These are important wins.
Across the newspaper industry, print circulation continues to decline and advertising dollars continue to flow to other platforms, which has caused furloughs, layoffs and closures.
On top of all that, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously hurt advertising revenue, pushing many companies into crisis mode. Meanwhile, protests around social injustice and inequality have made us think twice about access to information.
I believe premium service tiers like the one we are developing have a place amidst this turmoil. …
People who block ads online aren’t pariahs. They’re teachers, engineers, analysts, psychologists — and me.
Yep, even though I’m a reporter for The Associated Press and indirectly live off the revenue of advertising, I use an ad blocker in my browser.
I find many online ads to be annoying, jarring, eerie, creepy and terrible. So I don’t feel bad about not seeing them.
But I also don’t like depriving myself and my fellow journalists of a living. …
For the last couple of months, we’ve been conducting a novel experiment at the Bay Area News Group, the newspaper chain that owns The Mercury News and East Bay Times.
We set out to see if people will pay for an ad-free experience online, but we didn’t have the engineering resources to actually give it to them.
Our workaround? Just tell people: If you subscribe, you can leave your ad blocker on.
It’s a surprisingly simple solution. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide already have ad blockers installed and are benefiting from faster loads and cleaner pages.
This is the…
We’ve all seen our share of pop-up ads. They take over the page, block our view of whatever we had come online to see. We hunt and peck around for the little ‘X’ that will close them. Most of us do, anyway.
It’s easy to say that they’re annoying, but how annoying are they? And how much would it cost a news outlet to stop annoying its readers in this way? Is it possible removing pop-ups could encourage more people to become paying subscribers?
The Bay Area News Group, publisher of the San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times…
We were told that the end is just the beginning.
Indeed, as I leave Stanford’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship this month, I feel like I’m embarking on a new adventure yet again.
When my wife and I arrived here from Los Angeles with our kids in tow, I knew I wanted to take a shot at changing the world of journalism for the better.
The problem, as I saw it, is that online advertising takes a greater toll on our lives than it generates in ad revenue for publishers. …
An interview on the sidelines of a major media conference this spring led me on an improbable journey.
I had already applied to the journalism-related JSK Fellowships at Stanford to examine how online publishers should address ad blockers — those free pieces of software that block the web’s annoying ads but simultaneously cut off the flow of online ad dollars to writers and editors like me.
The interview forever changed how I think about this problem.
The executive had just gotten off stage from a Q&A about his company’s ad-free service. The $4 per month subscription removes ads from the…
Product Manager, Digital Subscriptions, Bay Area News Group. 2016–17 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford. Former AP technology writer. Problem solver, dad.