Around 2000 I was playing with a Digital (the computer company) technology where you could do microtransactions on web pages. I forget the exact size but it was as low as something like 1/1000th of a cent. This was pretty cool in that you could charge customers to visit your website page by page or however you would like to structure the transaction. The idea was that an end user would have put, say, $10 in their wallet and each time they would go to a website it would pop up and say, "This site will charge x amount per page" you could also put limits on a given site or have it pop up every so many cents and so on. This way some site couldn't screw you with frames or some such scummery.
I loved their implementation as it was beta but fundamentally clean. They also indicated that they had a handful of major banks onboard so it wasn't DOA. I think the death of Digital itself was what killed it.
But I would love this and would have no problem paying a tiny bit for slashdot, NYT, The Economist, stack-overflow, even reddit. But I would say FO to sites like huffpo who you know would spread their articles out so thin that it would be pretty much one word per page.
Plus it would be funny to watch great site after great site implode after the MBAs took over and just started to try to skin their customers by jacking up the prices over and over and over until the site collapsed. Which is sort of how many sites operate now as an ever higher percentage of their surface area is dedicated to ads and an ever growing percentage of their content becomes clickbait.
But one of the greatest parts in the Digital plan was that they only took a tiny taste, a very tiny taste vs the massive cut that google takes on adsense and most others take on their ad platforms. So when you gave a penny to slashdot they would basically get that penny.
What is even worse was that at this point paypal wasn't the domination machine that it was to become. Thus this platform could have become the defacto payment system for all transactions in that it didn't only do microtransactions but you could do ebay sized ones without any difficulty but at a much lower fee.