At long last Banter readers can finally get an ad free version of the site. After countless requests, we've been wanting to provide this option for our readers for years but have been unable to successfully roll it out due to the publishing platform we were previously on. In 2016 we switched over to SAY Media's powerful Tempest platform that completely transformed the site and provided a much better experience for our readers (and made our lives a lot easier in the process). SAY has been planning this release for some time and we are excited that it is finally here.
Like you, we generally hate advertising and wish the site could be completely ad free. Ads clutter the reading experience and can be extremely distracting. But alas we pay our writers here at the Banter and could not survive financially without them. While our wonderful paid members have provided a much needed safety net that kept the site going during difficult times over the years, it still isn't nearly enough to be completely independent. Our commitment to quality, original content isn't cheap and advertising still provides the majority of our revenue. However, having an ad free version of the site is another significant step towards independence from advertising and the relentless pressure of keeping traffic up. The more paid members we have -- both for the members content and the ad free version of the site -- the more time we can spend focusing on more thoughtful, long form pieces. We're hoping that our paying readers will provide the majority of our revenue by the end of the year and we won't have to constantly worry about volatile ad rates and pesky facebook algorithm changes that can quite literally wipe out 50% of our traffic over night (they do this to us roughly twice a year).
Anyway, all this to say that the ad free version is now available, and yes, it's a much nicer way to read the site. You'll see zero ads, won't have any of your data shared with advertisers and you can cancel at any time. It's $3.99/month (the price of a medium cup of coffee) and you can try it out free for 30 days. If you don't think it's worth it, just cancel at the end of the trial and you'll go back to the ad version.
We are an independent site, always have been and always will be. You make this possible, so thank you from all of us here at the Banter.