Ad-Free Pub Platform Scroll To Debut, 'Business Insider,' Fusion Media Join Service

How much would you pay for an online ad-free reading experience? Scroll, a subscription service founded by Tony Haile, former CEO of Chartbeat, is hoping at least $5.

Set up like a Hulu or Spotify for digital media lovers, Scroll, which is expected to launch later this year, offers readers a platform where they can indulge in their favorite publications without ads for a small monthly fee. The company will then split the revenue with publishers, giving them 70% of the cut.

Scroll will also reward publishers that have a more dedicated following. Essentially, the percentage of time a readers spends with one publisher will dictate the cut the publisher takes: 10% of a reader’s time equals 10% of that customer’s subscription going to that outlet.

Outlets showing customer loyalty in the form of readers who spend more than 20% of their time with a publisher are eligible for a larger piece of the profits.



If a publication has a paywall, subscribers will still have to pay that feel, however by reading on Scroll, all ads—except for some branded native advertising content created in-house—will be removed.

Haile points out in a story with The Wall Street Journal that Google’s Chrome ad blocker filters out around a dozen types of digital ads, however, those deemed acceptable by the company are still displayed. He also notes the increased popularity of software like Adblock Plus, which blocks even more.

An ad-free experience will be enough to attract a customer base and create an alternative revenue stream for digital publishers, Haile believes.

Scroll raised $3 million from The New York Times, News Corp and German publisher Axel Springer in 2016. Gannett is also expected to invest. So far, Business Insider, Fusion Media Group, The Atlantic, MSNBC and Slate are among the outlets that have signed on to offer their products on Scroll.

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