back to article AWS can now bill us if you read this far. This bit will cost us, too

Amazon Web Services has switched on per-second billing for EC2 Instances and elastic block store volumes. The new offer applies to On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot instances running Linux. With the average person reading about 200 words per minute, if The Register ran a general purpose M4 large EC2 instance for each user, at list …

  1. veti Silver badge

    Err...

    ... so you wanna bill me for the time I spent trying to make heads or tails of your story?

    Given that the server load required to feed me the story is completely independent of the time I spend reading it, I can't help but feel that something has been rather badly missed in this account.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Err...

      I can't help but feel that something has been rather badly missed in this account.

      I'd be interested in a commercial overview of the Reg's business model. Doesn't need to give away any secrets (and anybody professionally involved in on-line publishing can estimate these fairly well anyway), but what are the big chunks of cost for bring this august publication to my desk? So that's £x per annum per regular reader, with N% journalism, Y% server and bandwidth, Z% other costs and margin. What (beyond the obvious) is the impact of ad-blocking on your business, and so forth.

      Back in 2012, some 6.6m "uniques" per month were claimed. Assuming a bit of growth let's say 7.5m for last year, guessing turnover at £2.5m, that's implying that the total cost per regular reader is about 30p a year.

      Where this is going is (ignoring the practicalities) what would Situation Publishing need to charge us lot for access to the Reg? I appreciate that you'd like to charge as much as you possibly can, but that isn't going to happen. If half the unique visitors would pay £2 a year, that would be turnover of £7.5m a year - better or worse than you're doing now? I suspect that you could actually get that to £4 or $4 a year for a third of the readership.

      Personally I'd be willing to stump up a £4 a year fee for my fix. Fellow commentards, what do you think? Are my guesses wildly wrong? And if not, would you be willing to pay a mini-subscription that amounts to 1.1p per day?

      1. Keef

        Re: Err...

        I've written before that I'd happily pay a subscription to El Reg for an ad free experience.

        Of course I already have an ad free experience, but I'd pay £1 a month without breaking sweat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Err...

          Of course I already have an ad free experience, but I'd pay £1 a month without breaking sweat.

          I could stomach that, but key to my thinking was keeping the price low enough that people wouldn't object to paying, and wouldn't blink when it came to renewal time. Starting off from the current free-to-web position, they'd have to tread carefully - particularly if they want to preserve any advertiser or sponsor income.

          And then, I suppose for the main part its only the Commentariat who'd pay, because we get the most value from the site. And that's the likely flaw in my thinking, that of the 6-7m readers, only a few thousand appear to be active down here in the soft play area. Thinking about all the sites that we regularly read, but don't participate in, would we pay for them, even at a low price?

      2. strum

        Re: Err...

        >I'd be willing to stump up a £4 a year fee

        Don't forget the costs of handling all those payments (and the non-payments).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Err...

          Don't forget the costs of handling all those payments

          5% + 5p using Paypal's micropayments rate. So 25p to collect each £4, and then a monthly bank transfer to SitPubs bank account. That's not unreasonable in my book for the ability to get paid by (almost) any reader, anywhere in the world.

          and the non-payments

          The paywall sorts out the non-payments.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    ad tech

    When talking about AWS, I read that as spam link clickthrough tracking.

  3. The Nazz Silver badge

    It's not the first industry

    to round up seconds to charge as a full minute.

    Oops sorry, my mistake, i was thinking of minutes billed as hours.

  4. jake Silver badge

    "AWS can now bill you for reading this far."

    No, they can't. They can bill YOU, perhaps, but not me.

    Well, to be perfectly honest they can bill me ... but without a contract, good fucking luck getting me to pay!

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: "AWS can now bill you for reading this far."

      Seconded. Since we don't have a contract then I am not going to pay you a damned thing. Send me all the bills you want, I'll gleefully use them as bog paper.

      1. Named coward

        Re: "AWS can now bill you for reading this far."

        "You agree to the terms and conditions of this contract by flushing this paper down a drain"

  5. Adam 52 Silver badge

    "Servers-by-the-second is set to kick off on 2 October for all current or new Linux Instances running Microsoft Windows or Linux distributions that have a separate hourly charge don't get to play. Another small hitch: you have to pay for the whole of the first minute."

    I think this paragraph is attempting to say that anything running a per-hour licensed OS (Windows, RHEL and lots of marketplace stuff) will continue to be billed hourly.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    “Per-second billing obviates the need for this extra layer of instance management....

    Er, bollocks.

    It doesn't matter how granular the billing is, if you're using it when you don't really need to it's still money down the crapper.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember seeing invoices with line entries for cost of cpu time used (in seconds), disc space used (in KB, I think), and pages printed.

    That would be ~45 years ago - maybe if I can hang on a while longer my time will come again !!

  8. Adam 1

    Shirley

    ... cloudflare would be taking 90+% of your traffic before it even sees AWS?

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