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ad modelLast month I wrote about eBookPlus, a startup that wanted to make books free, with ads. To say I wasn’t thrilled would be an understatement. Most of you who commented on the post agreed with me.

Forbes had an article today on another startup, HitBliss, that might actually have it right. From Forbes:

The Lexington, Mass. company, run by husband and wife team Andrew Prihodko and Sharon Peyer, operates a Netflix-like app for iOS and Android that gives users access to a whole slew of TV shows and movies. But all that’s a sideshow; the payment method is what’s interesting here. Customers can choose to pay for shows piecemeal by credit card or they can watch 30-second ads to build up credit. After two or three ads—or a minute and half in total—most customers earn enough to buy a show or rent a movie.

ad modelToday their model is aimed at movies, but they plan to bring other media, including books, into the mix later.

When I read the article, I was surprised at my own reaction. I didn’t immediately think, “Yuck! How horrible.” I actually thought, “Hmm. I could see myself doing that.”

I’m curious to know what you think. Would you be willing to view a few ads before renting a book, assuming that, in fact, the ads don’t interrupt you while you’re actually reading? I think I would be.

 
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