Owned by Condé Nast, Online tech-publisher WIRED has said that in coming weeks, it will be introducing an ad-free version of wired.com. The ad-free version will be subscription based, paid version. WIRED has took this step to tackle lost ad-revenue due to ad-blocking softwares.
More than 20 percent of WIRED’s daily readers use ad-blocking software. Starting from today, visitors with ad-blocker enabled were displayed a banner suggesting how WIRED is going to introduce an ad-free version of wired.com.
An update posted by WIRED staff suggests that in the coming weeks, WIRED will start restricting access to articles on wired.com if readers are using an ad blocker. To continue reading the content, readers can either add wired.com to their ad-blocking software’s whitelist or disable it while visiting the site.
Readers have an option to subscribe to an ad-free version of wired.com by paying a subscription fee of $1 per week, in case they do not wish to disable their ad-blocker software.
We know that there are many reasons for running an ad blocker, from simply wanting a faster, cleaner browsing experience to concerns about security and tracking software. We want to offer you a way to support us while also addressing those concerns – reads the article.
WIRED started showing the following message to ad-blocker users.
According to the article by WIRED staff, reader will have two options to continue having un-restricted access to wired.com content.
You can simply add WIRED.com to your ad blocker’s whitelist, so you view ads. When you do, we will keep the ads as “polite” as we can, and you will only see standard display advertising.
You can subscribe to a brand-new Ad-Free version of WIRED.com. For $1 a week, you will get complete access to our content, with no display advertising or ad tracking.
Either way, you will get to experience the great content that you expect from WIRED, and you’ll be supporting our journalism.
WIRED says they’re going to continue experimenting to find new ways to bring the stories its readers love and to “build a healthy business” that supports the storytelling.
Forbes, a major online publication, has also been blocking visitors if they have ad-blocker running in their browser, since a few months.
Ad Blocking: The Fight Continues
The fight between ad blocking and ad-dependent online publications has been worsening. Most of the online publishers including techstuffer.com, relies on advertising to generate revenue. The revenue goes into paying up server and hosting charges, paying authors and web-designers etc. No publication can provide free lifetime access without earning revenue, like any other business.
While advertisements help earn revenue to pay up the costs, many publishers started abusing it by filling their pages with ads to earn more and more revenue. At the same time, ads also became one of many ways to deliver malware, making ads less trusted. Pages with ads also load slower. All this led to use of ad-blocking software which provide ad-free, secure and faster online experience.
Adblock Plus, one of the most widely deployed ad-blocking tool, recently started allowing the display of some ads through its Acceptable Ads program. The initiative allow publishers to get their sites white listed in ad-blockers, provided they follow the strict guidelines of the program.
This helps publishers to continue generating revenue from ads and provides better experience to readers.
What are your thoughts? Should publications be blocking their users? Or should they pay attention to provide better content and experience. Is it okay to use ad-blockers and ripping off the ad-revenue from publishers?