15:30 - 16:00
I'm better than ads – helping journalists make money online

Short thesis

The Internet is broken. Aggressive advertising and monetization of content are just two of many issues, but they are ubiquitous.
That's why the makers of Flattr and Adblock Plus joined forces to come up with a revolutionary solution that supports a sustainable development of Internet content for all parties - users, journalists and publishers.


The first online ad aired on HotWired in 1994. It generated click-through rates of about 40 percent, and it allowed content producers to earn money - just like they did with print advertising.

A little more than 20 years later, click-through rates dropped to an average of 0.06 percent. It’s neither a surprise nor a revelation to say that users are annoyed with 30-second preroll video ads and pop-ups. Annoying ads are ubiquitous, almost useless and sometimes even nefarious.. The effect? Advertising generates less and less money for the content creators, who try to compensate by putting up ads that are bigger, louder and blinkier than ever before … in an attempt to grab the attention of their readers. But no one goes to a site to see the ads – we all go for the content.. So when ads got too obnoxious, some users decided to block them all together.

Many publishers see that as cheating: they create great content and display it for free, but they don’t see a dime from users with adblockers...

Adblock Plus decided to facilitate a compromise with the "Acceptable Ads" feature. Based on user-generated criteria, nonintrusive ads are whitelisted and bring back some revenue for the publishers without upsetting users.

Flattr tried another approach, enabling users to directly pay for content they liked. As soon as a content creator and a user have Flattr accounts, it doesn't take more than one click to make such a micropayment.

But neither approach quite solved the riddle.

When the two teams met each other, perhaps lamenting the broken Internet over a beer somewhere, they realized that they share a common agenda: empowering web users and creating a sustainable solution for great content.

So they started to work together to find a real solution, something that blazed new trails, rather than retreading the same old tired solutions. Wanna see what they came up with?


Presented by eyeo.