Picture this: You visit a site and are greeted with the following proposition…
Hello Visitor. This site is produced by legions of writers and editors who need to be paid for what they do. Therefore, we are going to offer you a choice. You can see the content for free, as long as you also accept advertising. Or, you can pay $29.95 a year and get the site ad free.
Oh, by the way, in order to make the advertising really work for us and you, we’d like to know what sort of ads you are interested in seeing.
I would love this. I will look at health and beauty ads all day long. In fact, we know women who buy women’s magazines are at least as interested in the gorgeous ads that promise a better life as they are in the content (that promises a better life).
WeatherBug used this strategy, and it didn’t really work. Why? Because they didn’t have enough advertisers involved. When I asked for my health-and-beauty ads, all I got was TrimSpa.
Recently I had lunch with John Messina, a former legend at AOL, who is now with AWS, the company that owns WeatherBug. They are moving their ad-selection technology onto gaming sites. Where it seems to be a perfect fit. We would like to see this pick-you-ad technology on every publisher’s site as well.