An API that allows Web applications to request a stream of very small payments from the user.
Web Monetization is an alternative revenue model for the Web. It allows Websites to earn revenue from users without:
- Requiring users to sign-up to a subscription
- Needing to deliver content/services through 3rd-party platforms
Users sign up with a Web Monetization provider (or run their own) which is capable of sending streams of very small payments to websites.
Websites sign up with a Web Monetization receiver, a specialised digital wallet capable of processing an incoming stream of very small payments.
When the user visits the website, her browser parses a
<meta> tag in the header of the site that contains the websites receiving address.
The browser invokes the user’s WM provider which begins sending payments to the website.
For each payment the browser emits an event that the website can listen for.
In return for payment the website provides the user with an alternative “paid for” experience such as not showing advertising, delivering premium content etc.
The Web Monetization model decouples the user’s provider (making payments on their behalf) from the website’s receiver (a digital wallet capable of accepting payments for the website). By using the browser as an intermediary the privacy of the user is preserved from both the website and the WM provider.
By providing an alternative revenue model to advertising, WM indirectly reduces the need for websites to do invasive tracking of their users.
Coil (a WM provider) has been using this model since October 2018 and has thus far made billions of micropayments to creators and websites. We would like the model to become a standard and for the ecosystem of providers and receivers to grow and become competitive to the benefit of users, creators and website owners.
Coil hosts a platform for creators to post content and earn revenue, however the real advantage of WM over previous efforts to solve this same problem is the ability of creators/websites, with no relationship to Coil, to earn revenue from Coil users.
This is only possible if the browser intermediates between the user and website (currently implemented as a browser extension by Coil) necessitating a browser-level API.