Contenture.com is a site that offers a new type of micropayment system for website owners and users. Website owners sign up for the service and receive micropayments from Contenture users who visit their sites. Contenture users pay a small monthly fee to support the sites they visit. The amount users pay is split into micropayments to the Contenture sites according to how often the users visit the sites. 80% of the revenue is paid to the sites, and the Contenture site keeps 20% of the revenue. Website owners must sign up for the service and place a small piece of code on their website in order to use the service. Website owners are given the option of offering special features to Contenture users who visit their sites, such as access to special areas or disabling advertising for them. There is no cost for website owners to use the service. The site also has an affiliate program for website owners to promote the service and earn commissions on the people they refer who sign up for the service.Show more screenshots »
Portland, OR-based Contenture was founded by Alex Wilhelm is May 2009. The site has undergone steady growth since launch; both in the number of websites using the service as well as the number of users paying to support the sites they visit. The site has a current Alexa page rank well below the 200,000 mark. Contenture is developed by the same team behind Clicky.com, the real time web analytics service.
Competition to Contenture comes from sites such as TipJoy. TipJoy is different in that it requires the user to initiate a payment on the TipJoy sites they visit, rather than the payments being automatically distributed to sites using the service. Contenture is the first site to automate the service. In addition they are the first to offer website owners the ability to provide special features to users of the service.
The Contenture site has a very clean and uncluttered look and feel. The site is very responsive, and page loads happen quickly. The site is intuitive and navigation is straightforward. Each user has a User Status page, which shows their current status (how much per month they are paying to support websites) and, if applicable, shows the website(s) they have listed with the site. There is also an active blog as well as a very detailed help system.
Registration to the Contenture site is required to use the service. Initial registration is free. The registration process asks for real name, email address and password. The email address does not need to be validated. Website owners do not have to pay anything to use the service. Users wishing to support the Contenture sites they visit must pay a monthly fee.
The amount a user pays is chosen by the user, with the minimum payment being $5.99/month. Other amounts are $7.99, $9.99, $14.99, $19.99, $24.99, $39.99, $49.99 and $99.99 per month. The site accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover card as payment for using the service. Full billing information is required, including address of the cardholder.
The Contenture site is recommended to anyone who wishes to support the sites they visit. It is also recommended to website owners looking for ways to earn revenue from their sites. The whole system relies on more websites and more users signing up for the service, so it remains to be seen if they concept will succeed. Giving website owners the ability to offer special features to users is a big plus, but users should not expect this from the websites they visit.