Hyperlocal news platform Patch is exploring new ways to drive revenue with a focus on user payments, while pivoting away from reliance on advertising dollars, Axios reports.
Patch will focus on digital transactions, including calendar payments, the platform’s first experiment with local transactions. Patch is looking to other local transactions to monetize, Patch CEO Warren St. John told Axios.
The transaction-focused model allows Patch to focus less on advertising as a source of revenue, instead allowing it to invest in products its users may be interested in paying to use. In this case, buying access to publishing posts of local calendars.
Patch, which reports profitability, offers the calendar service free to those posting locally. Outside of a user’s home area, posts cost a dollar per day per town to purchase. Payment can be made via Stripe, PayPal or Apple Pay.
Getting people to pay for local news is difficult, according to St. John, who believes finding users to pay for specific service is a better path.
The company is also slated to revamp the classifieds section it launched last quarter by increasing payments. "Payments is probably the best highest margin scalable solution for local," St. John said last quarter, reports Axios.
So far, the calendar access has generated revenue in the low single-digital millions over the course of a year.