San Francisco, CA – Last year we identified “ad-blocking” as one of the big communications trends for 2016 (download our report here), and there has been absolutely no shortage of news, perspectives, and soundbites to support this prediction. The most interesting developments are the new techniques and experiences that publishers and third-parties are creating in response to all of the blocking. Last week we posted on People.io’s new platform, which allows users to earn rewards by selectively sharing personal data and engaging with ads and content that have been personalized for them. This month also saw an announcement by a major publisher, that big changes were coming in response to the increase in ad-blocking.
On February 8th, WIRED magazine announced their own unique proposal to deal with the influx of readers coming to their site with ad-blocking software (they report that 20% of the traffic to their site is blocking ads). Moving forward, they are going to put limitations on the content that readers with ad-blockers can see, and are offering 2 options to gain full access:
1. Add WIRED to to your blockers’ “whitelist”, and they promise to limit advertising to standard display and keep it as unobtrusive as possible.
2. Pay $1 a week and get a completely ad-free experience – no display and no ad-tracking.
It will be interesting to see if this model, particularly the “dollar-a-week” offer, gains traction. Continued publisher backlash over ad-blocking should lead to more and more experimentation with access models, and we’ll try to post the more unique experiences as they pop up.