Google Contributor is a new service that allows users to pay Google a monthly fee to have ads removed from select sites on the Google Display Network.
For a fee of $1 to $3 a month, Contributor will block ads on websites that have signed up for the program. Google then gives a portion of the fees directly to the site’s owners. So far, just a few big names are participating in the program, including The Onion, Mashable, and Imgur.
The Contributor program is an interesting experiment that is attempting to sever the tie between content and advertising. While some news outlets have had success with online subscriptions, the majority of online news outlets and content creators rely on advertising to keep their sites live and (hopefully) their creators paid.
The success of Google Contributor relies on an optimistic view that people will want to pay for content on the internet. While the cost of removing ads is very affordable in this case, it only applies to a few select sites, and there are many ad blockers that are completely free that will remove ads across the board.