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Former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile. Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for AWXI

Former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile will finally launch his new venture-backed news upstart on Tuesday called Scroll.

The big picture. Scroll is meant to solve two problems at the same time: It’s supposed to bring in more revenue for publishers while also giving users who hate ads a better internet experience.

How it works: Scroll asks users to pay a $5 monthly fee for access to websites they already use but are scrubbed of all ads. The business model hinges on the idea that with that user revenue, Scroll can send its partner-publishers more money per user than they would make per user while serving them ads.

  • Scroll directly integrates into the sites themselves via a javascript code, Haile tells Axios. The site is then able to recognize when a Scroll member visits, and then it can deliver that member an ad-free experience.
  • Scroll tracks user engagement and loyalty and then distributes to publishers a fee based on the share of time and loyalty they take from a Scroll subscriber.

Why it matters: Haile says that on average, it makes $46 for every 1000 impressions served to a user across its network right now. That's significantly higher than what most publishers charge for ads today.

  • "Even though members pay out more than ads, they're not going to cannibalize publishers' direct sold businesses," Haile says.
  • "Most publishers have a <80% sell-through rate on directly sold (ad inventory) and so we'd have to get super big before we come close to touching that."

Details: According to Haile, more than 300 sites are on board, including USA Today, Buzzfeed, Business Insider, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, Vox, The Verge, Gizmodo and metro sites like the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • Scroll is also meant to help users access sites ubiquitously across all mediums.
  • Every single story across the Scroll network will be available to Scroll members in audio, as well as text. "The notion of a better Internet is that it doesn't care about the dive device or app, if you read or listen, it just works."
  • Because Scroll sites are stripped of ads, they also load much faster for users.

Be smart: Haile designed Scroll so that it doesn't step on publishers' existing businesses, incentivizing them to participate.

  • Because of this, some publishers, like Salon, are marketing Scroll to their users directly when they visit their sites as an incentive to get more money from them than they would if that user were using an ad blocker.

Our thought bubble: Scroll is unique and solves a problem for publishers that hasn't been cracked yet.

  • It allows publishers to offer free website visitors that are putting up ad blockers something else instead that's still way cheaper than having to buy a subscription with fewer ads.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.