Commentary

Adblock Nonplus

Adblock Plus gave its first public viewing of a micropayments system it has been developing with microdonations platform Flattr, but it is still being less-than-public about what the source of funding for those payments will be. Consumers? Good luck with that. Advertisers and agencies? Ditto. Presumably, it will come by redirecting revenues from publishers that pay to get whitelisted so their ads don’t get blocked by Adblock Plus. In other words, it will probably involve robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If not, I don’t understand what the “plus” is in Flattr Plus. Flattr already provides a platform for consumers to fund publishers directly.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how the model evolves. In a blog posted Thursday, spokesman Ben Williams said the ad blocker has begun reaching out to “publishers worldwide about opening their sites to receive funds.”

He doesn’t explain exactly how those users will be funding those payments, but alluded to something called a “flattr,” which would send data to Flattr.com, "so that it can disburse money to worthy content creators.”

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If this sounds vague and confusing, it’s because it is. Check it out for yourself. Heck, go read the company’s FAQ too. And tell me if you want to make sense of who’s funding what by whom, and on whose behalf?

Whoever’s doing the funding, Adblock Plus claims it is getting a positive response from the publishers it has pitched to date.

“Thus far, those conversations have been very fruitful, and we’re pleased to report that publishers have shown a great deal of enthusiasm to employ Flattr Plus when it rolls out,” Williams wrote in his post.

3 comments about "Adblock Nonplus".
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  1. Mark Addison from Rocket Science, July 8, 2016 at 11:55 a.m.

    I'm not sure why any of this is confusing; it looks like Adblock Plus is encouraging its users (consumers) to make direct $ contributions to content creators. A quick Google search takes you right to their blog post: https://adblockplus.org/blog/big-flattr-plus-update

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, July 8, 2016 at 1:13 p.m.

    @ Mark Addison (a representative of Adblock Plus): Thanks, can you point out exactly where that is spelled out? And if that's the case, what does Flattr Plus do in this regard that Flattr didn't already do. And why is Adblock Plus, which markets adblocking software and charges publishers to whitelist, enabling its users to make direct donations out of their own pockets. How does Adblock Plus benefit from that? P.S. this is not the first time, I've asked these questions or written about this.

  3. Paolo Gaudiano from Infomous, Inc. replied, July 10, 2016 at 6:49 a.m.

    I wrote a post about this very topic three days ago right here on MediaPost: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/279794/can-micropayments-help-the-publishing-industry.html

    In a nutshell: the "plus" version tracks how much time a user spends on each site, and then the user's monthly allotment is automatically distributed to those sites. This is the model that Tipsy created, and it removes the need for users to click Flattr buttons.

    The combination of the click-free model and the AdBlock Pus distribution is really promising, it could give Flattr the boost it needs to become a serious opportunity.

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