Google has launched a new and very experimental service they are calling Contributor. It basically allows people to pay to remove ads from participating websites. At the service’s portal, visitors can pick which sites they want to contribute to, and whether to donate $1, $2, or $3 per month. Once a subscription goes active, visiting those sites will display thank-you messages and/or pixel patterns instead of the ads they don’t like.
This might be an interesting solution to users not liking ads, even though the site has to bring in some revenue. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Initially the service is for just 10 sites, like Imgur, Mashable, ScienceDaily, and The Onion. The service is also being restricted by a waitlist right now and Google stresses that this is all very experimental at this point.
Many websites, especially newspapers, have struggled with how to make money without annoying users with advertising or by instituting paywalls. This could be a game changer if it becomes adopted as a standard platform. But we are going to have to wait and see how it all plays out. At the very least it gives users options, while keeping the revenue going for websites.
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