This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2016-02-01 at 11:26 a.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/16234
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TidBITS Membership Ad-Removal Challenge Finished

by Adam C. Engst

Two months ago, in “Become a TidBITS Member and Banish Banner Ads from Our Site [1]” (7 December 2015), I proposed that if TidBITS membership revenues could increase by roughly $5,000, we’d eliminate graphical banner ads from our Web site for everyone. The December numbers were ever so slightly lower (“TidBITS Membership Ad-Removal Challenge Update [2],” 4 January 2016), and although we’re pleased that the January numbers were up, it wasn’t enough.

TidBITS picked up about 50 more memberships in January compared to last year, and some members renewed at a higher level, for an overall increase of about $1,900. Plus, we were surprised and honored to receive an anonymous $500 donation. Even so, because the funds received were a bit less than half the challenge amount, we’ll continue with our current approach, which is to remove ad banners from the site only for logged-in TidBITS members.

I’m pondering a few reasons that might explain the results of this challenge:

Regardless, we’re moving ahead with a full site redesign, and while it will have space to show banner ads to those who aren’t TidBITS members, it won’t be one of those designs where ads are more important than content.

[1]: http://tidbits.com/article/16125
[2]: http://tidbits.com/article/16171