Nickel and Dimed: Micropayments Won’t Solve Ad Blocking

Publishers have flirted with micropayments as a revenue stream for years, mostly unsuccessfully. Now, with the continued rise of ad blocking, new hope again is pinned on pay-per-article schemes for ad-blocking readers. Fat chance.

German publisher Gruner + Jahr, which publishes 285 magazines and newspapers across 22 countries, serves messages to ad-blocking visitors to its site Geo.de, requiring disabling the ad-block software or paying 99 cents ($1.12) for a day’s access, or €4,99 ($5.70) for a week. It’s also extended this to lifestyle website Schöner Wohnen, which charges 50 cents ($0.60) for a day pass and €2 ($2.26) for a week’s pass. Condé Nast-owned title GQ is also preventing people using ad blockers from accessing its site with a pop-up asking them to disable their ad blockers or pay 50 cents to read an article. Newsweek is also among the interested parties. The magazine publisher is pursuing micropayments as an option for ad blocker users.

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