Wired to introduce ad-free fee to tackle adblocking

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 9 February 2016

Conde Nast magazine Wired will charge for ad-free access to its website in a move to deter the use of adblockers.

The magazine, which reports on how emerging technologies affect business, culture and politics, will offer readers the option to pay $3.99 for four weeks of ad-free access, receive the content with ads or be frozen out. Ad-free access begins on 16 February.

For those wishing to access content ad-free there will be additional content in the spaces where adverts once were.

Ad Age reports that more than a fifth of Wired readers use adblocking software and they are likely to be receptive to a discussion about how to support the business via a subscription model.

In a note to readers, Wired editors say: “Over the past 23 years, we've pushed the boundaries of media, from our print magazine to launching the first publishing website. We even invented the banner ad.

“We're going to continue to experiment to find new ways to bring you the stories you love and to build a healthy business that supports the storytelling. We hope you'll join us on this journey. We'd really appreciate it."

Adblockers are a major concern for publishers worried the software affects the monetisation of content. Recently, Samsung became the first Android phone-maker to offer support for adblocking in its default browser, following in the footsteps of Apple last year.

Publishers have been trialing subscription models to overcome adblockers but most have shied away in the fear of losing readership.

In December, industry figures told AdNews audience education and focusing on a better user experience were two measures to overcome the problem. 

Others have suggested ad stitching, where ads are built into content in the back end rather than the front end of browsers. 

For more on this topic, read: Moral debate vs better ads to offset adblocking.

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