Scroll is making publishers and readers happy. But what about marketers?
Scroll, a subscription-based service that eliminates banners and pop-ups from websites, just came out of beta, and this ad blocker is worth a look.
Scroll estimates that a normal page view brings in $0.011 through ads, whereas a Scroll subscriber would result in $0.016 for the same page view. That’s because the money from users’ subscriptions goes to the publishers, and disbursements are based on each user’s viewing habits. So, someone reading a story in the Atlantic would be directly funding that publication with each page view. If that same user didn’t read anything from, say, Vox, that publication would not get a cut of that subscription.
There are, of course, three players in this game:
- The publisher – Like Slate.com, who gets the vast majority of their revenue from advertising.
- The reader – Like you and I, who wants to be informed, entertained, and inspired by great content.
- The marketer – Also like you and me, who wants to place ads on those publishers’ websites so we can get readers to click and buy our widgets.
For the publisher, Scroll’s model looks great. They see it as a means to diversify revenues, and some might even see those revenues increase.
From the reader’s standpoint, there’s a lot to love. Not only does Scroll cut visual clutter, but it speeds up page load time. A mobile app further facilitates easy, well, scrolling.
From the marketer’s viewpoint, Scroll kinda puts them on the outside looking in. Not only does Scroll block ads for the reader, but they also make the publisher less reliant on ad revenue.
Scroll is already taking off
Scroll has received investment money from the likes of Union Square Ventures, the New York Times (though, notably, the Grey Lady does not currently participate with Scroll), Axel Springer, Gannet, and Samsung.
And about 30 publications have already joined in the program. These include:
- The Atlantic
- USA Today
- BuzzFeed News
- Business Insider
Meanwhile, traditional publications that aren’t currently participating—notably, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal’s parent company, News Corp—have invested in the startup. TBD on what the Gray Lady and her influential friends decide to do.
theCLIKK’s Take: The times they are a-changin’. If you’re a publisher, this new model from Scroll looks promising. For the rest of us, this is another attack on the programmatic advertising happening outside of walled gardens like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Instagram. In the end, it’s those that own their garden (like Zuck) that will likely benefit as ad dollars shift safely inside his walls. More click inflation, anyone?