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Advertisements rule in the media business. You see them on blogs, streaming-music applications, video sites. Paywalls — not so popular. In charging fees, paywall-enabled sites turn away people who refuse to reach for their wallets and thereby miss out on reach and brand awareness.

Which is why it’s interesting to see a startup called OwnZones Media Network pick up $5.9 million in new funding. The company wraps a paywall around newspaper and magazine articles, music, videos, images, and even e-books. Clearly some investors think it’s wise to monetize in that way, in addition to or instead of packaging up valuable content with ads.

And that’s even when the digital advertising business commands such a high market value — more than $40 billion, according to one recent tally.

In announcing the news earlier today, OwnZones didn’t name its latest investors. The company started in 2010, took $500,000 in seed funding in 2011, and launched in November.

However, OwnZones did announce a promotion to show off its walled garden: People can access it for free until May 22. And it did reveal how it plans to make more money.

“As we continue our rapid growth, the announced capital investment allows us to fine-tune our platform technology and build the most complete turn-key sales channel for premium partners to maximize the value of their content,” OwnZones’ chief executive, Dan Goman, said in a statement.


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