Am I A Reader Or A Statistically Significant Result?

How many cups of coffee do you drink every day?

Are you a dog owner?

What do you like most about going to a movie theater?

Don’t be shy. Inquiring minds at The Google want to know, and they are now paying publishers like Adweek, The New York Daily News and the Texas Tribune, $.05 each time you volunteer an answer.

It is hard to blame the cash hungry digital publishers from trying this new advertising product from Google out on its readers. I don’t want to fault them for trying something that might work, but I do want to question if it will work. Because how one feels about this intrusion is going to impact the results, dramatically.

My problem with Google Consumer Surveys is having to stop at a barrier to the content I seek. Wanting to read Adweek is not like entering The Netherlands, or Mexico. Show me the freaking article, guys.

But no. I have to click first.

If you are a regular reader of AdPulp, you know that paid content is a passion of mine. I want to compensate the newspapers and trade journals I read (and remix), just as I want to be compensated for our efforts herein. But friction is not the way, and this survey shit is friction.

What we need is to grease the way to pay.

What do I mean by that? I mean that I will subscribe, or pay per issue, if the price is right. I don’t want some stupid survey and whited out text where the article should be. Ever. And I will pay to make it go away.

For instance, if I was asked to pay $.05 for each issue of Adweek or The New York Times, I would do it.

Sure, I could also just subscribe, but subscriptions create a bit too much friction for all but the most ardent supporter/reader, while there is very little friction in the online newsstand of the future. The one I am “whiteboarding” here.

Getting this genie back in the bottle is a messy affair. I think it can be less so, if we put the customer first. In a customer first scenario, one empowered by technology, the newspapers and magazines I read will know precisely how much reading I do, and charge me accordingly.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.