Report: People Unwilling To Pay For Ad-Free Sites

    December 8, 2008

Some individuals will, without thinking, spend $40 on a single meal.  Others will buy a few DVDs they’ll watch only once each.  But the results of a new survey indicate that a lot of folks aren’t willing to pay 40 bucks in order to see ad-free versions of their favorite sites for a whole year.

Mike Vorhaus reports, "When we asked consumers if they would pay $39.99 a year, which comes out to less than $4 a month, for an ad-free version of one of their favorite sites, only 2.4% said definitely yes, they would be likely to do so.  And only 3.5% said they’d be very likely.  In fact, 84% of the people said they’d be unlikely or not at all likely."

Tom Stocky
 People Won’t Pay For Ad-Free Sites

The numbers didn’t change much when the price of $29.99 was tossed out, and this information could serve as proof that advertisers are doing an excellent job.  Perhaps people have come to love ads (or at least find them useful) to the point that, whether they complain about the things or not, they’d hate to see them disappear.

There are at least two other possibilities, though.  First, it’s hard not to wonder how many of Vorhaus’s respondents use free ad-blocking software, and simply see paying for an identical result as a bad alternative.  There’s also the question of whether banner blindness has set in, accomplishing the same end.

So at least put on your thinking caps, marketers, as you pop the cork on a maybe-better-than-$40 bottle of champagne.