Contenture, a startup that aimed to be the "anti-ad network," is shutting its doors after only a few months of business. Conenture wanted to shake up the online ad market with its monthly-fee based network, which was paid in micropayments, to offer visitors the option to do things like turn off ads, turning a site to a subscription-based model. It basically offered a full-on "freemium" model, giving users the option to toggle certain features on and off depending on if a user has paid. Contenture has been added to the deadpool.
Contenture let a bunch of sites sign up to this model and have users pay one flat monthly fee to have access to all of these sites. That money would then be distributed to all of these sites. These sites could determine what Contenture subscribers get as a part of their subscription. Some may lose the ads, some may have special commenting ability, etc.
The startup said on its website that it was not able to get any large publishers to sign up for its service, and couldn't survive without these clients. A similar model has been tried by the likes of TipJoy and others, but Contenture took it a bit further with the freemium business model.
As we wrote a few months ago, the idea behind service seemed like a gamble Because it is based around a monthly-fee, users may not want to sign up for the service because of the limited number of sites available - while sites not want to sign up because of the limited number of users. All in all it's a tough sell, which is why Contenture didn't catch the eyes of publishers so quickly.