Most webmasters and online publishers hate ad-blocking – and rightfully so as it destroys one of the core monetization methods that keeps most of your favorite websites alive. That being said – users love ad-blockers, and there’s really only so much that can be done in regards to that. This means that websites will need a new form of monetization – but what will it be?
Let’s briefly take a look at what YouTube did with YouTube Red. YouTube launched a way for their users to view their favorite videos without any advertising, and simultaneously they rolled out a method for their YouTubers to get paid off their subscribers rather than advertising – either via paid content or via fan funding. So why can’t we use a similar concept for our favorite websites just as we do for our favorite YouTubers?
The Brave Ledger by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich; and Flattr Plus by Eyea – the makers of Adblock Plus; are two such systems that are currently being rolled out. The Brave Ledger focuses on letting both users and publishers get paid in Bitcoin for viewing and serving non-intrusive Brave Ad Network ads; however Flattr Plus is looking to let everyone donate to the Internet as a whole – and then spread it across to the websites users most engage with. Flattr Plus is available as an early access already – and hopes to generate $500 million for publishers over the course of the next year.
In a blog post, Eyeo communications manager Ben Williams explained the motivation behind Flattr Plus:
As we’ve written many times before, Acceptable Ads was a conscious pivot away from blocking all the things toward finding a way to block only the annoying things, so publishers can monetize on users’ terms. That was 2011. Since then we’ve been trying to figure out an ad-less way for users to fund content, because, well, we felt like it was the right thing to do.