Under review

Ad-Free Subscriptions

Kevin M. Cox 8 years ago in BLOX CMS updated 8 years ago 14

Does Town News have an option that allows certain subscribers to have advertisements automatically removed from the site? I’d be interested in seeing this technology pursued.

This sort of arraignment could could give more of a “member” type feel for the customer relationship instead of simply that of “subscriber.”

For example from a recent E&P article:

The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah has developed a digital membership model that’s tiered: $4.99 a month provides subscribers with full digital access to the site, plus invitations the special events the publisher now hosts regularly. The other option is to pay $9.99 each month for an ad-free reading experience. More than 700 readers have signed on, the vast majority who have opted for digital reading unencumbered by advertising interruption.

Let me know what y’all think.

I could understand that from the standpoint of national ads but I think that would alienate local advertisers who want their ads in front of all the website's visitors.

Thanks for your thoughts Nick.

I guess it would come down to how much revenue is being generated by the local advertisers.

With Ad Block becoming more and more prolific (I personally use it just about everywhere except our own site) it is only a matter of time before advertisers start losing a significant portion of eyeballs anyways. Studies already show that traditional online ads like banners are ineffective.

At least with this approach additional revenue could be generated. Maybe there could be specific "sponsorship" ad locations that wouldn't be removed.


I have long pushed our paper to do this. We would have arranged to somehow do it manually through Blox. However, there hasn't been a serious interest in doing it among the circ and ad people.

It does make sense to try to make money out of the no-ad movement rather than let the ad blockers take money from us.


In a similar vein, I had asked for an interstitial or popup ad that would display only if the user wasn't logged in or wasn't a subscriber. The idea being an advertiser could "sponsor" content that would otherwise be behind the paywall --- "This article brought to you free by Mikes Mortuary"

Another thought - Essentially the E-Edition is a reading experience free of banner ads, and if you use the live E-Edition and segment, the reader can be free of print ads for the most part. You could offer a tiered service where one price gets you access to regular banner ad driven content and another price gets you that plus e-edition.

Well, you can insert ads into the e-edition with opt_ hooks available at the top and bottom of the templates. We are thinking about doing that since our e-edition accounts for a large number of our sessions.

I love contradictory information:

Ticket #595855 has been updated by Ashley Rogers with the following content:

Hi Mike,

You can add banner ads to your E-edition home page:


But you cannot add them to the e-edition itself.

It is not on a regular blox skin that allows blocks or ads.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

I don't know what she's talking about. But if you look at the templates for live e-editions in Flex, they contain the opt_assetContentTop() and opt_assetContentBottom() hooks, though I haven't seen the bottom one work correctly yet. I have been able to insert test content into the top one.

A few things to note, that make this confusing:

Ashley is right that we don't have specific banner ad regions in eEditions, so that's what she was answering. But, it is indeed possible for a customer to create them using the opt points.

The opt_ hooks are specific to Flex templates. We have made an effort to make sure that all Flex option macros are named the same, so like Michael said, you can search for them now. But, also, here is a doc:


On Zen, we also have include injection points, but we didn't think to implement a naming strategy, so they are hard to find. There is a doc for Zen here:


Thanks Christine... Maybe we can get to the point I can stop referring to the E-Edition as the "hole we pour money into"

Just do a template search for "opt_" in the template editor. You'll see where all the hooks are.

Thanks Michael I will look into it. My E-edition accounts for 1/3 of my pageviews so 1 banner ad is still significant.

Just bumping this one back up since the subject has come up again at our paper.