Tech publisher Wired, which found that more than 20 percent of its daily readers use ad-blocking software, thinks it's found a way to recoup some of that lost advertising revenue: start charging users for blocking ads.
This morning, Wired began telling readers who use ad blockers it will restrict access to them in the coming weeks. Readers can either disable their ad blockers or add Wired to the software's white list—or they can subscribe to an ad-free version of the site for $1 per week.
Readers who went to Wired were shown this message:
"We know that there are many reasons for running an ad blocker, from simply wanting a faster, cleaner browsing experience to concerns about security and tracking software," wrote Wired's editors today in a letter to readers. "We want to offer you a way to support us while also addressing those concerns."
Wired CRO and publisher Kim Kelleher said the Condé Nast publication "has always been an experimenter, an innovator and a leader."
"It's in our DNA," she said. "The launch of our ad-free subscription is one of the ways that we are aiming to future-proof Wired. We are committed to finding a path forward on this issue and will experiment and evolve accordingly until we do."
Ad blocking has been a major source of consternation among online publishers. Condé Nast's GQ warned readers in December that it would take a similar turn-off or pay-up attitude toward ad blockers. The IAB's Randall Rothenberg went so far as to call leading ad blocker Adblock Plus an "immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes."