Users pay Coil a fixed monthly fee, install its browser extension, the Ripple XRP cryptocurrency is used to route assets around, and then Coil pays creators per second that the subscriber spends consuming their content at a rate of 36 cents per hour.
Today Imgur announces that it’s raised a $20 million venture equity round from Coil, a micropayment tool for creators that Imgur has agreed to build into its service.
Coil received the money it’s investing in Imgur from Ripple Labs’ Xpring Initiative, which aims to fund proliferation of the Ripple XRP ecosystem, though Imgur received US dollars in the funding deal.
But 300 million monthly user meme and storytelling app Imgur wants to pioneer a way to pay creators per second that people view their content.
The challenge for Imgur will be avoiding the cannibalization of its existing content to the detriment of its non-paying users who’ve always known it to be free. “We’re in the business of making the internet better.
Imgur and Coil will earn a cut too, diversifying the meme network’s revenue beyond ads. “Imgur began in 2009 as a gift to the internet.
That means it will have to recruit new creators and add bonus features that are reserved for Coil subscribers without making the rest of its 300 million users feel deprived.
Imgur will eventually launch a premium membership with exclusive features and content reserved for Coil subscribers.
Over the last 10 years we’ve built one of the largest, most positive online communities, based on our core value to ‘give more than we take’” says Alan Schaaf, founder and CEO of Imgur.
Unlike Patreon where you pick a few creators and choose how much to pay each every month, Coil lets you browse content from as many creators as you want and it pays them appropriately.
Coil will “hopefully offer a third potential business model for the internet and offer a way for creators to get paid.
While the new round brings in fewer dollars, Schaaf explains that Imgur raised at a valuation that’s “higher than last time.