On Ads

Jonathan Poritsky, Blocking Ads isn’t Stealing:

Online ads have gotten out of control. They’re heavy, they’re invasive, and they make browsing the web worse. There are many, many outlets that will be crushed when content blocking takes off in a big way. Here’s the thing, though: web advertising is already a shitty bargain for publishers to make.

The reason you see so many ads load at once on so many sites is because they don’t pay very well. Publishers seem to think the answer to diminishing returns on ads is…more ads! I’m no economist but that sounds a lot like publishers are driving down the value of their own content big time. The value of those ads is already approaching zero.

On top of that they’re aggressively user-hostile. They gray out the page or take you to a splash screen. They cover up huge swaths of content or even paper over every image on the page. Worst of all they flip you out from the browser and into the App Store to buy something. And yes I have seen sites load all of these at once. Enough.

My main problem with this is that Jon assumes all ads are evil in their whole, and there are no good ads. There are good ads. The Deck is a service that provides good ads. Carbon provides good ads. Youtube provides good ads, despite what some may think. You either sit through a whole 30-second ad(!) Or you wait until 5 seconds and skip the ad.

On April the 7th ManyATrueNerd, one of my favourite Youtubers, put out a video on about Tidal and advertising on the web. This was before the whole iOS 9 ads blocking scenario.

If you ever watch any of his regular gaming videos, you know that he puts a great amount of passion into the work he creates. On top of this, his work is higher quality than most video’s produced.

From the above video, my favourite quotes is:

“If I every one of my viewers didn’t use ad block, I could feasibly do this as a part-time job.”

This is my main problem with ad blocking, it prevents people with actual talent and skill from gaining revenue from the content they create. For this reason, I personally don’t use any ad blocking software on any of my devices, no matter the website I visit.

Not all web ads are shitty, just like all people aren’t shitty. In everything, there’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It’s just the Bad and Ugly ones that stand out the most.

Leave a Reply