How About Just No Ads At All?

August 10, 2018 10:00 a.m.

How about just no ads at all? The whole TPM website, on every platform, stripped totally down with only the news and not one ad. None of those annoying ads beneath the stories. Nothing. Well, we’re going to have that.

I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re doing our annual Prime membership drive later this month and we have a couple key new projects coming in the Fall that are part of the transition I’ve been describing in my ‘Future of TPM’ post series. Another new service we will be introducing is a subscription with no ads at all.

Currently, if you’re a Prime subscriber you get no ads on mobile and dramatically fewer ads on desktop and tablet. But there are still ads. When we introduce this new option, if you’re a Prime member you’ll have the option of paying a few bucks more a month and getting no ads at all. Simple as that.

Over the years we’ve had a number of readers ask for such an option. But there have been technical and cost constraints that prevented us from offering it. One reason readers ask for this is that for a lot of readers having the site with no ads is just a far preferable reading experience, aesthetically and otherwise. Many of the ads that run on TPM today are fine. Some, as I noted here, are ones we’d really rather not have on the site. We’re getting there. But for now, we have to make some uncomfortable choices.

Another reason people ask is that ads are most of what makes the web slow when it’s slow or wobbly. The way digital advertising works today, it’s not a matter of running ads per se. As I’ve described in other posts, it’s more a matter of allowing various networks and bidding systems on to the site. So very few of the ads that run on the site today are ones we’ve even seen. It’s more like multiple layers of bidding systems in which algorithms and auctions sell to different advertisers and networks in real time. That process is messy and can slow things down. Strip out the ads and all of that goes away. The site is like a rocket.

Yet another reason is that is that signing up for the no-ad version further reduces our dependence on advertising as a core revenue stream for TPM. That makes our whole operation more robust, vital and strong. Good for you and good for us. Let us just focus on bringing you the news.

Intrigued? Have questions? Drop me a line.

Masthead Masthead
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