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Media Roundup: Facebook Testing Payment System, Paste Magazine Asks Readers for Donations and More

Facebook testing payment system -- Facebook is alpha testing a payment system in hopes that it eventually becomes the standard method of exchanging money on the Web. The social network plans on offering the payment system to its users and application developers and will make money by keeping a percentage of each transaction, much like PayPal. One Facebook developer, Zynga, is on pace to make $100 million this year by selling virtual goods. Currently, Facebook does not receive any money when it is exchanged through its application platform, a common criticism of the social network's revenue model. The payment system is one of the key components in the company's plan for revenue growth. [Source: Business Insider]

Paste magazine asks readers for donations -- The independently-owned alternative music magazine Paste has appealed directly to its readers for help as it struggles to stay in business. In an email to the magazine's 205,000 subscribers, Editor-in-Chief Josh Jackson said that the magazine was in "good shape" in the long term, but needs some cash during a short-term crises as advertisers wait out the recession. Dozens of bands have agreed to contribute free music to those who donate. The magazine's 15 staffers also reportedly took a 20 percent paycut. [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Ex-"Rocky" staffers to create online news site -- Former staffers of the defunct Rocky Mountain News are planning to launch an online news Web site. In an announcement, the ex-Rocky staffers said the new site will be staffed by professional reporters and will partner with blogs for content and revenue. The site will be named the Rocky Mountain Independent and will be fashioned as an "online daily magazine." The venture is set to launch in the summer. The Rocky Mountain News was shut down in late February. [Source: Editor & Publisher]

Kindle pays bloggers -- Amazon unveiled a program that allows bloggers to charge a subscription fee to Kindle users. Still in beta, the program will automatically push new blog content to the Kindle e-reader, and make subscribed blog content available on the device's home screen. Subscriptions can cost as much a $2 per month, though Amazon will take 70 percent of the fee. The program has come under critisism as there is no way to verify that those creating subscription accounts are the owners of the blog. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Apple doesnt make much from iPhone apps -- Despite claiming to sell one billion applications for the iPhone, Apple has only made $20 and $45 million. The study, conducted by Lightspeed Venture Partners, calculated the average price of paid app versus the estimated free to paid app ratio. Apple takes 30 percent of all app sales. Apple typically makes more money selling the device than the software. For example, the company sold 22.7 million iPods last year, making much more money on the hardware than on songs sold through iTunes. Software does indirectly drive the sales of the hardware, however, so the true benefit of iPhone applications was likely not calculated in the study. [Source: Mashable]

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