line publication (newspaper) has a rather low price tag, scientific publications are valued at a much higher price. Therefore many of these publications are today locked behind webshops and not accessible to the public. Often the abstract doesn’t give enough information to convince people to buy the full article. DeepDyve tries to offer a solution for that. The scientific search engine now offers the possibility to rent full articles for 24 hours for only $ 0.99. The articles will be accessible online in a not distributable and printable format, at least that is what they are claiming. A part of the revenue will be shared to the scientific publishers.
The business model itself is not that unique. This is again a layered freemium model. Part of the content is accessible for free (abstract/summary) and people can pay to have access to more information. When articles are very long and on top of that complex to read, the 24 hour time frame will probably be not enough for most users. Renting more days or buying the article will often be a better choice. The difference with other micro-payment services is that the small $0.99 teasers are not the only revenue stream for the company. This is only a step-up to convince people to buy full articles. In contrast with news, scientific articles remain valuable over time what makes it more interesting to buy the articles instead of ‘renting’ them.
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