Wired: stop blocking our ads, pay for an ad-free version or go elsewhere

By Shawn Knight
Feb 8, 2016
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  1. Wired Magazine is taking a bold step into the unknown. Starting next week, the site will give its readers who use an ad blocker an ultimatum: either stop blocking their ads, pay to view an ad-free version of the site or turn to a different source for technology news.

    As Bloomberg notes, Wired is planning to charge readers $3.99 for four weeks of ad-free access to its website. Mark McClusky, head of product and business development for Wired Magazine, acknowledged there are legitimate reasons that people use ad blockers such as wanting to speed up the browsing experience or not wanting their web activity to be tracked.

    At the end of the day, however, Wired has to pay the bills just like every other major site on the Internet and outside of donations, the only real way to do that today is through advertising revenue or subscriptions.

    McClusky believes that the portion of Wired's readership that uses ad blockers (roughly 20 percent of its readership) are likely to be receptive to a discussion about their responsibility to support the businesses they rely on for information online. I, for one, am not nearly as confident in their reception as McClusky but I digress.

    Most sites have been offering their content for "free" through ad-supported methods and any pushback against what the general population sees as the norm will no doubt create backlash. That said, Wired's buck-a-week rate isn't set in stone, however, as the publication says it could change based on reader response.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +330

    Lol good luck with that.

    I'm well aware that ads bring in money to their business but most of your readers don't really give a damn.

    People are sick of ads on tv, ads on the internet and just advertising in general.

    Not sure how they intend to tell people how they should use the internet.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    Ziffel, learninmypc, Mandark and 2 others like this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    People still read Wired? Wow, that's news in itself. Its nothing but left wing propaganda and content stolen from other sites.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,161

    Several things wrong here that will result in Wired not solving its revenue problem.

    1. It is NOT the responsibility of the customer to sustain the business. It is the responsibility of the business to provide adequate value to the customer.

    2. A fundamental misunderstanding about how information works today. People don't rely on Wired–they can go elsewhere, easily.

    3. This is utterly tone-deaf. "Money or GTFO" is not a viable strategy in the current market. It's terrible PR.
  5. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

  6. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,823   +873

    I don't really see this as a problem. I like to read the newspaper and that costs me a buck a day. However, I don't think wired has enough content to make it worth paying for.

    I'll wait and see how this plays out, I don't really hold an opinion one way or the other about this.
  7. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    There is always a way around it. I found a nice one but refuse to let it be known as to get it blocked as the others are. However, it was news to me that 'Wired' was even still around... If they made any news worth reading, perhaps none of this would be an issue?
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    Sounds like Wired will soon be re-titled to .... Extinct
    Ziffel and EClyde like this.
  9. LiveResistance

    LiveResistance TS Booster Posts: 83   +63

    "...or turn to a different source for technology news."

    Funny, I thought everyone had already done that. At one time I was receiving their magazine for free but called them and asked not to receive anymore. It was pure crap.
    B5S46M, alabama man and p51d007 like this.
  10. JohnMoser

    JohnMoser TS Rookie

    Dozens of readers will be mildly disappointed. I quit reading Forbes, because of this nonsense(before they infected a lot of computers). Wired isn't even as interesting as they are.
    alabama man and p51d007 like this.
  11. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Addict Posts: 124   +92

    How about a subscription syndicate?
    Pay a fee to a subscription pool, giving you ad-free access to a bunch of sites; site owners get paid by the view.
    It'll work out for sites that one occasionally reads (for me Forbes, WSJ, NYT) but wouldn't find value in excusive subscription. If any of those sites started getting rid of 'free articles' or set the threshold low enough to bother me, it'd be adios in a heartbeat.
    I like my web ad free.
    I'd pay a couple bucks a month for a syndicate, though, if it had enough 'occasional' sites I liked.
    Jos, Reehahs and dms96960 like this.
  12. MrJinglenutz

    MrJinglenutz TS Rookie

    Holy cow, you hit every nail on the head, which was also the nails for the lid on Wired's coffin. I don't even understand how Wired is still around. A lot of the content on the site is re-worded content from other well known sites and at best, not even re-worded well. Good luck Wired on your adventure. Reminds me of what Toms Hardware tried not too long ago. Guess how that went, a lot of index fingers were pointed in Toms direction and to cover his butt, he claimed that "ONE OF HIS OTHER WRITERS" put up the post. YA YA YA, damn, these guys never take responsibility for what they say. But that is the beauty of the Internet. You can always say that someone else put that up or posted it. sheeshhh........
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2016
    alabama man, Reehahs and p51d007 like this.
  13. Yynxs

    Yynxs TS Enthusiast Posts: 63   +14

    The interesting thing to me is, each person reading the site is worth $4 of monthly income? If not, where did that charged amount come from?
  14. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Booster Posts: 134   +14

    I have 3 year subscription of wired (I need to quit browsing slickdeals while drinking). It's not even worthy of toilet reading.
    Hexic likes this.
  15. Duckeenie

    Duckeenie TS Booster Posts: 68   +54

    So it seems they get 2-3 million visitors a month in the U.S. alone. 80% of those ARE viewing the ads and yet they still can't pay the bills? Maybe someone who has run a profitable website can shed some light on the likelihood that this is actually true?
  16. MrJinglenutz

    MrJinglenutz TS Rookie

    These guys be full or fool of beezwax. BS for the under 100 crowd.
  17. Mike Loess

    Mike Loess TS Rookie

    Wired's web site viewers--in addition to wanting a faster browsing experience and no tracking--DON'T WANT TO BE ATTACKED BY VIRUSES THAT COME IN FROM AD NETWORKS.

    As long as these web sites that are putting ad-block blocking in place (Wired, Fortune, etc) allow their ad networks to sell ads to any "ad agency" that gets to run their own Javascript code on a users computer, Wired and others are asking their readers to willingly participate in their own exploitation.

    No one--not one person--considers THAT to be an acceptable price of admission to reading Wired's articles.
  18. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 850   +201

    Oh yeah, there is a tech site called Wired... I had all but forgotten about it as there are literally 100 different sources one can use to get the same information.
  19. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +17

    No one would be concerned about blocking Ads if the Ads were just that. Instead, they slow down your system and fill it up with trackware.
  20. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 240   +58

    Wired was a bird cage liner even in the '90s when it was printed and there were few technology sites, too worried about the problems of wannabe yuppies and cubicle farm dwellers, hardly a step above tabloid journalism. They have gone downhill rapidly since, now I wouldn't read it if they paid me...
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Just another site to ignore, no skin off my back.
  22. Draconian

    Draconian TS Member Posts: 27

    What about donations?

    That's what The Tech Report did. It helps to provide some perks for people who donate; that helps encourage donations.

    I'm kind of surprised that Wired is in such a predicament. I assumed that subscriber revenues from their magazine sales was enough to fund the website.
  23. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,159   +67

    It it not the responsibility of the customers to sustain the business, nor the responsibility of the business to provide things for free to customers. It's good business to get rid of freeloaders. Problem is, people have become used to being freeloaders. Most people expect to get news and entertainment for free or very cheap these days. That's a problem for businesses. "Adequate value" means very little these days.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    It is the sites substance that attract people not the ads. Why would a site allow the main attraction to be free and then complain about the annoyances being blocked? That's counter productive, start charging for the main attraction. You can either make money or you can't, quit bitching about it and face the facts.
  25. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 88   +13

    What's the difference between adblocking on the site, and not using the site at all?

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