One of the things I appreciate about the Dope is that I can shell out a fairly modest amount of money (IIRC, it’s $29.99 for 2 years) to not have to deal with ads.
Why don’t more websites do this? As I understand it, Google and Facebook have managed to hog most of the ad revenues, and practically all other content providers are stuck with getting less money in exchange for running more ads.
You’d think that as the value of each set of eyeballs to the content provider continues to diminish, being able to collect money directly from the owners of those eyeballs would be a win for them, giving them a steady revenue stream that doesn’t get gutted as ad rates go down.
And it can’t be that hard to manage, I’d assume, if the SDMB does it. Yet Josh Marshall’s TPM site has been working up to rolling out an ad-free version for awhile now (they aren’t there yet), so maybe it isn’t so easy for them. (If so, why was it easy for the Dope to do this, but harder for them?)
There are sites I frequent where I’d cheerfully pay on the order of $50/year to not see ads. Between knowing that it would help support the site, and not having to deal with the more annoying ads, it would be worth it. And I haven’t exactly been quiet about the subject - I’m not any more of a shrinking violet elsewhere on the Web than I am here. But I never get any response from the people running the sites.
So what gives? There must be good reasons why the option of paying for an ad-free site is a rarity. But what are they?