Everyone gets annoyed by online ads, but enough to pay for the pleasure of not seeing them?
Google thinks so!
They have unveiled an experimental project called Contributor that lets users pay $1 – $3 a month for ad-free browsing.
Some of that money goes to the particular website you are visiting, while some goes to Google, of course.
But here’s the catch – it only works for a small handful of sites.
Many are predicting this project will fail in the long run. After all, people who really hate ads can simply use a free ad blocker.
While I think the concept of directly funding sites you visit rather than forcing them to rely on ad revenue has merit, I wonder if a blank ad box that thanks you for your contribution is really any more appealing than an ad?
However, one place I do see this idea having potential is media. For the past several years, news sites have been playing with paywall options in an effort to offset industry-wide losses. Eliminating annoying ads, especially pop-ups, might give readers more incentive to pay for the online content they consume.
But who knows? One thing we’ve witnessed from the recent boom of successful crowdfunding campaigns is that people do support causes they believe in!