The major dilemma content creators face in the digital age is how to make money from their work. Regardless of what kind of content — blogs, music, films, etc. — it’s damn near impossible to earn a living off of donations and online ad revenue alone.
“We aim to revolutionize how people pay and get paid for content on the internet,” according to Flattr’s official site, which sent 200-beta invites for the service just days ago.
Essentially, Flattr works by having people donate a small amount of money each month to pay for their favorite content. Creators would then embed a “Flattr Button” on their content that fans could click if they liked it. At the end of the month, the money donated would be split equally for every button clicked.
Think of it as Google Adsense meets Digg voting.
In concept, this idea is logically sound. If every vote personally cost the user money, it would place an added value on the voting. And since the only benefit of promoting content would be to pay the creator, it would render artificial promotion useless.
However, nearly everyone I spoke to about Flattr quickly pointed out how fucking insane it would be to hand over their financial information to the guys who scammed music and movie industries for years — that is, until they got arrested and sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay damages of over $3 million.
As Social Blend host Greg Davies mentioned to me, Flattr is a good idea, but a trusted financial service like Paypal is far more likely to implement it than the guy who started The Pirate Bay.
Check out the Flattr video pitch below and give us your thoughts. Could a model like this work?