Google, the biggest seller of online ads, has created a way for publishers to make money without ads.
Google on Thursday introduced an invitation-only crowdfunding program called Contributor that lets people pay $1 to $3 each month to visit sites devoid of ads. The Onion, Mashable, WikiHow, Urban Dictionary, ScienceDaily and photo-sharing site Imgur are among the first publishers that have signed on to not serve ads to Contributor subscribers.
Google's Contributor is effectively an ad blocker, but one that benefits publishers as well as users. Like a traditional ad blocker, albeit one in which publishers give their cosent, Contributor blocks the ads on a participating publisher's page so that visitors can focus on the content they came for. The space the banners would otherwise occupy will still be there, but the actual ads will be replaced with a "Thank you" message.