The paywall and subscription management service choices may be narrowing again. Last week Ken Doctor talked about a visit by TinyPass CEO, Trevor Kaufman to Piano Media's office. There is no announced agreement yet, but the premonition is in the air.
Doctor refers to the term roll-up as many paywall tech companies seem to be merging. TinyPass announced its acquisition of Swishuu in February of 2014. Last fall Piano Media acquired Press+. Now we hear of rumors that TinyPass and Piano are talking.
What does this mean for content creators looking for a paywall service to help them monetize their offering? The potential for less flexibility. Doctor alluded to this problem when TinyPass landed some big clients as Piano and Press+ continue to work through their integration.
"Those wins certainly sent a message to Piano Media, which has been working through the many issues of integrating the larger Press+ since that acquisition and may have fallen behind in product flexibility."
It's one thing to buy a company and add it to your portfolio. It's another to then integrate platforms, especially if each company has approached the market with varying missions. There could be a significant shift of focus away from developing the independent products while building out an integration scope. The content creators are the ones that suffer in this scenario.
We have begun to see this effect. We have been getting inquiries into our Pigeon Paywall service from content creators. A common problem seems to be conveyed, "Other paywall tech providers can't or won't work with our unique scenario." Or "they are not flexibile enough to fit our desired commerce model." Which has been good for us as we can be nimble and provide the necessary solutions.
Whatever happens I am happy to continue serving in the paywall tech arena with TinyPass and Piano (Press+) or whatever amalgamation they might become. The important thing is content creators and media companies need choices. And I hope our focus to provide tools that help companies better monetize their content can continue to provide a healthy service edge in the paywall tech market.
Want to see who the players are? We keep a running list of paywall and subscription service providers here.