Many people really loathe the ads that appear on their favorite websites, but a solution has popped up from a pretty unlikely source. Search giant Google just launched a subscription service called Contributor, which gives internet users the option to pay a small monthly fee for ad-free access to select websites.
Google describes the program as “an experiment in additional ways to fund the web.” Contributor subscribers will be asked to donate $1 to $3 per month; the more you pay, the more ad-free websites you can access. But lack of advertising doesn’t mean more content – where an ad would have been placed, you’ll see a “thank you” message or a pixelated pattern instead.
Google announced that Imgur, Mashable, Science Daily, The Onion, Urban Dictionary and WikiHow are among the program’s partners, presumably with more to be announced soon. You currently need to join a wait list before you can use Contributor, and it appears that once you sign up and pay your dues, the program will work across desktop and mobile devices.
If you cringe at the sight of online ads, the small price Google is putting on removal could be just what you’re looking for. However, Contributor could be a way for Google to prove that some people (or maybe most) would rather suffer through the ads on their favorite websites rather than pay even a nominal fee to make them disappear. And that ads just might not be so bad after all.