OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 01/28/2013 By Mark Glaser & Courtney Cowgill

Tinypass shows pay walls are big

As more and more publications get on the pay wall bandwagon (News & Tech estimates at the start of 2013, more than 360 U.S. papers were charging for digital content), there is a boom on the horizon for the companies that actually administer those pay walls. Tinypass is the latest example of a small pay wall company getting bigger and bigger. Tinypass has been around awhile, but really hit the mainstream when Andrew Sullivan announced that his new endeavor would use Tinypass to run its pay wall. Now the company is announcing that it has hired a CEO (Trevor Kaufman of Possible) and raised some real money ($1.25 million in seed funding.)

It’s still a pretty small shop, but no longer so tiny. The company has a list of about 45 paying clients right now but after Sullivan announced he would use it, 400 people have downloaded the software for a test drive, reports AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka. But Kafka points out that Tinypass is in an increasingly crowded market – a market that’s gone from asking whether or not to have a pay wall to choosing which pay wall to use. “The bigger question for Tinypass is why publishers should work with them instead of several similar outfits” such as Press+ or MediaPass, Kafka writes. But having the high profile Andrew Sullivan on board has given others the impetus to give Tinypass a try, and in turn, giving its business a definite boost.