Anne forwarded this depressing Advertising Age article to me, As Ad Rates Sink, More Websites Explore Ad-Free Business:
This is web publishing in 2013, when declining ad rates and the sense that each buck is harder to get than the last is leading increasing numbers of publishers to strip out the ads and ask readers to pony up. Even The New York Times has at least contemplated the idea of an ad-free version, asking readers about it in a recent survey about potential new products. Its sibling The Boston Globe already operates two websites, the free Boston.com, which is packed with all kinds of traditional ads, and the subscriber-only BostonGlobe.com, with far fewer, and much less intrusive, ads.
But ad-free experiments are taking root faster among smaller publishers and blogs, for whom the economics of digital advertising can be particularly punishing. You wouldn’t call it a sea change, but there is a lot of splashing in the waves.
The article goes on to discuss how various websites, including Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, have tried various models with varying success.
We will be expanding our research and activism assets here. Consider everything we have done to date just a test drive, working out the kinks, figuring out how we can be most effective despite our small size and the fact that no one actually works here.
We’ve taken a few small steps in that direction, but it’s going to require that we do better at generating income (turn-off your damn ad blocker!) than we do now.
But I’m also a firm believer in the “free information” model. I’d rather have more people read us for free than fewer people read us for a fee.
So expect a Legal Insurrection Building Fund campaign soon, as much as I hate having to do that.
That flood of money which is ruining politics hasn’t made its way here yet … so when the Legal Insurrection Building Fund starts, ruin us, please.DONATE
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