Online revenue model for digital businesses

An online revenue model describes the method(s) of monetisation used for businesses to generate revenue online.

It’s particularly relevant to publishers who may consider different forms of ad revenue. These first eight of these are relevant to publishers, the last two are more classic e-commerce business models.

See my more detailed article explaining these 10 online revenue models :

  • 1. Revenue from subscription access to content (often using a freemium business model approach)
  • 2. Revenue from Pay Per View access to documents
  • 3. Revenue from CPM display advertising on site
  • 4. Revenue from CPC advertising on site (pay per click text ads)
  • 5. Revenue from Sponsorship of site sections or content types (typically fixed fee for a period)
  • 6. Affiliate revenue (CPA, but could be CPC)
  • 7. Subscriber data access for e-mail marketing
  • 8. Access to customers for online research
  • 9. Online e-commerce sales transactions
  • 10. Online digital service subscriptions


Welcome to my personal site where I blog about the latest developments in digital business to help students, professionals or lecturers using my books in their studies or careers.

Visit my main Smart Insights Digital Marketing Strategy site to download planning templates, strategy guides and daily updates on the latest developments.

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My latest books

Full details on Amazon:

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

Free members can download our free templates and benchmark their digital capabilities.