Flattry Will Get You Nowhere: Blocker Joins Micropayer To Bypass Ads

In the rapidly shape-shifting world of digital advertising and content gatekeepers, one of the world’s most distributed ad-blocking platforms has teamed up with a “microdonations” service to launch a new variant that will enable users to “frictionlessly” pay publishers with tiny micropayments while they are browsing their pages.

That’s the announcement being made this morning by Europe’s Adblock Plus and Flattr, which are coming together to form Flattr Plus, a mashup they claim will “let hundreds of millions of users directly and sustainably fund content they love -- without reliance on ads, paywalls or paying for single articles.”

What wasn’t clear from the announcement, or Flattr Plus’ sign-up page, is exactly how that would be funded, but it appears that it is merely a cross-promotional platform based on Flattr’s core model of having users fund micropayments to publishers from their own financial accounts -- but presumably more seamlessly by utilizing AdBlock Plus’ browser plug-in technology.



The collaboration comes as others are exploring different variants that would redirect revenues generated from “whitelisted” advertisers to consumers and publishers, such as Brendan Eich’s new browser-based platform Brave.

It was not clear from any of the information released on Flattr Plus whether any revenue generated by Adblock Plus whitelisting ads to its users would go toward those micropayments, but the coming together of an ad-blocking and a publisher donations platform at least suggests that the worlds of advertising, ad blocking/whitelisting, and publisher micropayments are fusing in new and unexpected ways as the advertising and publishing industries try to develop new models to sustain a rapidly shifting marketplace.

The Adblock Plus and Flattr collaboration, meanwhile, will likely add more confusion to an already blurry marketplace, and at the very least will tacitly promote an anti-advertising sentiment.

A launch video on Flattr Plus’ signup site uses an adorably perky and upbeat approach to ad-bashing, ironically leveraging a Madison Avenue-like jingle to accompany copy that effectively says advertising is now irrelevant to the digital media economy.

“We all know that guy who is a bit annoying, but always around,” the copy reads, adding: “In your class, workspace, soccer team. He’s not necessarily evil, but no one likes him.

“Once in awhile, he brings some good ideas, maybe even a smile. But he still annoys you. When you grow up, you realize you don’t need him. You choose otherwise and you life feels a bit less… annoying.

“The Internet’s annoying friend is advertising. He’s not evil. But no one really likes him.”

5 comments about "Flattry Will Get You Nowhere: Blocker Joins Micropayer To Bypass Ads".
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  1. Virginia Suhr from Lobo & Petrocine Marketing, May 3, 2016 at 10:47 a.m.

    Nice advertisement for Flattr Plus - opps - I'm sorry ads are bad and annoying. I wonder what ad agency created it for them.

    It's going to become a two tier model - those who can afford to paid premiums to websites to not have ads and those who can't afford it.  In the meantime, many websites and bloggers will go under so there will be less content available.  People will lose their jobs, but they will be able to go more on the internet - they just won't be able to pay the block the ads.

    As an insurance TV commercial saids "just perfect" when their rates go up after 1 accident.

  2. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, May 3, 2016 at 10:54 a.m.

    I've said this before, but people reading items on the internet have a different mindset than those reading print media.  When reading print media readers are more relaxed an don't mind diverting their attention to an ad that attracts them.  Not so with internet readers: they're more focused on the info before them, and view pop ups as an intrusion.  Ads on the side of the content they're reading are not an intrusion.  That's the way to go, as far as I'm concerned.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 3, 2016 at 11:17 a.m.

    Makes sense, Neil.

  4. Virginia Suhr from Lobo & Petrocine Marketing, May 3, 2016 at 1:10 p.m.

    Ads to the right or a non-intrusive leaderboard seems to be the way to go.

  5. Brian Nakamoto from Tightrope Interactive, Inc., May 6, 2016 at 2:46 p.m.

    Ad blockers don't discriminate (unless they favor a class of "acceptable ads") between consumer-friendly ads and annoying ads.

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