My Site Will Remain Open for All to Read, Even as More Sites Put Up Paywalls.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
The latest example of a big website putting up a paywall is Reuters. Bloomberg did so some time ago. Business Insider put much of their content behind a paywall. Zero Hedge also put some content behind a paywall. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and myriad other sites have put their content behind paywalls. The reason is simple: it makes financial sense. And for many, it’s a matter of survival.
Running a website on advertising revenues alone – the model of the “free internet” – is becoming more and more precarious, thanks to the internet advertising industry that has inserted itself in dense and opaque layers between the advertiser and the publisher. Google is the top dog, and its far-reaching domination of internet advertising and the many billions of dollars it extracts every year from it have done more damage to publishers than just about anything else.
Yet, even behind the paywall, readers still encounter the darn ads. It’s not a subscription instead of ads; it’s a subscription plus ads.
Reuters, which is a division of Thomson Reuters, announced on Thursday that it would charge $34.99 a month for a subscription, same as Bloomberg, but lower than the Wall Street Journal. At the moment, Reuters is still free, and a date hasn’t been announced yet when the paywall will go up.
And then there are the ad-blocker blockers that an increasing number of sites use. If you use an ad blocker or a browser that is set to block ads, those sites will not work.
I totally get why readers block ads – they’re a big distraction. And I totally get why websites block readers that use ad blockers because sites cannot make any revenues when readers block the ads.
Let me reassure you, Dear Readers, that I will not hide any of my content behind a paywall, and that I will not use ad blocker blockers.
I’m just the little guy between the boots of giants, but I’m having a blast. From the outset, my site was designed to be free for everyone. I like it that way. It gives WOLF STREET much more traction. It widens the community of regular and not so regular readers and commenters. And it’s a lot more fun.
This is my last gig, and I’ll keep doing it until my brain freezes over because it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done professionally, and part of the excitement is having a site that is open to all.
Donations are crucial; WOLF STREET needs your support.
Donations are also special. They show me that what I’m doing matters to you. And I immensely appreciate each donation. And your donations are crucial in supporting WOLF STREET.
Many of you generously donate throughout the year by clicking on the little beer mug at the bottom of each article, and I thank you!!
Some readers use ad blockers. And I totally get it. But ad blockers block my site’s ad revenues. So, I appreciate it immensely if you want to support WOLF STREET with a donation.
The donate button takes you to WOLF STREET’s PayPal page where you can use your debit or credit card. No need to have a PayPal account. If you get where it asks you set up a PayPal account, back out.
Tip: On that initial PayPal page, enter the amount you wish to donate before clicking “Donate with a Debit or Credit Card”:
You can also mail a check to (very much appreciated):
Wolf Street Corp
1288 Columbus Ave. #196
San Francisco, CA 94133
Thank-you gesture: an infamous WOLF STREET glass-mug if you donate $100 or more.
I still have some of these “Nothing Goes to Heck in a Straight Line” 15-oz glass mugs at my media mogul empire headquarters. They sport a wrap-around design with a hilarious wolf on one side (that would be me), howling, “Nothing Goes to Heck in a Straight Line”:
If you donate a very generous $100 or more and would like a mug, please specifically email me because not everyone wants a mug, and I already sent mugs to people who didn’t want one.
In your email, please include:
- Your name
- Your shipping address in the US (I cannot ship the mugs outside the US)
- Your phone number (FedEx will not deliver without it).
Send the email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Dear Readers, for coming to WOLF STREET, and thank you for your support!!
Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? Using ad blockers – I totally get why – but want to support the site? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:
Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.
Classic Metal Roofing Systems, our sponsor, manufactures beautiful metal shingles:
- A variety of resin-based finishes & colors
- Deep grooves for a high-end natural look
- Maintenance free – will not rust, crack, or rot
- Resists streaking and staining