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Hard paywall *and* reminders
by Brian Carroll, 6 years ago
Paywall vs. Bots
by Brian Carroll, 6 years ago
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We offer different products, here's how to choose
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Using Piano paywall? You users can give gifts!
Your content business' critical data, beautifully displayed.
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Release notes
August 14, 2014
August 14, 2014 Release Notes Fixed - The ticket now reflects updated password complexity requirements.  Passwords must have at least 8 characters, one upper-case character, one lower-case character, and one digit. - Trial periods are now better reflected in the … Continued
May 14, 2014
Ooyala An Ooyala integration is now accessible from the Video tab in the paywall dashboard. Documentation can be found here. Downloads For Enterprise customers, Downloads can now be up to 5 GB in size, configurable on a publisher-by-publisher basis. French … Continued
February 24, 2014
February 24, 2014 v5.3.2 New Features Sell Downloads or Provide them to Subscribers Publishers can now upload individual files and present them for sale using the Tinypass API or a simple Sale Page. Advanced Publishers using the Tinypass API can … Continued
December 19th, 2013
Fixes to reporting, no more zip code, and Sandbox password reset

Your followers are eager to support you!

Political sites using Piano convert unique views into paying subscribers at over double the rate of other paid content sites. Chances are, if you own a political site, but paid content or donations are not a part of your business model, you are missing out on huge financial support from your fans.


Political paid content models

Political content sites using Piano fall into one of three paid content strategies:

1) Voluntary support – earnestly asking users to contribute to the site with reminders and marketing campaigns

2) Metered paywall – allowing visitors on average 10-20 free page views per month, then restricting access afterwards

3) Hard paywall – pushing out marketing materials and teasers for premium content that requires payment before viewing

Your audience and type of content will help you to decide which paid content strategy to use, but in our experience, a hard paywall is the most lucrative. To make a hard paywall business work, you’ll have to create bespoke marketing materials and directly target your potential clients. This may seem like the most work of the three, but it often leads to the most revenue.

Metered paywalls and voluntary support allow you to have a larger reach, but depending on your audience and type of content, you may suffer from a free rider problem. Thats why we recommend combining ad revenue with these two models, and then using a feature such as Dynamics to remove those ads for your paying users.


Key success factors

The most successful politically oriented sites, ones with the highest conversion rates, often share the following characteristics:


1) A personal and transparent call to action from the founder

Users care about the site they’re supporting, and want to know that their money will impact the continued health of the site. Sites where the solicitations to subscribe come from the primary voice outperform ones that are more generic. Moreover, users being presented with direct communications frequently from that primary personality are less likely to cancel their recurring subscriptions.


2) Multiple price options

The number of offers, such offering monthly subscriptions, yearly subscriptions, and day passes, has a direct impact on conversion rates.

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3) Pay-what-you-want

Not only does allowing users to pay extra on top of a pre-set suggested minimum help bring in more money (Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish” used this feature of Piano to bring in over $180,000 in additional revenue in 2013) — having the option to type in their own price actually results in more users completing a purchase as well.

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We believe that the dramatic results of early paid content experiments will be impossible to ignore and will lead to more voices from traditional media outlets setting out on their own. Many Piano-powered sites are already generating seven-figure numbers per year in revenue; we believe that rather than just serving as a soap box, these sites will mature into healthy businesses and become an enduring part of the media landscape. And more voices with more sustainable business models is, of course, a benefit to everyone.

For more information about getting started using Piano, check out our Publisher documentation.



Welcome to Piano!

We're happy you found us! You may already be using Piano, or just starting to learn about it. Either way, we're excited to see you here. We love valuable content as much as you do - that's why we work day and night to make sure you can support your content business with beautiful and simple software tools.

Who are we?

Piano is a dedicated and professional organization comprised of professionals from journalism, advertising, design, and banking. We came together because we believe that in this digital world there should be more than one bookstore, more than one music store, and more than one video store. We are based in New York, and love to hear from our customers in person or on the phone.

What we offer

Piano is a flexible platform that can help you with things like raising money for charity, selling a web series, or creating a payment solution like the New York Times. Chances are, if you have a website, and you are trying to make money from it, Piano has a solution for you. Want to find the right product for you? Visit our Choosing a Solution page.

In addition to these software products, Piano offers you AND your users outstanding customer support from our New York office. We care about you and our product, if you ever have a suggestion or a problem, just email or give us a call at +1 646-350-1999 and dial 0 for "Human Being."

The first step - signing up

Signing up for a publisher account is FREE and you are not committed to ANYTHING. If you are deciding between software products other than Piano, we encourage you to just type in a few things and sign up for an account so that you can poke around the publisher dashboard. Seriously... just sign up for an account. It's free, and you'll like what you see:

When you sign up for an account, you'll automatically be in trial mode. After you update your business information, then you can submit your application for review. It usually takes us less than 24 hours to approve/deny an application. For more information about our approval process, check out the Registration & Application section.

Getting paid

Thirty days after a transaction takes place, you can withdraw the money. We have this waiting period to protect you (and us) from dealing with refunds, chargebacks, and business disasters. You can get paid by check, direct deposit wire transfer, DWOLLA, or Paypal.

How does Piano make money?

"Wait, is it actually free?" Well obviously it's not free. We take a percentage of each transaction to cover payment processing fees. Please contact for our fees. You may find yourself thinking I could be charged directly by the payment provider if I used Stripe or PayPal..."  But unlike those payment gateways, we let you control access to content, customize site experiences, set business rules, manage user accounts, view analytics, and provide end-user customer service.

Enterprise clients

Piano offers professional services and enterprise pricing to clients that meet a certain threshold. You know who you are, and if you are interested in talking to our enterprise sales team, just call +1646-350-1999 and press 1 for sales. In addition to our software, we also offer consulting services that we like to call Content Monetization Planning.



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Hard paywall *and* reminders
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