A partnership between ad-blocking software provider Adblock Plus and Swedish content-funding startup Flattr is being publicized as an altruistic way for consumers to support publishers and content creators without having to view online ads. But is an additional product — one that further distances publishers from their audience and discourages direct communication — really what the digital industry needs?
With an increase in the use of its ad-blocking software depriving online publishers of the ad revenue required to support free content, Adblock Plus has announced the development of Flattr Plus. The new product, due to be launched in beta by the end of this month, allows its customers to make a voluntary financial contribution to the publishers whose websites they engage with. (Though they can still visit those sites without making donations.)