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Google's built-in ad blocker went live on 15 February, preventing intrusive or spammy advisements such as full-page ads, flashing ads and those that autoplay with sound and video, from appearing in front of audiences using the Chrome browser.

In reaction to this, London business newspaper City A.M. has begun embracing micropayment technologies on its website in a bid to gain back some of the advertising revenue lost to ad blockers.

The publisher needed to start looking beyond the traditional advertising model, so is now giving its readers a say in how they want to support the newspaper.

As of last week, readers who use an ad blocker will be offered the choice between having an ad-free experience in return for 50p per day, or whitelisting the site in their ad blocker, which makes ads visible again.

The move, supported by London-based company Jamatto, follows the same offering from the Hackney Gazette, a local London newspaper published by Archant.

Outside the fight against ad blockers, micropayments are being used by other news organisations in a variety of different models.

For example, The Irish World has employed micropayments to offer readers the chance to access premium content for short periods of time, and Irish local newspaper Limerick Leader is monetising its archives by giving readers access to old articles for a day in return for a one-off micropayment.

Screenshot from Irish World

Elsewhere, Dutch start-up Blendle aggregates articles which are then made available to readers on a pay-per-article basis. Having started as a platform with only Dutch content available, it has since expanded abroad with a presence in Germany and the United States. Blendle, dubbed the 'iTunes of journalism', received an investment from Nikkei, the owners of the Financial Times, in 2017. Other platforms working with micropayments include Tipsy and Flattr.

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