One of the biggest publishers of technology news is going after users of ad-blocking software. In the coming weeks, visitors to Wired Magazine’s website will be given a choice — stop blocking ads to continue reading content for free, or pay up and have the ads removed. This comes just months after Apple began offering ad-blocking capabilities in iOS 9.
According to a posting at Wired.com, the company will charge users $1 per week to have ads removed. To receive free content, you’ll need to add the website to your ad blocker’s whitelist. In doing so, Wired promises it will keep the ads as “polite” as they can.
At WIRED, we believe that change is good. Over the past 23 years, we’ve pushed the boundaries of media, from our print magazine to launching the first publishing website. We even invented the banner ad. We’re going to continue to experiment to find new ways to bring you the stories you love and to build a healthy business that supports the storytelling. We hope you’ll join us on this journey. We’d really appreciate it.
A changing landscape
One of the biggest questions for online publishers in recent years has been whether to charge for content. A few, such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, have settled on a metered paywall approach, where a limited number of articles are available for free each month. Beyond these freebies, users must subscribe.
Most online publishers can’t do this. They understand that most people don’t like the idea of paying for content. Instead, they offer free content that is ad-supported. With ad-blocking software, that revenue stream is in jeopardy. At Wired, for example, 20 percent of online visitors are now using ad-blocking software.
Like many people, I find ads annoying. However, this isn’t the main reason that I use ad-blocking software on my mobile devices. Rather, it bothers me when sites track me.
In the case of Wired, I’ll add their site to my 1Blocker app whitelist. The reason? I love their content, and they don’t appear to be tracking me. A perfect combination. It will interesting to see what other Wired readers decide to do.