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Wouldn't work. Users who are willing to pay to make ads go away are the most valuable audience for advertisers because they have money to spend. Therefore FB would have to charge a TON of money to make up for their billions in lost ads revenue, and nobody would pay that amount anyway.





That doesn't really make sense to me. I'm willing and able to pay for an ad-free experience. I will never ever click on an ad. Ever. I adblock like crazy. I don't see how I'm at all valuable to advertisers. And I suspect I'm nowhere near alone when it comes to people who would pay for no ads.

A quick search claims FB's annualized average ad revenue per user for 2018 was just under $25[0]. If I got value out of FB (I used to be a regular user, but now I just have the account for event invitations and otherwise never check it), I would absolutely pay $25/year to be able to use it without ads.

I suspect FB is near the top end for how much ad revenue they're able to extract from people; I imagine most sites are sub-$1 (certainly sub-$5), and could price subscriptions accordingly.

[0] https://www.statista.com/statistics/234056/facebooks-average...


It's not as simple as charging ad revenue per user.

Only a small subset of users can/would afford to pay $25/yr for Facebook, and these users are arguably the most valuable to advertisers. Therefore by letting them skip ads, FB would lose out on more than $25/yr/user.

It might be profitable at something like $1,000/yr, but who would pay that?


So you just repeated the same argument I replied to, without adding anything new. It absolutely does not follow to me that the people who could and would pay for an ad-free experience are the most valuable to advertisers. As I pointed out, I am one of those people, and I expect I am worth nearly nothing to advertisers. Sure, there's certainly a subset of the would/could crowd who click on ads like crazy and buy a bunch of crap, but is that in the majority? I wouldn't think so.

And besides, there's always a number that works out to a break-even point. Maybe it's above $25/yr, but suggesting it's as high as $1000/yr is absurd. Even if it's $100/yr, I'd still bite (not for FB, but for a site I'd actually get use out of to the degree that many people do with FB). Sure, that further reduces the pool of people who could/would pay, but it'd still be an available option for some people.


I am willing to pay, but I very strongly despise ads. I'm not sure I have value for advertisers, as I never click on ads. In fact I'm pretty sure advertisers are wasting money on me, and Facebook is quite happy to continue charging them anyway

Not sure about that. I just think that so few people would be willing to pay for it that it's just not worth the effort. Introducing billing brings administrative costs and requires more support. Sure, the HN crowd would maybe pay for ad free facebook, but ads don't seem to be that unpopular for most people.

It introduces far, far less overhead than advertising does though, so I bet they could handle it. Especially if they did $5/mo and essentially doubled the profits from these people.

Most users who are willing to pay to make ads go away are also people who are willing to make ads go away for free. They install uBlock Origin and get rid of most ads from most sites. Why pay $5 to this site and $12 to that site when you can just get an ad-free experience for free, with no ongoing commitments and no recurring transactions?

I think you are over-generalizing. As an anec-datum, I made this point to someone in 2014 (that FB makes about $25/year/person)and I asked if he would pay $25/year. He said he would pay $25/month. And this is definitely not someone who is going to be bothered to learn anything about installing adblockers. He just happens to be reasonably successful in his non-tech field.

Seems to have worked out fine for YouTube (Premium subscriber here).

Perhaps but I'd put money on them still data-mining the shit out of you...

So you're paying to remove ads but tracking and monetisation is still happening.


Same here - YouTube premium is actually a very reasonable priced offering. Its quite enjoyable without ads.

Reddit lets people pay to not see ads. It's $6/mo.

Reddit is not, by all accounts, a profitable company.



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