Tiip Jar: startup Ad network concept aimed at Creators

Found this on Reddit, the Tiip Jar.

Tiip Jar in action

Content Creators have always struggled to find revenue streams that

1. actually generated reasonable amounts of income,
2. aligned with their own (and their audience’s) tolerance for visible ads onsite, and
3. involved brands and/or ad networks that carried ads of reasonable quality and could deliver ads of interest to the community.

Over the years more than a few startups have tried to provide an alternative to ad-support through various micro-payment / donation schemes.  After all, it’s totally reasonable for Content Creators to ask viewers to chip in a few shekels for content they enjoy, right? They all take a slightly different tactic, but Centup, Dwolla,  Flattr, Google One Pass (RIP), Paypal’s donate button, TipTheWeb,  znak it have tried and struggled to get lots of traction.  Mostly, I venture, because even passionate audiences are more stingy about click-per-post support than expected.

There are several other avenues multimedia creators have at their disposal: Kickstarter, & indiegogo are popular but require a finite deliverable (not a blogpost). New entry Patreon introduces recurring support payments (the Daily Tech News Show is one of their most successful users), but Patreon’s successes also appear to be nearly completely Video/multimedia, not text.

So how does a writer with a popular blog generate real income without feeling dirty?

Many have played with Branded or sponsored content, but the really good examples, such as last year’s Fast Company + Ogilvy & Mather experiment Content & Pervasive Creativity, typifies the amount of effort it takes to do this sort of collaboration well.  I do speak from some experience that negotiating and launching something like the above is the opposite of easy, but can be rewarding.

Of course it can just as easily go wrong, such as when The Atlantic Monthly published some sponsored content from the Church of Sc#*$^%&@*y.

So why does Tiip Jar catch my interest?

It seems like the logical integration of three other existing techniques to incentivize users to generate revenue for your content:

1. Mobile Gaming’s technique of giving players in-game incentives for watching Cost Per View videos

“watch this video ad and we’ll give you fake internet coins that buy you things in our game!”

2. Amazon’s recommendation engine / affiliate perks program, which helped creators share their preferences with their audience for mutual gain

“click through our amazon recommendations sidebar and help us get a piece of what you were going to buy anyway!”

3. on-site Native content / Branded content partnerships between content creators and advertisers.

“This is content I created with Brand X, but I really believe in their product so that’s why I’ve chosen to share it with you”

Tiip appears to offer a creator a pretty simple proposition:

  • Engage their audience to video advertising in a straightforward format
  • Offer them a fast and low-touch way to support the creator (the count-down animation is key), and
  • Move on to enjoy their site’s content and community.

A creator more in-touch with their advertisers could also leverage the platform to bring video advertising to their platform and make 100% sure the videos are relevant to their audience.

Niche? Maybe, but I think it’s pretty damn smart.