TextMark is offering a new monetization service for bloggers that delivers their posts via SMS text message to the subscriber’s cellphone. The service will be announced tomorrow but you can sign up today. TechCrunch has the scoop.
To use this, a publisher signs up for a TextMarks account and chooses a price to subscribers (either $4.99 or $9.99 per month). Readers subscribe to the alerts via a Flash widget that’s embedded on a website or by sending a text message to 41411 plus a unique keyword, confirm the subscription on their cell phone, and then receive the alerts. The service is currently only available to U.S. cell phone users , using Cingular, Verizon, Sprint or Alltel services. Publishers decide what news is important enough to send out as SMS alerts. Up to 100 alerts can be sent per month to subscribers.
I can see this working for some sites where instant notification of breaking news is very important but for the average blog, TextMark is well off the mark as an income source. The other target TextMark is off the mark on is revenue sharing. Because of high carrier fees, publishers can expect only 1/3 share of revenue. That has to be the lowest rev-share in the entire advertising industry.
For the websites that can take advantage of this, TextMark could add another revenue source to the mix. However, I can’t think of any site, short of the Wall Street Journal, that can use the TextMark service. Would you pay $4.99 or $9.99 per month for SMS alerts from John Chow dot Com? 😀