Putting Up A Paywall Just To Have Advertisers Pay To Take It Down?

from the suckers-bet? dept

There’s an interesting article at AdAge noting that while there are various paywalls going up, there are also a growing number of advertisers willing to pay to take down the paywall… and they’re willing to pay more than it would have cost to just advertise. For example, Lincoln “paid” for a bunch of people to get the new NY Times’ paywall for free, and Volvo is paying for a bunch of people to get free streaming video of Major League Baseball content. What strikes me as amusing about all of this is that the folks putting up these paywalls keep insisting that “advertising alone” can’t pay enough… and yet here they are more or less admitting that advertisers are happy to pay “enough,” if they’re given a promotional package that brings benefits to them. Of course, the silly part of this is that part of that “benefit” to the advertisers is the perception that they’re helping people take down the paywall. If that’s really true, perhaps we should set up a paywall here at Techdirt just so some advertisers can “pay” to take it down. Any interest? Let us know…

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Comments on “Putting Up A Paywall Just To Have Advertisers Pay To Take It Down?”

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testcore (profile) says:

Why isn't this the norm?

Never made sense to me to suddenly change your target consumer just because your media/format was different. Just because you’re a newspaper going online, now your readers need to pay? Doesn’t make sense.

Especially considering with online advertising, the advertiser can get a ridiculously clear and accurate picture of their return. ‘Stead of the same ol’ 50% wasted. Seems to me such targeted & known space is much, much more valuable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why isn't this the norm?


the advertiser can get a ridiculously clear and accurate picture of their return.

Therein lies the problem, news organizations never ever counted on accurate pictures to sell ads they relied on fantastic assumptions to increase the prices and get the money, now they can’t do that anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cable used to be commercial free and reasonably priced. Now it costs a whole lot more and is riddled with commercials and the content quality isn’t as good as it used to be. There is no reason why cable still can’t be much cheaper with much fewer commercials like it used to be, but that’s what happens when the government grants monopolies on everything.

Cowman Mau says:

Great Wall Of China

Oh you westerners, always trying to copy the Great Chinese Inventions!

This is no Great Wall Of China, just Great Wall of Whiner.

I think New York Times always complaining they can’t make enough money, just a lot of FOO. Shame on you!

Everything in China free, and look …. we take over the world.
No worries, soon we buy New York Times just for laughs,
he he ho ho 😉

Michael (profile) says:


Just say you have a paywall that has been created using JavaScript but will not be encountered if:

1) you come in through a link from somewhere else
2) you have visited TechDirt less than 20 times today
3) you have turned off JavaScript (careful though – this may be a DMCA violation)
4) your computer has a keyboard
5) or your computer is a tablet
6) it is sunny outside
7) you drive a hybrid car (tip out hats to eco-friendly people – Google knows who you are and share this information with us)
8) it is rainy outside but warm
9) you have NOT downloaded illegal music this week

Subscription costs are:
– $9.99 per month
– for the bargain hunter – $125 per year
– an extra $4.99 per month for the iPad app
– an extra $3.99 per month for access through an Android app
– an extra $10 per month for access from any device except a Boost Mobile phone
– the full digital package is free (except the iPad app) if you subscribe to the paper version of TechDirt delivered Tuesday and Thursday to your doorstep for $8.25 per month
– You can get the iPad app with the paper subscription for $9.99 per month

Just give us your credit card and tell us what you want to use – we will figure out the charges for you.

coldbrew says:

Re: Paywall

That’s exactly it, isn’t it? I’m starting to think it’s brilliant, except for the $40M budget (the details of which I’m unclear). Maybe I’ll check out their earnings call transcripts and see if any analyst asked how to model that, and over what time period.

Good summary, btw.

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