GQ vs. the ad-blockers
But GQ goes one further. Instead of only giving users the choice of turning off the software or moving on, GQ additionally offers potential readers the option of paying for every single article they read! Progress!
“Turn off your ad blocker or purchase instant access to this article, so we can continue to pay for photoshoots like this one,” it concludes, pointing to an image of Amy Schumer dancing with stormtroopers.
Readers who choose to pay for their content rather than view GQ.com’s ads for beard oil and expensive clothing are directed to start an account with content, a micropayment company that allows you to pay the $.50 fee to read whatever story you were trying to reach.
GQ’s advertising is notable in that it is the worst and most annoying kind. Multiple auto-playing videos with volumes ratcheted up, banner ads that fill up the space and auto-expand, and ads that follow you around as you scroll the page. Or you can pay four-bits per article, which is an appropriate phrasing of the price, since apparently GQ believes it’s still operating in an old-timey online ecosystem where it can hold content hostage rather than working to make itself more attractive to readers.
Techdirt’s wrong about this- GQ’s doing exactly what I think they should be doing. The Techdirt article comes across as “I deserve free content with no form of income for the content creator whatosever,” and that’s crap. GQ is a business. They need to make money to pay their writers and photographers and who-knows-what-else. While I think $.50 an article is a bit steep, I do think that this sort of micropayment structure is what we should be doing. I’d prefer that to the weird barrage of advertising that is the modern internet.