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A daily newspaper set up with a pro-Scottish independence political stance has launched a companion website with a metered paywall. The National ’s website will allow browser to view five articles per month without charge, as well as another five once they have completed a free registration process.

Tim Cook talks Edward Snowden, Apple Car and more in new interview

As part of Tim Cook’s recent worldwide tour, which has included stops in Israel, Germany, and the U.K, the Apple CEO recently sat down for a far ranging interview with the German-language newspaper BILD (paywall required). The interview touched on a number of interesting topics, including Cook’s thoughts on Edward Snowden, Steve Jobs, and, of course, what Cook makes of all the Apple Car rumors ...

Stuff looks at premium membership

Fairfax Media's news website may not be considering a paywall, but options to offer a premium membership service to New Zealand online readers are "really quite exciting", says Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood.

You are what you can afford to read

The Irish Times' announcement that it would be implementing a 'leaky' paywall to boost its digital revenue was met with indifference today by the hordes on social media.

Fee for ‘Irish Times’ online

The Irish Times is to start charging readers for access to its online content from next Monday as it believes advertising revenue can no longer sustain its online journalism.

The New York Times and its big 'zero'

The New York Times has closed out another year, and like the two years before it, one number stands out: Zero.


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Top Answers About Membership Sites on Quora

Top Answers About Membership Sites

How do I build the membership features of a website including payment receiving?

To receive payment on your website, you need a payment gateway like Send Money, Pay Online or Set Up a Merchant Account - PayPalAccept Payments Online with 2Checkout’s Online Payment Processing, Home - Authorize.Net etc... and most of them comes with recurring payments. All you need to do is to call their recurring payment API and your payment gateway automatically start the recurring payment schedule for your website. You also need a SSL certificate to host the form to gather people's credit card data on your website though you don't need to store it.

Most of the payment gateways comes with a setting for a callback URL, this URL basically called when gateway charges a credit card at a scheduled date and it throws back the status of the transaction on this callback URL. You need to program it in such a way to catch this data and store in the database and see if the transaction status is SUCCESS or DECLINED etc...which your system can use to allow/restrict the user access to your website/app

I hope that answers your question.

See question on Quora

Posted on 3 November 2014

Is FoundersCard worth it?

This is an old question but I wanted to weigh in. I travel a bit each year. Roughly 2 european trips and 8 cross country trips averaging 1-2 weeks per trip.

I use United, American and Virgin to fly, Hilton properties and Hertz cars. I also have a ZipCar membership that's $25 a year flat-rate through FoundersCard. Hilton I have Gold automatically through FC and get Gold through American airlines (recently lapsed)

I also get discounts on fedex and that's nice as I ship 10 boxes a month of goods. I get nice Hertz discounts and when staying in Marriot properties, I've occasionally received flowers and champagne upon check-in just for booking my room through FC. Once a year, I stay at the Clift hotel in SF and enjoy the really solid discount over standard prices.

There are other perks that I've used over time (discounts on spas, gyms, clothing, etc).


Is it worth it? It is to me because I'm paying $99 a year for Founders Card and my rate will never go up. I see today the rate is $795 or $500 if you're invited by a current member. That's insane! You'd have to do a lot of traveling and basically live within the FC ecosystem of services / deals in order for the card to pay for itself now.

But the events? Yeah, there are FoundersCard events almost all of the time in major cities. They're great for networking. I've been to one of them. The issue I have is that I live in New Hampshire and basically i have to travel or drive 4 hours to benefit from a FoundersCard AT&T service where I am so that deal is moot.

So if you're a successful entrepreneur living in a major US city and traveling a lot, i'd say the $500 might be worth it.

have a member invite you so you can browse all of the specials for free for 24 hours and then choose if you want to join.

See question on Quora

Posted on 28 August 2014

Is it legal by Google standards to put a YouTube video behind a paywall on my website?

You should read YouTube's Terms of Service and you may also want to consult a lawyer for proper legal advice.
Terms of Service

Here are two small sections related to your question.

"4. General Use of the Service—Permissions and Restrictions
YouTube hereby grants you permission to access and use the Service as set forth in these Terms of Service, provided that:
  1. You agree not to distribute in any medium any part of the Service or the Content without YouTube's prior written authorization, unless YouTube makes available the means for such distribution through functionality offered by the Service (such as the Embeddable Player)."
5. Your Use of Content
In addition to the general restrictions above, the following restrictions and conditions apply specifically to your use of Content.
  1. The Content on the Service, and the trademarks, service marks and logos ("Marks") on the Service, are owned by or licensed to YouTube, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law.
  2. Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content."

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Posted on 22 August 2014

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

Short answer is yes.

You will need something in place to restrict access to your content - and as Ravi Jayagopal noted - you'll want to automate everything.

What happens when someone doesn't pay? Are you going to go in and manually cancel their account? That will be a lot of work.

Fortunately, membership sites are fairly easy and cheap (even free) to make - so, why wouldn't you go with a membership site?

Checkout this free course if you need help making a membership site: How To Build A Membership Site

See question on Quora

Posted on 18 August 2014

Have prepay eWallets had their day?

I know for a fact that some of the biggest European eWallet/eMoney companies are in deep trouble, and that they have much lower number of active users than is usually claimed, so your hypothesis might be true.

The fact is people do not want to have an inconvenience of having your money split between multiple accounts, i.e. one bank account, eWallets, pre-paid accounts and so on, and having to pay a fee to move the money between them.

There is enough technology in the world to create a seamless account across different uses of your funds, and I suspect one of the future big startups will exploit this.

I think you should be able to for example share your $1000 in the bank between all the different uses of this money, for example for micro-transactions, online purchases, offline purchases etc., but that internally this will be implemented as several different accounts with varying levels of protection/authentication security.

So for example you will be able to make trivial micropayments without too much hassle, while if you want to pay for your vacation it will be more involved/secure.

See question on Quora

Posted on 5 May 2014

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

Fundamentally you need some way of protecting content to create a membership site so yes you need some software, I would recommend Wordpress (free) and WishList member ($97) as the plugin.  However, one alternative would be to create a closed group on facebook and create a sales page away from facebook to take card payments. You would then have to manually tally up the payments taken and the user clicking to join the group. The downside is firstly this is not automated and secondly a facebook group is basically controlled by facebook and if they wanted to shut it down they could. However, it does mean you can set up a membership site without software!

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Posted on 15 April 2014

How much traffic/signups does PRESS really drive?

Probably not as much as you'd think over the short term, but it can be invaluable in building a brand over the long-term.

For example, BuzzStream was mentioned in a New York Times business section article (Thanks Eilene!) about CRM systems for small businesses:

Owners Assess Customer-Relationship Software

This article drove 620 unique visits (most in the first week), and 4 sign-ups (1 canceled.)

That's the New York Times Business section. Yes, that New York Times.

In short, unless you're combining press with content marketing and search strategies, or have invented a way to reliably get press week after week, press is helpful and certainly great to build your brand and get attention, but isn't a scalable acquisition channel.

(If you're wondering how to reliably get press week after week, well, that is a puzzle.  My favorite example of this in the tech space is the AdMob monthly metrics reports - AdMob's Final Mobile Metrics Report: Android Rising, But Apple Still Dominates Worldwide | TechCrunch - which were covered monthly by every tech blog.  AdMob was subsequently acquired by Google, so they don't release reports anymore.)

See question on Quora

Posted on 8 October 2013

Is FoundersCard worth it?

It's brilliant. I bought it and within a week had to purchase a new iMac. The FoundersCard discount i received from apple was more than the cost of membeship. So after my first week the card paid for itself and hasn't stopped since.

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Posted on 3 October 2013

What is the best way to access US content from an international IP addess?

Lots of sites lock down access to their content to specific regions. BBC iPlayer, for example, is only available to the UK, and for a long time was only available in the US. This "lock down" is usually done by IP geolocation. If you're on an IP that geolocates to the US they'll assume you're in the US.

It sounds like your problem is you want to access content that is locked down to the US, but you don't have an IP that geolocates to the US. The trick to getting past the lock down is to tunnel your traffic via an IP that does geolocate to the US, so that as far as the site it concerned you are located in the US.

There are quite a few different commercial VPN providers that offer US based VPNs, and that's one approach. My favorite is to rent a cheap shared server in the target country (US in this example), and tunnel my traffic through that using sshuttle. That's exactly what I used to get the gorilla in 48hours from the UK, when it was still locked down to the US: How I got the Gorilla in less than 48 hours

See question on Quora

Posted on 27 September 2013

What is the market share of various ad servers?

Interested in hearing what ad servers developers are using for onsite installations these days?

We just pulled OpenX from running on our server recently (after it was hacked yet again). Looked around at a few different platforms but haven't made a decision which way is going to go. My only real criteria is we must be able to run the application on our own servers. I have zero interest in an asp solution where someone is collecting data about our users for free.

Interested in hearing what the TechCrunch hive has to suggest.

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Posted on 30 August 2013

What's the best paywall solution for video?

Truth of the matter, there are very few solutions that truly work well.

Here a few things you should always check before selecting your paywall solution:
1- Does it work with HTML5, and therefore supported by iOS devices and Android? If not, you lose 20% of business.
2- Can it easily handle multi-screen viewing with easy login process of the user from PC, mobile, tablets, etc. More and more consumers use different screens for the same content.
3- Does it require other form of plugin to be installed, or is it truly compatible with all devices and bandwidth streams.
4- Is the paywall backed-up by robust OVP partners, or is it "a one-size-fits-all solution"? It is already hard enough nowadays to do a very good video distribution platform (Brightcove, Ooyala, Livestream), that developing on top a good paywall solution would be very ambitious.
5- Can it handle pre-booking? pretty convenient, and mandatory for live events
6- What's the ROI? worth checking carefully payment terms, and do the right cost comparisons. And remember, this is not just costs, if you lose 25% conversion, and have 20% more refunds, well, you'd better have paid a little extra :-)

and then you have more features like multi-country pricing, coupons, social sharing, download options, and certainly efficient user support that reduces refunds.

Finally, always good too to check client references. What i can say is Cleeng works for leading brands like Cirque du Soleil, TED conference, Epicurious, different US universities, but also for 100's of other publishers, big or small, to manage their live and VOD content.
Good luck !

Gilles @ Cleeng

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Posted on 2 May 2013

What is the market share of various ad servers?

LeadLedger records actual ad server data crawled from over a million websites.

Below please find up to date for the top ten ad servers as of March, 2013:
  • Doubleclick (30.44% of all sites)
  • OpenX (7.93% of sites)
  • Atlas (7.58% of sites)
  • MediaMind (3.04% of sites)
  • 24/7 Media Server (2.78% of sites)
  • MediaPlex (2.43% of sites)
  • Zedo (1.95% of sites)
  • AdForm (1.83% of sites
  • AdTECH (1.73% of sites)
  • AdAction (1.00% of sites)

Find Top Ad Server / DCO tools, sites and technologies at LeadLedger.

Alycia Salsbury

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Posted on 24 March 2013

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

if you want to save a lot of time and hassle, you'll want to start with a membership site software. CustomerHub integrates seamlessly with Infusionsoft and allows you a lot of flexibility with creating your membership site. the automated content delivery will save you a lot of time and customers can easily upgrade with the click of a button. Infusionsoft Membership Site, Subscription Billing Management | CustomerHub by Infusionsoft

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Posted on 11 February 2013

How badly are paywalls impacting access to scientific articles and education/science as a result?

From my point of view, badly, I am a semi retired person with a small income but I am also a scientist (chemistry,computing by profession Astronomy, biology, physics by hobby)
I like to keep up with the latest research but I usually  hit a paywall sooner or later and I find that both frustrating and disappointing.

I made a suggestion once that Quora points should be used to allow Quora users access to selected paywall protected web sites. If I have the points I can then do serious research while I am creating an answer on Quora.
When Quora is big enough and has the cash perhaps this may be implemented. and the improvement of the quality of answers on Quora will a benefit to all of us.

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Posted on 18 December 2012

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

From the perspective of a WePay insider, here are a few things:

1.  Our approval process for crowd funding companies (donations, rewards and equity) is typically 24 hours or less.  Get started quickly.

2.  We work with a lot of crowd funding/donations companies and understand the needs of the market.  Split payments (fees), delayed payments and conditional payments available.

3.  Our account creation process (OAuth 2.0) is super simple.  Your fundraisers can start collecting money in just seconds.  Our clients love it.

4.  We minimize our interaction with your fundraisers and your donors.  Donors can checkout without redirect and without a WePay account.

5.  We provide your platform, fundraisers and donors with responsive customer support

Documentation at

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Posted on 6 August 2012

Is FoundersCard worth it?

I just signed up and am happy because the AT&T discount available through the card was enough to account for the discounted annual fee of $199. Given that, I'm in the clear and any future usage will be a win.

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Posted on 4 May 2012

Is FoundersCard worth it?

I considered it, particularly with the referral discount that Joe mentions.  But I looked through the benefits and don't expect that I'd remember to use them. I really don't need another piece of plastic in my wallet, either.

See question on Quora

Posted on 4 May 2012

Is FoundersCard worth it?

I have one, and have used it for several of the offers, which are actually better than I've found most equivalent offer routes to be.  They have done a really good job of seeking out things designed for entrepreneurial founders, and have combined it with a really interesting and relatively exclusive community of founding CEOs, many of whom provide free or discounted goodies to their fellow members. Bottom line: recommended.

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Posted on 4 May 2012

Is FoundersCard worth it?

I'm a charter member, and so far my experience has been one of moderate satisfaction. The team has done a great job of signing up vendors to participate in the program; however, many, or perhaps a majority, of the vendors are focused on providing products/services to wealthy individuals (W Hotels, for instance). That does not always match with founders'/entrepreneurs' realities.

The answer to your question, then, depends on how successful you've been as a founder. Are you bootstrapping or pre-exit? Then FoundersCard is probably not worth it...yet. Have you gotten some liquidity, or are you an investor? Then FoundersCard is great for you.

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Posted on 4 May 2012

What is FoundersCard?

A "member" would have to give you the full value proposition of membership, but here is the opening definition from the FoundersCard FAQ:

FoundersCard is a members-only community for industry leaders and visionaries, providing elite access to the entrepreneurial lifestyle and business opportunities.

You also might want to consider being more specific with your question to help people answer more appropriately.

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Posted on 4 May 2012

Is there a standard for a site telling a webcrawler that the page is behind a pay wall?

The typical crawler doesn't want to look at content that's behind a paywall. If you did tell us it was just a preview, we'd probably penalize the page, since users are generally pissed off at landing on a paywall advertisement. Thus, there's probably not much demand for such a standard.

It looks like Google's first click free program doesn't require actually contacting Google to set it up.

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Posted on 18 January 2012

What is the market share of various ad servers?

1. Need to define which side of the market (and platform) we're talking about - let's say, 'sell-side publishers' only and web pages (so, not buy-side agencies/networks and mobile/email)

2. Break down the 'sell-side', into giant pure-play digital publishers/portals (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook with proprietary ad-server solutions) and 'the rest'

3. Work out what % of 'the rest' use a specific ad-server: DoubleClick for Small Business - ex-Google AdServer - Open AdStream from 24/7 Real Media, AdTech's Display (Helios), aImatch, DoubleClick for Publishers Premium [DFP]) rather than, say, a supply-side platform (SSP) that can be used as a combined direct-sales and ad-server solution (such as AdMeld, Rubicon, Pubmatic, Improve). Even a demand-side platform (DSP) or Ad Exchange (Yahoo's Right Media Exchange) can be used as an ad-server. You may need to understand the difference between paid-for (DFP) and 'free' (D_for_SB, OpenX) ad-serving solutions for publishers, from a commercial perspective. Plenty of content-management systems (CMS) can server items that can be described as 'ads' - some are trackable, countable and clickable.

4. Work out whether we are only talking about IAB-size ad formats (and exclude any other sizes, text ad blocks for Google AdSense, video formats etc)

5. There are solutions that cut across all the above - and geo-skews (like eMediate in Scandinavia, Smart in France, Zedo in US, Switch in UK etc, some much smaller than others)

6. Google AdSense is both text and graphic, so that skews it, as well as Yahoo and Microsoft publisher ad solutions etc...

It's an almost impossible task, unless very precise criteria are applied to all data contributors. But some expensive survey will probably pontificate with numbers that are inevitably not backed up with defining criteria for the survey. You might have more luck asking several large ad-server vendors in the pub late one night what they think their geo-market share is for mainstream, IAB-format, premium publishers (and ignore anything to do with Facebook).

No doubt about it, though, that Google/DoubleClick have the majority (just?) share of the global market for mainstream, IAB-format, publisher sell-side, non-portal ad-serving to web pages. There, I've said it on Quora, so it must be true!

IAB format info:

Disclaimer: I worked in Ad Operations for 11 years and used DFP before joining a market-leading supply-side platform

See question on Quora

Posted on 17 November 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

This questions is very wide, and really depends on which market you are talking about. In most western countries (including France, Spain, Germany, Poland) Smart AdServer is the leader, in terms of market share, ahead of other big actors (AdTech, Doubleclick), just to quote some of them..

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Posted on 14 November 2011

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

We've looked at both PayPal and Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments unfortunately considers crowdfunding a "gated" business model, so they ask a lot of questions about your business that are intrusive, but I like how they allow you to adopt an "all-or-nothing" funding approach where donors aren't charged unless the target amount is raised (this is what Kickstarter does but IndieGoGo does not).

See question on Quora

Posted on 6 October 2011

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

An application running in seamless mode will appear as if it is part of the parent application that called it.  A seamless payment solution means that the payment processing application appears to be running within the parent application.  If this is a crowdfunding platform, when a project supporter makes a payment, it appears to her that she made that payment within the platform even if in reality outside apps were called.

At JCrowd we use Paypal which runs in seamless mode.  Even though the user is asked to sign in to her Paypal account, it is not at all apparent that control has been actually transferred to Paypal.

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Posted on 11 September 2011

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

If you want to end up with a professional looking site you need to shell out some money for membership site software. The best I've found is Wishlist, which works wonderfully with WordPress, which is free. All you need is a domain name, a wordpress install, a premium wordpress theme (make sure it's one that's compatible with Wishlist), and the wishlist software. This should set you up nicely. All you then need is a good business idea that people will pay for, and some great content.  Good luck.

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Posted on 9 June 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

The New York Times paywall will succeed because it:

- Maintains a Large Readership: The new paywall has many caveats to allow casual readers to continue to have access to the Times.  In fact, the NY Times estimates that 85% of the readers will be unaffected by this change (the paywall is porous for a reason!)

- Charges for Premium Access (e.g., tablets): Users are spending hundreds to buy a tablet, and they will want to fill it with content.  As this content can be viewed both online and offline, anywhere one goes (just like a print edition), it makes complete sense to segment this channel and charge for access.  Also, it’s important to note that top 10 stories AND front page news will remain FREE (i.e., ad-supported).  Users who want full papers on their tablets will be paying (which makes sense as these users are heavy readers and place a high value on the content)

-Creates a Segment of Loyal, Heavy Users:  Advertisers pay the highest CPMs to reach paying subscribers (this is true for print and digital). Thus, this digital paywall will now create a new customer segment of digital readers who are not only paying for content, but also earning the company higher CPMs. 

Will the times lose some traffic?  Yes, but it will be earning a lot more off the paywall. The average online CPM for a newspaper is $6.99.  This means a reader must view ~2,500 ads in a month before equating to the 4 week paywall price.

See question on Quora

Posted on 11 April 2011

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?


Building a website with membership feature has its
advantages. To start with, easier to track user behavior, customize features for user, generate analytics. Do not have to depend on some tool builder to provide you with such features (should you need them), plus addition of third party tools have ongoing cost associated.

If your site (as of now) is not user experience centric (or may be that is something that you want to take time
building), then credit card processing tool should work – for now.It is important that the vision for any website is very clear, and futuristic. Keep the design/architecture simple, modular.  There may be user interactions, features that you may feel are
far-fetched thoughts; but keep wiggle/handshake room for those additions.


Start with just a cc processing tool, but architect assuming you will build your own

user management.

See question on Quora

Posted on 7 April 2011

Are the holes in the New York Times paywall deliberate?

These are all good answers. There's one more: the NYT doesn't really care whether or not people read it for free on the web. The purpose of the pay barrier isn't to limit people's consumption of the NYT on the web but to push them to pay for it in mobile apps. If it were free on the web but paid on apps, the arbitrage pressure would be too great. Now, however, the barrier to reading it free on the web is high enough to persuade a lot of people to pay for the convenience of a mobile app, but low enough to circumvent for those who only want the web experience. And, as pointed out elsewhere, those who do circumvent it are likely to be advanced web users who share heavily and therefore bring the NYT benefits that compensate, somewhat, for their not paying.

Sulzberger's comparison of circumventing the pay barrier with running past a newsstand and stealing a copy suggests that he doesn't quite grasp this argument. The point is not that the Times can't make theft impossible. The point is that it deliberately decided to make it easy. And the right print analogy isn't newsstands but newspaper vending machines. You can steal a copy by sneaking up behind someone who has just bought one, or putting in money but taking two copies. The cost of these few free riders is set against the benefit of wide distribution. The Times is making the same gamble on the web.

See question on Quora

Posted on 5 April 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

I ran DoubleClick DFA for the last several years. I'm not going to provide share data since that would be confidential info from my former employer. However, I will give some guidance about who the players are and how to calculate.

First, you need to distinguish between buy-side and sell-side ad server markets.

On buy-side, it is pretty straightforward:
-DFA (Google)
-Atlas (Microsoft)
-A couple of others, mostly small guys

The only tricky question is whether to include DSPs and Rich Media vendors in your share list. For now, it is probably safer to leave them out since the majority of clients who use the products also track using a "primary" ad server.

On the sell-side things are more complex. First, you have to decide whether you're going to include the home-grown servers from Yahoo, AOL, MSN, etc. Second, you have to decide whether to include yield managers like Rubicon, AdMeld, etc who do get a "first look" at many remnant impressions. Finally, you have to consider whether to include video and mobile specialists like Freewheel, etc. So you're list might look like this:

-CBS/CNet (homegrown) (homegrown)
-DFP (Google)
-Google Ad Manager
-Open AdStream (24/7 Real Media)

See question on Quora

Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

I can shed a light about the Scandinavian market (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) speaking about solutions for publishers (data are approximated and based on the list of the actual publishers in those markets): roughly, in this market, 35% is belonging to EmediateAd, 25% to Ad:Tech and 18% to DoubleClick. But I agree with the others that these numbers are depending on some (sometimes subjective) assumptions made in the calculations.

See question on Quora

Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

Ari's answer shows the difficulty in getting true "ad serving" market share numbers.  Even when you exclude ad networks like you clarified in the question, the reality today is that most ad calls end up touching multiple ad servers or platforms that serve different purposes.

I think most of the time when people are looking for ad server market-share they are looking for the sell-side number.  Here's some somewhat recent data on this:

It should be noted that the data above includes Adsense, which most technically consider an ad network, not an ad server.   There are other ad networks included as well.

See question on Quora

Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

My rough estimate for buy side ad serving solutions in the UK market goes like this  (combined standard, rich & video serving)...
 - Google's DoubleClick DFA at 50% (and dropping as agencies/advertisers move to alternate plats i.e. away from Google)
 - Microsoft's Atlas at 15% (and dropping)
 - Mediaplex at 10% (high end estimate - flat)
 - MediaMind at 10% (and growing)
 - Other (incl. Flashtalking, Facilitate Digital, Adform, Weborama, etc)

See question on Quora

Posted on 24 January 2011

How can a community website successfully charge a subscription for basic or premium membership? What are some examples? has had a monthly subscription 'VIP' option since late 2006.

The key to making it work in a community environment is providing people value for their subscription without making the non-subscription people feel like second class citizens. It's a fine balance, but one that can work out nicely in the long run.

See question on Quora

Posted on 8 January 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

Interesting that Tom's article above contains a fairly meaty view from a different angle which isn't quite as rosy - Good article here suggests that sales of the trailblazing apps, iPad news apps etc, have declined since the Wired whoosh in the summer. And looking at The Times paywall content, it's a far cry from The Daily Prophet. And though that might seem a fatuous comparison, what's wrong with getting creative with your content, even if it's supposed to be more earnest and highbrow for the most part?

My point here is that it's the content that needs input before the application that delivers it. And because the expectation is that online content is multimedia by nature, there needs to be far more televisual and audio content available, It's more zippy, engaging and direct as the (largely) low-rent stuff on YouTube keeps reminding us. In other words, the newspapers and periodicals need to give broadcasters a fair run for their money in the next few years to return the kind of figures that e.g. gamer (social or otherwise) apps providers are reveling in at the moment.

And I reckon before that all happens you need nothing short of a cultural revolution in the publishing world. Journalists need to know how to become video journalists, simple as. And that doesn't seem to be happening.

Or does it?

See question on Quora

Posted on 5 January 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

It's ever-decreasing circles. Content needs an audience. Any move that limits that audience (or any potential additional audience by hiding content behind a paywall) seems dumb when content is so freely available elsewhere.

Once upon a time, you might have come across a discarded copy of a newspaper on the train, enjoyed it and occasionally bought it. Paywall is the equivalent of having newspapers that self-destruct when you discard them so nobody else can experience them. How do you gain new readers?

See question on Quora

Posted on 5 January 2011

Now that The Times (UK) has a paywall does it still link to other free new sites? If so, isn't that a bit hypocritical?


No, it's not hypocritical. The Times of London is running a business. It is in competition with other newspapers, not in cahoots with them. Other news organizations may choose to support their budgets with advertising instead of subscriptions (or, more likely, with advertising in the print edition, since Web ads make so little money), and that's also a valid business model. It's just not the one the Times is pursuing.

If The Times's reporters want to point readers to free content available elsewhere on the Web, that is giving value to readers, which is their job -- and what readers are paying for.

(Do you think National Journal magazine, which costs $1,200 a year, should refrain from mentioning Web sites at all? Perhaps it is honor-bound not to mention any publication that charges less than $1,200, i.e. pretty much all of them.)

See question on Quora

Posted on 24 November 2010 search results

Why is it acceptable for CA to put certain factions behind a Day 1 paywall?

They did the same thing for Rome II. The only reason why I pre-ordered that abomination was so I could play as the Greeks without having to pay extra. Now they're doing it again with Attila and the Norsemen faction. Obviously if these DLC's are available with a pre-order, they are already developed and should be in the base game. So basically they're taking an enticing bit of the base game, putting it behind a paywall and telling us we have to pre-order the game to have it. This means they want us to buy the game before the reviews and let's plays potentially show us how buggy/broken the game really is like Rome II was. Why do we, as consumers, let them get away with this? I personally will skip on Total War for the first time since being introduced to Rome as a kid.

Edit: Some really fishy/unethical voting going on in this thread, y'all.

submitted by Anticreativity to totalwar
[link] [179 comments]

Posted on 9 January 2015

A change in how /r/Atlanta treats links (and other paywall sites) coming Aug 1, input wanted

The moderators feel that /r/Atlanta is here to benefit everyone. Links to paywalled sites don't benefit everyone, and instead cause frustration for many. We already have a few low quality sites on the blacklist, and we're contemplating putting on that same list. The reason is that useful news is being hidden behind a paywall, making links to useless for the majority of /r/Atlanta users. They click through, and just see the headline and a paywall.

The proposal is that on August 1, link will be marked as spam automatically. Yes, MyAJC is a way for the AJC to raise revenue, and they're completely entitled to do that. However we have no responsibility to help them raise their revenues. We're not simply an advertisement for the AJC. There are many other quality news sources in Atlanta, and we want to draw from all of them. We encourage people to find other sources for their links, which Google News should be able to help with.

We want to hear from you, do you agree with this? Disagree? Tell us here. If the popular outcry is against this idea, we won't go forward with it. If the general tone is agreement, then we will.

Thanks for your time.

The Management.

Edit: So far we have exactly one top level comment with a "nay" vote.

Edit 2: Still only one no vote, so on August 1, we'll be banning If you're an AJC employee, and would like to change our minds, whitelist referrers like WSJ and NYTimes does for Google. Otherwise, bye bye MyAJC.

submitted by burnte to Atlanta
[link] [81 comments]

Posted on 17 July 2014

Petit truc pour bypasser le paywall du Journal de Montréal

Même si le journal n'est pas toujours pertinent, je n'aime pas quand le contenu d'un site m'est barré. Pour cette raison, voici les petites étapes pour détourner le paywall.



  • Dans Adblock ajouter l'URL* à votre filtre bloquant
  • Dans Stylebot ajouter le style
  • Tester avec cet article:

Vous pourrez maintenant lire le contenu bloqué sans problème.

EDIT: Merci pour le Gold!! Je vais mettre à jour cette procédure lorsque celle-ci ne fonctionnera plus.

submitted by GotNoob to Quebec
[link] [37 comments]

Posted on 28 April 2014

Microsoft seem to be *considering* removing some stuff from behind paywalls. Starting with their new exclusive programming.

I was reading the Destructoid article on the new exclusive programming shows on Xbox and I ran across one interesting part of it.

"We haven't set anything in stone yet, president of entertainment and digital media Nancy Tellem told Destructoid. "I think it will depend upon the content that we have. There's a priority to make sure that the Xbox Live service and what people are paying for that there's a real value proposition and value to them paying these subscriber fees.

"There are also others that we're debating actually to put in front of the paywall and that would be subsidized in a different way, but again having people exposed to the content and what we have to offer in order to give them more insight at what would be a real value to the Xbox Live subscriber. We're trying to figure out which makes the most sense, how it's tied with other things ... and we're also trying to figure out from an economic model makes the most sense."

At least with TV shows they are considering putting them in front of the paywall rather than behind it which is fantastic news. Who knows if this will translate to other apps on the system. I doubt Netflix or Hulu will do it, but say Xbox Music would be nice. Even if it meant only being able to play our existing music collection.

submitted by UltraRascal to xboxone
[link] [48 comments]

Posted on 28 April 2014

TIP: Bypassing Press+ paywalls with Adblock

It seems that more and more Canadian news outlets are using Press+ paywalls to limit access to content above a certain number of views per month. Some, like the National Post, are quite restrictive at only five views per month.

Fortunately, all these paywalls do is use a script to hide the content behind a DIV. The actual article is still there. Now, you could right click and delete the DIV elements each time, but that's rather onerous. A better solution is just to block the script with a couple of Adblock rules. Just add these two lines to your Adblock definitions:

||* ||* 

There, you never have to worry about that stupid paywall ever again.

submitted by freyyr to canada
[link] [34 comments]

Posted on 26 April 2014

Drama-magnet and former mod Agentlame banned from /r/technology, SRD recap submission removed and flaired as "paywall"

Former /r/technology moderator and drama magnet /u/agentlame submitted his highly popular SRD recap, "The failed moderation and gaming of /r/technology", to /r/technology hours ago.

The post, which consisted of a direct link to the SRD submission, received a considerable number of upvotes and rocketed to the front page, but was later deleted by the /r/technology moderators and flaired as being "behind a paywall".

Shortly after, /u/agentlame was banned from /r/technology with no reason given. Upon questioning the mods about why his removed post was flaired as "behind a paywall" despite being a direct link to /r/SubredditDrama, he received a response from /r/technology moderator anutensil, saying:

Oops! Must've hit the wrong removal reason.

The post has currently been reflaired as "not appropriate subreddit" but the process took a few hours.

Edit: Another user, Creesch, has resubmitted the deleted thread to /r/technology here:

As you can see, this thread has also been deleted, and flaired as... "Already covered". The only other submission covering it was the one above which had already been deleted and flaired as "paywall".


In further internal mod drama news, the new mods of /r/technology are apparently having continual disputes with top mods. In this screenshot provided by /u/gaget, a recently added /r/technology mod, /u/X019, claimed that he had to remove one of anutensil's comments from a recent /r/technology sticky thread because she was acting "childish at best".

Relevant links:

submitted by BipolarBear0 to SubredditDrama
[link] [292 comments]

Posted on 19 April 2014

As people who appreciate and love Xbox, I think it's time we became more vocal as a community and finally said no to the XBL app paywall.

Since the first Xbox I have been a huge supporter of Microsoft and their gaming console. I've put hundreds of hours into single and multiplayer halo, into curating my Viva Piñata garden, in exploring outside of my emerged bathosphere, and I regret none of that time spent.

I adore my Xbox One equally. I wouldn't trade the reliability of Xbox live for anything. And while I love the tech behind the machine, I find it painfully archaic that it still prevents people from using free services, that are available virtually everywhere, unless they pay for an annual online subscription.

As a next gen machine, it needs to stop relying on old policies. It needs to evolve and by making people pay to use apps like netflix, they are just reminding people of tired and old practices that harken back to a day that we've all matured away from.

If the Xbox one is truly a console for everyone, then this is an obvious boundary that needs to come down.

Edit: Basically, Xbox live is a service worth paying for. But charging for access to other subscription services makes the platform look bad, especially considering that no other hardware on the planet does that.

Microsoft is creative. Create content and new features in place of holding these apps hostage behind a paywall to draw in paid users.

submitted by Tastybread to xboxone
[link] [553 comments]

Posted on 14 December 2013

Why Should Video Subscription Services be Behind a Paywall?

After Netflix, Hulu Plus, and various other subscription based services have remained behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall for such a long time, should that requirement be taken down with the launch of the Xbox One? It did make sense that Netflix was once behind a paywall solely for the fact that Microsoft was developing the Netflix app for the Xbox and it featured things such as Group Video Watching and such, but is there really any reason for it to still be as such?

submitted by NimbusBear to xboxone
[link] [62 comments]

Posted on 1 August 2013

Side-stepping the SMH/Age paywall

Normally I wouldn't advocate for this sort of stuff, but Fairfax's subscription model is shitty (and expensive for what you get) and has left sub-holders like me without access past the wall.

Obviously in both Firefox and Chrome, you can just right click any articles and go 'Open in new Incognito Window' or 'Open in InPrivate Window' - but a much easier method is to just block all the SMH cookies from being set at all.

To do this in Chrome, click the favicon, and go to 'Show Cookies and Site Data'. Then just work through the cookies (any 'smh', 'age', or 'fairfax' ones) and click block.

Similarly in Firefox, click the favicon, click show more info, and then navigate to this screen where you can disable cookies from being set.

Now the SMH or Age will always work for you.

EDIT: I actually received two angry PMs about this so I will clarify. I have a paid subscription. Fairfax have decided my subscription tier (which last year was giving me home delivery) does not qualify as having 'paywall access'. That's my reason for evading the paywall, you are free to have your own.

submitted by passa91 to australia
[link] [83 comments]

Posted on 13 July 2013

Anyone else think Microsoft should take things like Netflix and HBO out from behind the Live Gold Paywall?

Not everything obviously. But for apps that someone can get on a Roku or Apple TV or PS4 for that matter.

Make deals for exclusive content apps and keep them behind the paywall, but let's free up the popular ones that are on every connected device. Would give someone one less reason to avoid the One.

EDIT: I believe Microsoft's position on this is that they are more valuable on the Xbox due to kinect integration (motion & voice commands)

submitted by standard_user to xboxone
[link] [180 comments]

Posted on 21 June 2013

Dear Reddit, We Changed Our Paywall Just for You

Redditors- really values the Reddit fantasy football community and so we changed the way our paywall works just to make it easier for you to read our articles without seeing a subscription message.

Our paywall was always meant to allow a free view per day to accommodate discussion forums like Reddit. But that didn't work in some cases because people would click to our site, then click back, and then try to click the site again after having used up their free view. We've changed the code on our site so that if you're clicking from Reddit, it should let you read the article you're clicking to even if you've already used a free view.

tldr: We like you guys and we changed the way our site works to make it easier for you to read it.

A great example of the kind of content we're trying to put out is this post on the Giants backfield and Tom Coughlin's historical use of running backs:

submitted by frankdupont to fantasyfootball
[link] [27 comments]

Posted on 19 June 2013

Hank Hates Paywall and So Do I

Hank Green was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying he really doesn't like paywalls, the irony of course is that this article is behind a paywall so very few people will ever see it. Youtube is now rolling out paid subscription channels which means that paywalls are now going to be all over Youtube, which really sucks. Paywalls pretty much kill sharing and sharing is what the internets are all about.

There are many people like myself who want to be able to support creators we love in a way that is easy, magnifies awesome, while minimizing world suck, but also that still facilitates sharing. Flattr is a service designed to support creators on the web. I think that giving micro-donations through Flattr to Youtube creators I love may be one solution to this issue. If you share things on the web I would suggest giving Flattr a try it's free and you may get a lot more support than you might expect. Yea for creators, boo for paywalls! Your thoughts?

submitted by gaiapunk to nerdfighters
[link] [14 comments]

Posted on 9 May 2013

I've met former North Korean soldiers, AMA

After seeing so many posts about North Korea following Kim Jong Un's barrage of threats, I thought I'd do another AMA in case there's any interest--my previous ones had a lukewarm reception to say the least. My background: I was a professor of literature in Seoul for three years, and I volunteered at an organization that supported North Korean defectors living in South Korea.

You can read about me here: (paywall) and here: (non-paywall).

While I don't know all the details about the North Korean military, their capabilities, or how real these current threats are, I do have some insight from what former soldiers told me and about Korean culture in general--both in the North and South.

Edit: Time for me to sign off--thanks for the questions; I hope I delivered!

submitted by michaelfosterfromku to IAmA
[link] [771 comments]

Posted on 4 April 2013

Portals behind paywall; access controlled by Ingress player

In a city near me, a dozen or so portals are located in a local privately-owned paid-access botanical garden. An Ingress player works at the facility, and is able to grant free access to his team, but access costs $12 for members of the opposition. Behind this paywall, his team has set up multiple L7+ portals - the only ones in the region - which our team cannot access without paying, but which his team can access for free.

Am I right that this kind of sucks? Perhaps more to the point, is this a violation of the portal guidelines? What course of action, if any, would you recommend?

submitted by FramingDevice to Ingress
[link] [49 comments]

Posted on 17 February 2013

Missoulian, Billings Gazette, Helena IR & MT Standard now have a paywall: Here's how to easily disable it.

*Article at NewsAndTech: *

I'm an employee of Lee who has made arguments against the "paywall" from the very beginning. My reasons include...

  • Our sites are already unattractive enough as it is, and offer little value to existing print-edition customers.

  • We sell local advertising on the basis of exposure (e.g. "Your add will receive 30,000 views a month in our 'Sports' section!") and the numbers of our most-viewed sections will now tank as a result of requiring people to pay after 15 articles. In turn, my department's revenue will also drop substantially.

  • Rather than taking suggestions from the people who actually work with the websites, it was simply decided that this is what we're doing, and it's non-negotiable.

The company who sold this to Lee, PressPlus (a subsidary of RR Donnelley) essentially sold us a bottle of snake oil, because the system relies entirely on JavaScript, which if blocked, disables the "paywall" entirely.

Disabling the Lee paywall in Google Chrome (All MT Sites):

  • Click the wrench icon in the upper-right corner, and chose 'Options'

  • Click 'Under the Hood' on the left, then click the 'Content Settings' button

  • On the 'JavaScript' section, you can leave the "Allow all sites to run JavaScript" selection, then click the 'Manage Exceptions' button

  • Add the following two entries to the "Pattern" field, with 'Block' in the dropdown box:



  • Close the 'Options' tab - You're done! No more paywall at any of the Montana Lee newspaper sites.

Disabling the Lee paywall in Firefox (All MT Sites):

  • Install "BlockSite" from the Mozilla Add-ons website (Just click the green 'Add to Firefox' button, then allow the add-on to install.)

  • Restart Firefox when prompted

  • Click the 'Tools' menu, then choose 'Add-Ons' (or in Firefox version 4+, click the orange Firefox menu in the upper-left, then choose 'Add-ons')

  • Click 'Extensions', then click 'BlockSite' and then 'Options'.

  • On the "BlockSite Preferences" window, click the 'Add' button to add each of the following (without the initial "http://" value):



  • Click the 'OK' button at the bottom of the "BlockSite Preferences" window, quit Firefox entirely, and then open Firefox again.

  • You're done! No more paywall at any of the Montana Lee newspaper sites.

Disabling the Lee paywall in Internet Explorer (All MT Sites):

  • Instructions forthcoming. For now, get Google Chrome or Firefox.


submitted by around_lee_paywall to Montana
[link] [25 comments]

Posted on 1 August 2011