Sourcepoint hopes its subscription product helps it find a perch in a rapidly changing media ecosystem. Consumer impatience with ads has led even advertising-led companies like Hulu and Google’s YouTube to launch ad-free subscriptions. But while The New York Times and Slate Plus saw a boost in subscriptions post-election, many consumers still prefer to view ads instead of paying.
“We are going to be riding that wave of user choice,” Barokas said. “The vast majority of content will be ad-supported, but there will be those individuals that are more than willing to pay for subscriptions to large swaths of content.”
The payment system means Sourcepoint will need to develop a consumer-facing business in addition to selling its tech to publishers. Barokas acknowledged that will be an expensive, difficult direction to take.
“If we are going to be a successful brand, we will need to raise even more money,” he said.
In the 18 months since it raised $10 million in Series A funding, Sourcepoint signed up 100 publishers with 5 billion page views a month to its messaging tech, Dialogue. Dennis Publishing, Gruner & Jahr, AOL, and Nyheter24 were among those who signed up.
Besides its tech, Sourcepoint helps publishers A/B test anti-ad-blocking messages or find other ways to create a new value exchange with the reader.