Ads are the price many of us pay for access to free information on the internet, and for some users, it can be too high of a price. Ad-blocking extensions for browsers are a common means of blocking trackers and ads from cluttering the interface of websites you visit, but using them obviously comes at a cost for the websites, which rely on ads to stay afloat.
Now, a new company called Scroll has come with a possible solution for this, allowing users to browse the internet ad-free while giving websites money for their visits anyway. Users pay $5 per month – or just $2.5 per month for six months if you’re a “founding member” – and, through partnerships with multiple online publications, Scroll ensures that you can visit those websites without ads.
At the same time, Scroll measures how much time you spend on each website, instead of how many times you visit it, to determine your engagement with each publication. Based on that data, Scroll will distribute your monthly payment between those websites, so that each of them gets a fair amount of money based on the level of engagement. According to Scroll’s website, partners actually get more money on average from their partnership than they would by showing ads to users. You can check a full list of partner publications here, and you can e-mail Scroll if there’s a website you’d like to see added to the service.
In addition to removing ads, Scroll offers some additional features, such as syncing your reading progress across devices, so you can pick up on your phone where you left off on your computer. You also get audio versions of every article you read, and you can search for text inside every article in your Scroll history.
All of this may sound very familiar to you, and that’s because Mozilla was reported to be testing a very similar service back in July. Even features like audio versions of articles and article syncing were mentioned to be part of that service, but it never came to fruition. If you’re interested in trying out Scroll, you can visit the official website to sign up for a free 30-day trial. The service has an app for iOS and Android.
As an online publication, Neowin too relies on ads for operating costs and, if you use an ad blocker, we’d appreciate being whitelisted. In addition, we have an ad-free subscription for $28 a year, which is another way to show support!