RealTime IT News

Cybergold Launches "Earn & Spend" Community

Berkeley, CA-based rewards marketer Cybergold Inc. launched its new micropayment "Earn & Spend Community," calling it "the first and only place on the Web where consumers can earn cash online (from advertisers) and use it to purchase digital content."

Consumers will be able to purchase things such as MP3 music files, articles, maps, software and other works, some priced as low as one cent, in the company's MultiMediaMart.

"The Earn & Spend Community fulfills Cybergold's vision: to create an advertiser-supported economy where individuals can buy and sell creative works without relying on traditional publishing models," said Nat Goldhaber, Cybergold CEO. "Traditional publishers of books, music, research, software, media and other content have a capital-intensive model. They can bring to market only those select few authors and artists likely to be commercially successful. We've changed all that."

Cybergold said its Earn & Spend Community brings together advertisers who recognize the value of incentives-based marketing, a community of demographically desirable consumers, and authors and distributors of creative works. Cybergold said it has developed a comprehensive micropayments system and Internet portal capabilities to support its model.

"Getting digital content to work online was a chicken-and-egg problem," said Goldhaber. "Until now, authors had no efficient way to be paid for their works on the Internet. With no demand, there was no reason to create an efficient payment system. Cybergold has solved this problem: our Earn & Spend Community fully leverages the Internet, our nearly 1.5 million 'spend-ready' members, our patented business model and a substantial engineering investment."

Cybergold members visiting the community also have access to other Internet features, including search, chat, e-mail, games and stocks, weather and horoscopes.

Among the first "Spend" merchants are 2nd Story Software, iDeal, RI Soft Systems, Animation Factory, Epitonic, Kagi, Nolo Press, Register Now! (a service of Universal Commerce), Mondo 2000 Music, DeMorgan Industries, CDWorld/Artistic Visions, Photos To Go, BuyCollegeStuff, Aladdin Systems, QSpace and Xing Technologies.

Cybergold's Mu ltiMediaMart is powered by WebCatalog, Pacific Coast Software's e-commerce solution.

Other merchants, including MP3 music distributor GoodNoise, will be added to the community shortly. In addition, Cybergold and @Work (a division of @Home Network, Inc.) are working together to explore the use of Cybergold technology for providing micropayment services to @Work customers in the future.

"Later this year, individual consumers will be able to sell their creative works in the MultiMediaMart--stock tips, photographs, poems, stories, articles, recipes, songs--anything that can be sent digitally," said Goldhaber.

To make a purchase, members can use money earned through Cybergold incentives or "load" their Cybergold accounts with funds from a Visa card.