Starting today, you won't be able to read BuffaloNews.com with an ad blocker turned on – unless you are a subscriber.
Ad-blocking software is a growing problem for publishers, who rely on digital advertising to cover part of the cost of reporting the news. More than a quarter of BuffaloNews.com readers already use an ad blocker. When Google decided that new versions of its Chrome browser would block ads by default – 40 percent of BuffaloNews.com visitors use Chrome – we decided we had to join the legion of publishers who block ad blockers.
What it means is this: If you encounter a screen asking to whitelist us – meaning turn off your ad blocker for BuffaloNews.com – go to your ad blocker and give us a pass. If you have an ad blocker, you likely already know how to whitelist sites. The request has become commonplace.
In return, we promise to work hard to make the ads on BuffaloNews.com a valuable part of your experience. Since redesigning the site a year and a half ago, we have added big, premium ad spots that can only be sold to local advertisers. In the newspaper, big full-page ads are an important part of the local information we provide. If you block ads on BuffaloNews.com, you lose out on the digital version of that information.
At the same time, we have forsworn the gimmicks that national ad networks use to annoy you. We don't allow autoplay ads that blare at you unexpectedly. We don't let video ads start playing in the background, slowing down our site. We have stopped accepting ads that float across and cover up part of the page. We have limited the number of spots available to the national ad networks. And the ads that we do accept from national networks "lazy load" in the background, so they don't slow down BuffaloNews.com.
(Every now and then, the national ad networks find a way to sneak an offending ad past us. If you see one, let us know and we will deal with it.)
Local advertising is valuable to BuffaloNews.com readers. We want to create a great environment that gives you the latest on the Bills' quarterback search but also leads you to the best deals in town.
For subscribers, you may keep your ad blocker turned on. But consider trying it for a while with your ad blocker turned off. We think the information you get from local advertisers is valuable enough that you will want to keep it that way.