People may have thought it was a long shot, but the ad-free version of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s sites is here.
According to CNET Senior Editor Bridget Carey in a report from CNBC, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is launching a program called Contributor by Google in which people, in exchange for a monthly “contribution” to “fund the web,” will get to use Google services without display ads.
“It seems that Google has invented its own version of an ad blocker. With this, all you have to do is pay $1 to $3 a month to Google and with contributing sites that you visit, a piece of that subscription goes to that site. Right now, about 10 websites [including Mashable and The Onion] are testing this partnership with Google,” Carey said.
According to Carey, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will only pay the sites that Contributor account holders visit.
Carey pointed out that the company’s move may surprise some because it generates a lot of its revenue for displaying ads. However, she said that this new program is Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) experimenting with new ways to make money before some other company rolls out a comparable service.
She said that the Silicon Valley giant, still the most visited website this year in the world, is in effect taking the lump sum contributions of people to their favorite sites and taking care of its distribution because people are not likely to make micro-contributions to these sites because it would not make sense due to the processing fees. However, she said that Google is probably not expecting to generate a big chunk of its revenue from this program.
Carey went on to say that she is excited to see how this would change the monetization schemes of sites particularly news outlets. However, she did admit that she thinks it will be a while before people start paying for the sites they visit like they do for their music subscription.
Shareholders of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) includes Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Investors which said by the end of the third quarter that they owned 923,500 shares in the company.