- Imagine if a trip to the corner newsstand required handing over your name, address, age, and income to the cashier before you could pick up the daily newspaper. That's close to the experience of many online readers, who must complete registration forms with various kinds of personal data before seeing their virtual newspaper.
What I would recommend is voluntary registration and voluntary user surveys to gather the same data on a sample of your audience. For advertising, target the ads to the content of the page, like Google AdSense. If you want to get tricky, start tracking individual behavior -- articles read and advertising viewed -- to personalize the ads to each reader. With these techniques, you'll have the data you need to understand your readers and be able to have effective, targeted advertising programs.
There's really no need for these mandatory registration forms. It shows the lack of imagination and poor grasp of technology of the marketing organizations at these firms.