Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Paywall Company CEO Trashes Newspaper Clients As His Business Folds

"Ongo," founded in 2009, was going to be the centralized newspaper paywall system. Companies like the Washington Post, the New York Times Company and Gannett poured in a few million dollars to find a solution to delivering ad-free news to people who would pay for it. They launched their product in January of 2011, and at the end of this month, they will close their doors (and, as you do, lay off their employees). Here's the now-former CEO, Dan Haarmann, on his way out the door, talking to Nieman Journalism Lab: “I hate advertising in my news. I cannot stand people trying to send me a mortgage or a credit card. I’ve got two kids, so when a Dora ad pops up on an article next to interest rates, it just kills me. Not only is it a waste of space but it’s a distraction. The way that interstitials and some of the advertising is pushing through reading experiences even on paid sites, I think, is egregious.” Above: an amazing screenshot of the front page of one of his clients, McClatchy's Miami Herald, from the other day.

9 Comments / Post A Comment

Logan5 (#233,031)

Those things always make me think of that scene in "The Comeback" when Lisa Kudrow gets her first 20-second solo scene at the end of an episode of the sitcom she's on in the show. When it finally airs she ends up getting squashed by a rolling credit bar, and then a car racing cartoon robot ad that dances in front of her face.

Matt (#26)

I want to know more about this production of Romeo and Juliette, what a rip off.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Wherefore doesn't mean… oh never mind.

I wouldn't object to a floating Balk Brand Bourbon ad over Awl content if it was done tastefully.

Mr. B (#10,093)

But "wherefore"doesn't mean … oh, fuck it.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Mr. B Hey now.

Patrick M (#404)

The "Close" buttons on these are getting more and more non-obvious.
I guess the next step will be like the old WinZip shareware that would periodically switch the OK and cancel buttons to trick you into purchasing it.

Patrick M (#404)

"Wherefore is the close button?" -Mr. B and dntsqzthchrmn

La Cieca (#1,110)

Saddest of all is the idea that the Number 1 adspace at a big city daily is going to a ballet company. Not-for-profits sure as hell don't pay rack rates.

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