In 2019, the subscription plan is king. A lot of major players from Apple to Adobe and even Disney are making big bets on subscription plans to boost revenues.

With so many major companies moving in this direction, it could seem like the subscription plan is here to stay. But is it?

Software licensing and media streaming services will be here for a while, but the same can’t be said for the way we pay for them. What if you could instead pay only for what you use, right when you use it?

On-demand alternatives

On-demand pricing and payment is hardly popular in 2019, but it’s gaining momentum, as evidenced by a few major products like AWS (Amazon) and Firebase (Google) where users have the option to pay for exactly what they use. It makes sense why there is such a divide.

On-demand pricing systems have been complicated to create. They require a level trust in users that they will pay for what they used at the end of each month. After all, it’s impractical to repeatedly charge a credit card for just a few cents — and it’s not even possible to charge a card for a fraction of a cent in exchange for a small amount of consumption.

Luckily, cryptocurrencies are opening the door for companies to have many more monetization and consumption options than before. It can be done by tying API access to a cryptocurrency micro-payment.

This way, customers would not only pay for the exact amount of data or time they use, but also could pay only for the features they are interested in using in a product, rather than needing to pre-pay for an entire package which by default includes a lot of features that will never be used.

Cryptocurrencies are ideal for micro-payments, but the isolated, secure nature of blockchains have thus far limited their application in the real world. There haven’t been many efficient ways to connect live events within applications to the blockchain, until recently.

MESG is a decentralized application-building framework unified by a common event channel and message broker that connects to any services, blockchains, IoT devices or legacy software through their events. With it, you can connect any company’s API to a cryptocurrency payment, delivering with it the ability to transform companies’ monetization strategies.

The proof of concept

We’ve built a working proof of concept using MESG that shows the promise of this solution. This app sends a single email through the service SendGrid in exchange for a payment of 0.000000000001 ETH, equating to a mere fraction of a cent.

Today, Sendgrid a service which requires users to front a subscription fee in exchange for some powerful features and a rather large allotment of emails to send. Our developers have shortened this process by fronting the initial subscription fee and allowing others to pay them a cryptocurrency micro-payment to send a single email.

This Proof of Concept shows that providers of web2 services can monetize their API by providing a web3 API through a Smart Contract.

How does this look in the real world?

Micro-payments can be used to boost monetization strategies across many businesses. Some strategies companies could could employ are:

  • Allow occasional customers to pay for only the media or tools they consume, measuring consumption in kilobytes or minutes
  • Permit users to pay per action without needing to pay for all of the other unused features that come with a monthly plan
  • Allow anyone to utilize powerful features like sending emails/SMS/push notifications from any address for a fraction of a cent, no SendGrid or MailChimp account required

Once implemented, these new monetization methods could radically alter the way businesses operate. For example, businesses could apply these strategies to:

  • Reduce friction for users who are more willing to pay for what they use, rather than forcing them to buy large packages
  • Return focus to the actual key value propositions of a business without needing to manage monetization
  • Open up the competition through new models of monetization
  • Reduce the complexity of products while increasing the potential reusability of them
  • Reduce human resources costs by removing the need for an extra payment system development team

While this concept has the potential to radically alter monetization and consumption options throughout online services, it’s only one of many applications that can be built with MESG.

Our highly-flexible development tool is available to use today, allowing developers to get creative and build apps that utilize any feature from any technology, including blockchains.

Build with MESG. We're excited to see what you come up with.