If you’re tired of ads on your favorite sites, Google has the perfect solution for you. And it involves you paying them!
Deemed an “experiment”, it seems that Google is trying to figure out just how much users are willing to pay on a monthly basis in order to avoid ads. Users can opt in to pay Google $1 to $3 per month. According to Google, “The more you contribute, the more you support the websites you visit.” As a Contributor, you’ll be directly supporting your favorite sites since after Google keeps a portion of the fees, the rest will go to publishers. Just exactly how much goes to publishers isn’t clear yet either. After payment, in place of ads, you will see a “Thank You” note thanking you for being a Contributor.
Although it’s not sure quite clear yet, Google also has plans to monetize this experiment for content creators and publishers. Popular sites such as Urban Dictionary, The Onion, Mashable and imgur are among the first few sites to be part of Google’s newest experiment. These high-visit sites signing up surely must mean that Google is on to something big and new, unless they just like taking a gamble…
Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable says, “I have strong doubts that this will work, strong doubts. I would have preferred to see this on the search ads, not the display network ads.”
Wired Magazine says, “But this approach may be too little, far too late. People are already used to getting content online for free. As much as they hate ads and ad tracking, they hate paying for free stuff even more.”
This isn’t Google’s first venture into alternative means of income. YouTube Fan Funding was Google’s first foray into this arena. Viewers were given an opportunity to “Support” their YouTube stars in the amount of $1, $5 or more.
It might be awhile until something comes out of Contributor. Or it might be the latest Product to join the Google graveyard, along with: Google Buzz, Google Wave, and Google Answers. We’ll definitely keep our ears open and eyes peeled. Join the waitlist or read more about Contributor here: https://www.google.com/contributor/welcome/