Stop selling - start telling: 15min's paywall initiative against ad-blockers
2017 Finalist

Stop selling - start telling: 15min's paywall initiative against ad-blockers


Vilnius, Lithuania

Category Paid Content or Subscription Initiative

Overview of this campaign

Unlike many anti-ad-blocking campaigns, which feature a pop-up simply asking to „whitelist“ the site ir subscribe to get paid content, 15min uses its journalists to appeal to readers directly. The goal is to humanize the struggle to pay for journalism by putting the staff front-and-center.

15min created a series of 12 videos. The videos are each associated with articles readers are searching for. A story on business section features a business journalist making the case for supporting the site. The homepage remains unblocked.

Although each video slightly differs, key message is the same: whitelist 15min from ad-blocking, or pay a €1 per month to support its journalism. The goal is that the reader makes either of these steps.

Results for this campaign

One cannot declare the fight against ad-blockers over but 15min consider its strategy to be a success.

More than 600 of 15min users have decided to choose a subscription fee. A majority of those users opted to subscribe for a full year. But the number of users that have opted to whitelist the website is way up. Before the videos went live, 15min served about 500,000 daily pageviews for users with ad-blockers. That number has since decreased 10 times: to 50 000 pageviews per day.

15min's readership numbers did not drop. Actually, they continued to grow, according to official stats by „Gemius Audience“.

What’s equally important, this unique and bold step against ad-blocker has raised 15min’s brand value and contributed significantly to 15min’s annual revenue growth. As the country’s advertising market grew up by 15 % in 2016, 15min revenue growth has been 45 %.

15min remains the only media in Lithuania that have taken actions against ad-blockers and offering a paywall. A move, respected by advertisers, marketers and media opinion leaders.


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory