Webpages have to make money somehow. Unfortunately, they tend to rely on two things people hate: ads and paywalls.
Today Google is launching a new tool for publishers that does away with Google-sourced ads, while not forcing users to pay before accessing content: Contributor.
When users visit the Contributor website, they can choose which publishers to donate $1, $2 or $3 monthly. Once subscribed, visitors will see advertisements replaced with a thank you message instead.
Contributor is clearly still in a trial phase though – the initial launch will include only 10 partners, among them Imgur, Mashable, and The Onion. In the meantime, there is a waitlist for websites looking to sign up.
Given the extent some people will go to to remove ads and circumvent paywalls, Contributor could end in a win-win situation. While some will surely continue to use AdBlock or alternatives, others will be happy paying a small monthly fee to still support the pages they visit.
Granted, publishers have been using crowdfunding resources for a while now. But Google ads are everywhere. For publishers, it’s a no-brainer to monetize users without annoying them. And for users, it could be a hub to help out all the pages you care about at once.