Of all the ways that people try to monetize blogs, and the many ways that users have of short circuiting those monetization efforts, a good friend of mine Svetlana Gladikova of Profy fame has introduced me to a new program called CancelAds.
This might just be the middle ground between casual users who might click on an ad infested web site trying to stay alive, and a low cost subscription model for their more regular users. Ad networks are getting increasingly slower causing the page load times to increase. Many of us are trained from our early days on the internet to ignore ads, even when they look like content, we loath popup box (interstitials) ads for surveys or you could win big something! Even though I use ads here, it is still annoying for some web sites I visit to keep the pressure up. If I see an ad before the page loads, I usually do not go back to that site ever. There has been tension between the needs of legitimate web sites to make money off ads, and people who just want to read content.
This is where CancelAds comes into place, and as Allen Stern from Center Networks points out, this is a revenue stream that is a layered approach. Loyal readers might just go for paying a few dollars for an ad free site, while casual users get the full ad laden impact of the web site. Rather than replacing, and rather than dumping everything behind a pay wall like some newspapers are thinking of, this might be an equitable middle ground concept that works for everyone. Svetlana comments on ReadWriteWeb:
Company rep Svetlana Gladkova wrote to us and speculated that certain sites would garner revenues nearing those of print magazines, saying, “These must be the sites that have numerous ads where people tend to spend a long time (playing online games, reading about fashion and celebrities, socializing). So we are targeting mostly the mainstream-focused websites, not those targeted at the early adopters who know how to block ads without paying better than the mainstream audience.” “Though, of course, blogs targeted at early adopters have a large audience, and many will also benefit from using CancelAds because among their huge crowds of visitors there will be a certain percentage of loyal readers who will want to demonstrate their support by paying and enjoy the blogs ad-free as well.” Source: RWW
In all this looks like an interesting program for people to try out and see where they can go with it and how they can use it to everyone’s benefit. The idea is sweet especially if it pays off for writers and readers to find a middle ground that currently does not exist yet. This is at least one attempt to solve a problem that for some sites we do have. The question is going to be is how will people work out what the actual value of the data is (if someone thinks I’ll pay 100 dollars a month to access their site, they would be wrong, if they think I’ll pay 99 cents a day, that might be more on target for me) and how web site owners will work out the magic number between what people will pay to maximize the potential against the offset of advertising revenue.
Full Disclosure – I do consider Svetlana a good friend, no money changed hands, and she just told me about the site via Facebook. I am an avid reader of profy, and if you have not read it yet, you need to check it out.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag. Editor’s note: stay tuned for a Counterpoint post coming soon…)