The Economist: (behind a paywall – and, whoa, they updated their site to a new design as I was writing this)
This is what Bill Gross has recently started offering at SNAP, a search engine that he founded. United Airlines, for instance, places text links on SNAP’s search pages, but it pays (about $10) not when somebody clicks or calls, but only when somebody actually buys a ticket. Eventually, argues Mr Gross, 100% of advertising will follow such a pay-per-sale approach—although he won’t guess how soon—because this is “the holy grail of advertising.”
Now, why do I have this infatuation with online advertising? Because I want quality online reporting, and I don’t want it to be behind a paywall, I want it to be free and open so I can read from as many different sources as I want, and so I and others can link to it and have conversations about it in our blogs.
For this to happen, publishers have to be able to make a living from ads. Now we’re just waiting for The Economist to join the conversation and drop the paywall.