AdBlock Plus is joining forces with micro-donation provider Flattr to launch Flattr Plus, a new product allowing readers to pay publishers for their content.

Flattr Plus will enable users to set a monthly budget for what they read, watch and listen to online. In an interesting twist, rather than use a button adopted by similar products off the Flattr line, rewarding is automatic.

The system will use an algorithm to track readers’ browsing activity and the money will be distributed based on their engagement with the content.

An element of control lies in users changing the amount of money they pay to increase or decrease their budget, or give a specific site a larger share.

Measuring true engagement

AdBlock Plus and Flattr clearly believe that rewarding on engagement with content is the best way of monetising the hard work of publishers, some of whom will have lost money as a result of mass adoption for the former: Europe’s most popular ad-blocking tool.

But as with content marketing in general, measuring that engagement in itself is tricky.

Flattr Plus will need to ensure the readers’ money goes to the content they actually benefit from, and not the sites they opened for hours without reading them, or content they clicked on but did not enjoy.

“We want to do true engagement with an article, not just time spent,” said Ben Williams, who leads communications and operations at AdBlock Plus, to Fortune.

PerformanceIN spoke to Williams last year to find out more about the overwhelming success of the company driving the boom in ad-blocker usage.

The goal of the scheme is to earn half a billion dollars in revenue for publishers in 2017, a figure based on an estimate that 10 million users will set up a monthly budget of $5.

The product is currently still in beta testing, with plans to launch later this year.