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posted by azrael on Saturday August 23 2014, @12:21PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the some-pills-to-sell-you dept.

Sophie Curtis reports at the Telegraph that an ad-free internet would cost each user about £140 ($230) a year – a sum that the vast majority of UK web users say they would never pay. Ebuzzing calculated the average ‘value’ of each web user by dividing the amount of money spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2013 (£6.4 billion) by the number of UK web users (45 million).

However in a survey of more than 1,400 UK consumers, 98 per cent said they would not be willing to pay this amount to browse the internet without advertisements and although most consumers regard ads as a necessary trade-off to keep the internet free, they will go to great lengths to avoid advertising they do not wish to see.

"It’s clear the ad industry has a major role to play in keeping web content free, but we have to respond to what consumers are telling us," says Jeremy Arditi. "We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting. That means introducing new formats which consumers find less invasive, more creative ads that are better placed, and giving consumers a degree of choice and control."

The study also looked specifically at the mobile app sector and found that 77 per cent of consumers never upgrade to paid for versions of free mobile apps. "Publishers of mobile apps will remain heavily reliant on in-app advertising to fund their content creation," says Arditi. "That means the same rules apply – they must give consumers ads that offer choice, relevance, entertainment and brevity."

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday August 23 2014, @12:59PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday August 23 2014, @12:59PM (#84650) Journal

    I read that as "keeping the web" "content free". After all, ads certainly do lower the content level.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by cockroach on Saturday August 23 2014, @01:00PM

    by cockroach (2266) on Saturday August 23 2014, @01:00PM (#84651)

    I clearly remember paying an additional $230 for Internet access before they had ads. Thank you, ad industry!

    • (Score: 2) by ls671 on Sunday August 24 2014, @06:03AM

      by ls671 (891) on Sunday August 24 2014, @06:03AM (#84872) Homepage

      Yep! I run ad blockers and Linux but I sure wouldn't preach for everybody doing the same. Content cost would go up and for Linux or other open source OS, if everybody was using them, more effort would be put into developping malware for them and the "evil people" would try to turn it into an even worst marketing tool than Ubuntu.

      --
      Everything I write is lies, read between the lines.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by nyder on Saturday August 23 2014, @01:17PM

    by nyder (4525) on Saturday August 23 2014, @01:17PM (#84654)

    I pay more then enough for the internet. I use adblock to keep ads to the minimum.

    And it doesn't matter anyways, because they would still show ads. Anyway the corps can scrape out money, they will.

    Oh, they wouldn't call them ads, they call them "Sponsors" "And now here is another message from our Sponsors!"

    ya, nothing would change.

    Not to mention how would you make sure everyone got their fair share of the money so they could operate their websites? Wouldn't happen.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday August 23 2014, @06:17PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 23 2014, @06:17PM (#84726) Journal

      Anyway the corps can scrape out money, they will.

      If the ads didn't work, they would stop paying for them.

      The whole estimate is bogus, they calculated the average ‘value’ of each web user by dividing the amount of money spent on digital advertising in the UK by the number of users, which is clearly not how advertisers view the problem, or the web sites hosting the ads view the problem.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @09:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @09:10PM (#84753)

      Oh, they wouldn't call them ads, they call them "Sponsors" "And now here is another message from our Sponsors!"

      Check out the AdDetector add-on [wsj.com] which labels "sponsored stories." I think a red banner across the top isn't enough - they ought to cover the entire page with a click-through.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:21PM (#84661)

    You spend a buck for service, and ten bucks for marketing, so the service "costs" eleven bucks. Fuck me.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cafebabe on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:18PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:18PM (#84706) Journal

      Nielsen's law means that the bandwidth cost for serving adverts falls to zero. However, how much time, effort, hardware and electricity does it take to choose the best advert? As I understand, some analytic systems have more than 1,000 harddisks and cost millions of dollars. But websites run on advertising revenue aren't seeing this money and, arguably, targeted adverts aren't adding value.

      Previously, advertising required selecting a publication which aligned with your target demographic and then placing the biggest advert you could afford. That could cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, it signaled a certain amount of integrity. Nowadays, extremely niche demographics can be reached for US$100 or less. And once you've hooked them, you can disappear. Even if they find you, you're not worth suing.

      --
      1702845791×2
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Lagg on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:21PM

    by Lagg (105) on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:21PM (#84662) Homepage Journal

    I'm so tired of this argument about the internet running on ads. It's bullshit and on top of that insulting bullshit to those of us who not only remember the internet before ads plagued it but also run sites ourselves. The idea that people need millions to operate a website is just stupid for all but the highest load cases due to the sheer amount of bandwidth needing purchasing but at that point it's not only possible but commonly done to thrive on subscriptions /or donations. There are so many assumptions here and undeserved self-righteousness from the types that do this. Also, the survey itself was bullshit. They just gave people two choices: "Would you browse the internet without ads and pay for every website" or "Would you browse the internet with ads".

    There's so much wrong here that I can only quote the end of the article that asserts yet another bullshit argument that is becomingly increasingly common and is again, pretty insulting to those of us who write code. It's insulting to anyone that does anything free in both senses of the word honestly:

    "Publishers of mobile apps will remain heavily reliant on in-app advertising to fund their content creation,"

    Wrong. Publishers of crappy adware will remain reliant on it to fund their so called "content creation" (hah!). I've actually seen this so much that I have a written argument to paste because it's just that ridiculous and well propagated:

    I'm a developer who writes free "apps". The developers who think that their
    website, program, or whatever is a privilege and deserves to advert /or track
    the hell out of people for viewing it are the real ignorant ones. Add a
    donation link, if you don't like that route then remove your website or program
    from the internet while users find a better alternative not written by arrogant
    people. I prefer you didn't use stupid generalizations and say that all free
    programs earn money by tracking/ads. The programs written by shortsighted
    people are like that, perhaps.

    Your website or program is not an awesome epitome of software. It's a tool that
    people may or may not use depending on their whims. If you don't want people
    using your stuff for free, don't make it free in the first place. The internet
    was fine before idiots thinking that ads and tracking are the only thing that
    makes the internet run started piping up, and it will continue to be fine once
    everyone blocks them.

    and believe me everyone will eventually block them. Ads are getting worse all the time, they're intrusive animated flash or might-as-well-be-flash that sometimes even play an obnoxious sound effect. If websites don't try a better approach, well, they'll disappear and better ones will come. That's just how it works. I've been told a few times by people desperately looking to set up straw men that I wouldn't be able to make youtube videos for example if there were no ads. There's actually three things that disprove that particular brand of bullshit. First one being that youtube wasn't always like it is, second being that as bandwidth becomes cheaper (ISPs are trying to stop thriving websites by killing net neutrality, so if this kind of thing does die thank them, not the fact you didn't get enough sweet ad monies) it becomes more feasible for new hosts to launch and third being that my channel is so small I could feasibly host them myself on my VPS bandwidth. Don't want to though because I run websites and a tor relay on there (and guess what, no ads!).

    There's nothing wrong with people using ads either. I don't like them but if that's how people want to make money then they're well within their right to do so just like I am in blocking them if they're obnoxious and not using them in my own stuff. But don't be deluded by using this argument. You're not fooling anyone and all it ends up doing is revealing your own guilty conscience.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by halcyon1234 on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:52PM

      by halcyon1234 (1082) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:52PM (#84670)

      First time on SN I'm cursing not having mod points. =)

      This article spiked my BS meter so hard it sprained it. I need to avoid BS for the rest of the week while I keep it elevated and on ice.

      Their argument stems from trying to calculate the value of a self-justifying service. I can make anything seem expensive if I spend a bunch of money on it. "My business spends $100 per customer on doilies. If I took away the doilies, all my customers would have to give me $100 per year". Wat? Why would my cost to use your service go up in relation to the reduction of your costs (as opposed to the increase of a cost, or reduction of a revenue).

      And then there's the fact that EVEN IF their adverdoilies were a kromulant cost, they're overvaluing them. Money spent on advertising != the amount of money each user is worth. It's the same as if Starbucks gave me a free drink, and claimed it just cost them $7. No, it saved ME $7. It only cost you maybe $0.75 in material and labor. If you want to inflate your losses, just claim that drink costs $34,000 instead. Numbers, who needs them to make sense?

      And finally, there's the rest of the calculation they leave out. Not too long ago, I gave up doing IT for friends and family. Long story, too much abuse of services, etc, etc. BUT even with this stance, if I'm at someone's house trying to use their computer, and there's a virus/malware on it-- well, shit, Hippocratic oath and all, I'm going to clean it up. If Conduit's there, I must murder it. It must die. So, even as someone who does the minimal amount of work cleaning up a computer, I drop MAYBE 8-16 hours per year on it. All those malwares comes from infected ads (or infected ad networks serving up infections, etc). 100%, all the time. My time as a technician is worth money. Say $75 / hour-- friends and family rate. I'm cleaning up their mess, so I'm effectively a 3rd party contractor for the ad networks to do warranty work. (Hey, if they can make up "social contracts", so can I!). So my going rate is $600-$1200 per year that the websites owe me from this advertising revenue stream. That's over 5 users (my wife, her parents, my parents)-- so $120 - $240 per user. OH SHIT THAT'S MORE THAN $230! Ads are actually making the companies LOSE $10 per person.

      So websites, remember, you're all billed twice a month, with 30 day payment terms. Again, since we're all making up numbers, there's a credit-card worthy 29.97% interest rate for overdue payments. I've been cleaning up your shit for 15 years now, and haven't seen a single dime. By my calculations, you owe me about $200k-- just from the amount outstanding from the first year.

      --
      Original Submission [thedailywtf.com]
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:50PM (#84698)

        and what about my time it takes for adds to load on my computer. That's using up my bandwidth and everyone's bandwidth which increases bandwidth costs for the ISP's. Lets say adds take up half of all bandwidth on the Internet. These adds force ISP's to upgrade their infrastructure and so the ISP's must charge more to deliver a worse service (they need to provide twice the total bandwidth to provide the same amount of useful bandwidth and now they are delivering it with adds which makes the service worse). Plus adds use up my computer's processing power slowing down my computer's ability to deliver useful content and taking up electricity as well. Adds make everything more expensive.

        As far as cable and radio are concerned I make a deliberate effort not to listen to adds. Whenever there are adds I usually either change the channel or, if they all have adds, I mute the volume and leave the room for a while. We pay enough for cable to not have adds and the whole point of cable, at one time, was that it didn't have adds. As far a radio is concerned the radio companies are not entitled to have broadcasting monopolies, restricting my natural right to broadcast on those spectra, for their own personal commercial benefit. So whenever there are adds on the radio I either change the channel or, if they all have adds at the same time, I mute the volume for a couple minutes until the adds are all gone. Or I have a USB stick with stuff to listen to that I refer to. I do this deliberately because I do not want to contribute to adds that shouldn't be there. They're a waste of everyone's time and they're a waste of resources. If I want something it generally needs to be something I am soliciting not something that people solicit me for (well, there are exceptions. In some cases people soliciting me indicates that they want my business and I would prefer to go to someone that wants my business over someone that doesn't care).

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:05PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:05PM (#84674) Journal

      Great post, I would only add that I have gone toe to toe with many of these "creators" on their websites who scream about adblock and if you want to shut them up quick simply ask if they are gonna pay for the cleanup when their third party ad companies serve up malware to their patrons. By making ABP part of the default install I've watched malware infections among my customers drop right off the map and based on what I see at the shop I would be surprised if any less than 90% of malware infections come from infected ads.

      This is why I say its high time we hold these websites accountable for the malware they are spreading, they either use best practices and vet the ads they serve or they pay the cost of cleanup. Its not our job to fix your broken business model, its your job to find a way to exist without putting the public at risk.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Lagg on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:35PM

        by Lagg (105) on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:35PM (#84686) Homepage Journal

        Same, when I was doing home repair I had people who would have these massive infections but then I'd put adblock on there (and try to get them to use firefox if they could, oddly enough I found more people using it than not at the time) for them and never get a call from them again. This was a few years back too. One can only imagine how much worse the malware has gotten since then.

        --
        http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hairyfeet on Saturday August 23 2014, @11:00PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 23 2014, @11:00PM (#84770) Journal

          Oh believe me Lagg I do NOT have to imagine, I live it every week and I can tell you that the only infections I see after installing ABP is the classic "You want teh hot lezbos? We got teh hot lezbos, just instal "Iz_Not_Viruz_Iz_Codex.exe" to watch all teh hot lezbanims u want 4 freez!" and I was able to get rid of a good 80% of those by finding a site with full videos for free without malware. But every customer I get through the door without adblock software? Its just full of malware, spyware, toolbars and crap yet when I install adblocking and hand it back? poof, its magic, all gone.

          Oh and to those that defend ads that say "Oh they probably just didn't call you back" sorry, i have some of the most loyal customers on the planet because I am the only guy around that will make housecalls when they have problems at home, so I still get to see and interact with their PCs its just not for malware but things like troubleshooting their wireless network, setting a printer share up so everybody can use it, wiring a laptop into a TV and setting up MediaPortal so they can use it as an HTPC, etc. And I can state for the record that with adblock installed in either PaleMoon or Comodo Dragon the infections just disappear.

          BTW for those that are curious and want to see how badly infected the ads today are? Go download Virtualbox, install it, then pick up a copy of "Windows 7 Tiny" from TPB. this version of Windows uses less than 256Mb of RAM and less than 3GB of HDD space installed so it makes a perfect VM testbed. Then simply install the browser of your choice and start surfing major sits like Yahoo, the Escapist,video sites,etc. You surf for a couple hours in Tiny 7 and reboot...tada! Suddenly you have toolbars and browser hijacks and all kinds of shit you didn't choose or agree to, all thanks to infected ads. BTW if you want the full effect install Java into Tiny 7 before starting, because thanks to minecraft that asscancer is making a comeback and malware ads target java a LOT. You'll see with your own two peepers that you won't go a whole day without some form of malware ending up on the system.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Common Joe on Saturday August 23 2014, @07:28PM

      by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday August 23 2014, @07:28PM (#84742) Journal

      I'm so tired of this argument about the internet running on ads. It's bullshit and on top of that insulting bullshit to those of us who not only remember the internet before ads plagued it but also run sites ourselves.

      Yep. Like Soylent News. Or Pipedot. Or my two personal websites which I'm not going to list here. And when websites do get larger, (like Soylent News), they'll ask for donations or sell things. Then I may or may not give them my money. (Soylent News will get my money.)

      As a matter of fact, I'm trying to figure out which websites need money from ad revenue. Stores don't count since people buy things from them. What does that really leave that is of value? Search engine and news site aggregators? Search engines can run their own ads like Google does and Soylent News is a news aggregator. Blogs? I have blogs set up on my websites so that's not it either. News sites? I'd pay money for good, solid news. I've been looking for years for a good news website that is worth money to me. Haven't found one. I cancelled my newspaper subscriptions long ago and it had nothing to do with dead trees.

      Yeah. I'm with you. This news article is bullshit and isn't worth the ads that come with it.

      • (Score: 2) by zafiro17 on Saturday August 23 2014, @10:35PM

        by zafiro17 (234) on Saturday August 23 2014, @10:35PM (#84766) Homepage

        Agree - anyone who runs their own site should be aware of the costs - including time/energy - that go into it. I run a personal site and a few others, mostly because I enjoy it and like the value I produce more than I care about the time/energy I put into it rather than doing something that would earn me money. But I spend a couple hundred bucks a year on it, and don't recoup those costs. And they're small, relatively unvisited sites (boo hoo). But start getting serious traffic and sucking up bandwidth, and you need to start spending more money. That's the WWW.

        Usenet worked on a different model - you pay an annual fee to a news service provider like www.individual.net and they provide access to Usenet. Once you're in, the content is free. Usenet is distributed, so the costs are shared of transferring the culture. But that makes it hard to make a buck, too. You can make money by owning a popular website that gets traffic. But the costs are yours alone. How to make it up? Advertising. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

        --
        Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Boxzy on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:51PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:51PM (#84669) Journal

    Advertisers freely admit that adverts manipulate facts and trick everyone's mind into buying bad or unwanted products.

    This is damage, to my mind, to my free will, to my wallet and I will stop it.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 24 2014, @12:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 24 2014, @12:58AM (#84809)

      I've been feeling the same way for some time, but hadn't put it so succinctly. I'll remember this particular explanation.

  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:58PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 23 2014, @02:58PM (#84672) Journal

    Perhaps the sites that will not survive will be the sites that I don't want to visit. As another poster pointed out - there was internet before the advertisers came along to spoil it, and there will be internet after they have gone (if we get to be that lucky!). It might not be as content-rich as it is now, but that doesn't mean that there will be nothing at all.

    --
    It's always my fault...
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by zocalo on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:28PM

      by zocalo (302) on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:28PM (#84681)
      Pretty much my take. In true Internet style, I've been treating ads as damage and trying to route around them for years; long before AdBlock etc. became popular I was dev nulling advertising domains through DNS, and still do. If a site objects to my use of ad blocking tools and denies me access to their content, or insists on using some method of inserting ads that I can't easily block, then they have not just gained a bit of ad revenue from me, they have lost me as a viewer, and probably for good. The ad industry can claim it is funding the Internet all it likes, but anyone with a little sense can see this is bull; there is *always* an alternative site that offers less invasive ads, or none at all, and there are plenty of viable funding models that don't involve ads.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:28PM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:28PM (#84680)

    Imagine an Internet with no ads - you'd get rid of InfoWorld, eHow, about.com, and all the other places that pump out low-quality content. You'd get rid of consumable pop culture entirely. Sounds like paradise to me. Anyone who would pay for that kind of stuff is welcome to do it. I'm not going to.

    And it would encourage decentralized information. Remember Usenet, how if any one node got taken out, the rest still had the postings? Now if Stack Overflow went down, over a decade of centralized programming expertise would be lost instantly.

    And the people who paid their $230 would essentially be paying to be tracked by marketers, and their information aggregated by third parties. That sounds like a loser deal.

    Once again, we have to ask ourselves why the world needs to revolve around junk content and pop culture. Can't we do any better than that?

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 2) by cykros on Sunday August 24 2014, @09:53PM

      by cykros (989) on Sunday August 24 2014, @09:53PM (#85089)

      Oh, we remember Usenet around here all right. Comp.misc was revived around the same time Soylent was created as one of the havens for refugees from the old site. Afaik, still going active in there.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by prospectacle on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:30PM

    by prospectacle (3422) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:30PM (#84683) Journal

    ...would cost so much that the average view would have no money left for food and would soon starve to death. Thank the gods they graciously allow us to watch commercials.

    But seriously the ad-free internet would cost as much as the user wanted to pay. Most websites are not worth your time, let alone money. I hope ad-blockers put the majority of websites out of business, and we'll be left with places like wikipedia, soylent news, project gutenberg, and others which raise money to exist, rather than exist to raise money.

    --
    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
    • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Saturday August 23 2014, @10:41PM

      by lhsi (711) on Saturday August 23 2014, @10:41PM (#84767) Journal

      [Ad-Free Television] would cost so much that the average view would have no money left for food and would soon starve to death.

      Here is how much ad free TV costs:

      The annual cost of a colour TV licence is £145.50 (as from 1 April 2010). A black and white TV licence is £49.

      Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/insidethebbc/whoweare/licencefee/ [bbc.co.uk]

      Well, would you look at that. It's mighty close to the figure in the summary.

      • (Score: 2) by prospectacle on Sunday August 24 2014, @02:26AM

        by prospectacle (3422) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 24 2014, @02:26AM (#84835) Journal

        You raise a good point: It depends entirely on which payment options are in place. It's not simply ads or not. There's flat-fee subscriptions (like the UK TV licence), multi-tier subscriptions (pay per channel or package thereof), usage-based fees, progressive taxation, etc.

        For the web, if there were no ad-money, there would be four main categories of sites:
        1 - Hobby and public service (no money required to use, but donations welcome or requested). e.g wikipedia, gutenberg, dwarf fortress.
        2 - Government owned (someone's taxes or licence fees are paying for it, but maybe not yours). BBC, ABC (Australian), Al Jazeera.
        3 - Subscription/fremium (pay for unlimited access, some content may be in the free zone).
        4 - Pay per item. A shop, basically.

        Unlike TV, most websites are international, so most web surfing (categories 1, 3, 4, and 2 if it's from another country) would cost either nothing, or as much as you wanted to pay. Of course you would have to pay whatever your country's government decides to charge you for its web-services, but that's already the case.

        --
        If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by khchung on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:32PM

    by khchung (457) on Saturday August 23 2014, @03:32PM (#84685)

    By their logic, if there was a war that cost 2 countries $6bn total, then peace would have cost each citizen $6bn/population?

    Ads is a war of attrition. Brand A spent $1M promoting its brand on the Internet, its competitor Brand B needs to spend $1M just to counter. If there were just two major brands in the market, like Coke and Pepsi, then those $2M were spent just to keep the same status quo.

    This can go on from $2M to $2B, but it doesn't mean an Ad-free Internet now would costs 1000x more.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by gallondr00nk on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:28PM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:28PM (#84694)

    I can sort of see the conundrum - people want to make a living online. Knowing a few artists and people who do stuff for content aggregators, I can appreciate this. As bad as the ads are, I can appreciate that someone would like to get paid for something they're good at or enjoy.

    The trouble is the model is absolutely broken. There's a good little paper called Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web [peakads.org] that gives a few reasons. Ads aren't effective, they get blocked, there's enormous amounts of fraud, and revenues are declining. Even worse, the trend towards targeting, which ad pushers think will solve the problem, is compounding the problem and turning people to ad blockers.

    I know the argument that the Internet was a better place before this mass commercialisation took place, and in many respects I agree with it. Then again, there seems to be so few avenues for people to make a living now that taking a share of ad revenue seems as valid a choice as any.

    A few of the small filmmakers, speedrunners and podcasters I follow have been turning to Patreon as a solution, as in all cases they've said the revenue they've been getting from Google has dropped significantly. Yet this strikes me as an all or nothing solution - you'll either raise thousands a month, or nothing.

    • (Score: 2) by cykros on Sunday August 24 2014, @10:00PM

      by cykros (989) on Sunday August 24 2014, @10:00PM (#85090)

      Facebook is a different story, because if you use facebook (or even don't go out of your way enough to adequately block their tracking), you already DO pay for it...with what some people value more than whatever reasonable subscription cost they would charge.

      If it weren't for my ability to block their tracking, I'd considering paying to make them go away and stop tracking my web use, but definitely not for their "innovative service" (ie, wrapping the basic Internet services of email, xmpp, RSS, web hosting (images and such), and online calendar services into a walled garden and acting like it's an improvement...nevermind that it's basically just what AOL offered back in the 90s).

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @04:33PM (#84695)

    $230/yr is a bargain, I'm paying $45/mo now, or $540/yr at the moment, and that's the cheapest highspeed internet I can get.

    But seriously, running website isn't expensive, and if all the ad-supported web went dark tomorrow, what's left would be plenty useful. Wikipedia, BBC news, government services, banking, etc etc etc. Ad-supported sites are the forth of the web that we could do without if it came to it.

    • (Score: 2) by Tramii on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:38PM

      by Tramii (920) on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:38PM (#84713)

      $10 a month and I don't have to worry about Facebook/Google/etc tracking my every move and selling me out to the highest bidder? Indeed, I'd say that would be well worth it!

    • (Score: 1) by MickLinux on Sunday August 24 2014, @12:16PM

      by MickLinux (2659) on Sunday August 24 2014, @12:16PM (#84917)

      What they were really meaning was that an ad-free internet would cost each user an *additional* 230 a year. except that's not true. You pay the *additional* 230, get everyone to pay the additional 230 , and the first words out of the ad-server's mouth would be 'but if you put my ads on your site, youecan have a boat too.'

      Forget that.

      An ad-free internet would cost everyone an additional

      230+215+210+205+200+... per year.

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Sunday August 24 2014, @04:14PM

        by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 24 2014, @04:14PM (#84969) Journal

        So if it really worked that way, ad-free for $19.17 per month -- I'd jump at the chance. That's less than 4 lattes (if you tip), less than 4 combos at McDonalds -- it's a trivial amount of money, barely 5 gallons of gas.

        • (Score: 2) by cykros on Sunday August 24 2014, @10:13PM

          by cykros (989) on Sunday August 24 2014, @10:13PM (#85095)

          And hey, if you're spending money that otherwise would have been spent on McDonald's anyway, it's a VERY economical choice in the long run (or not...I guess massive heart attacks that are fatal the first time tend not to actually incur all that many medical expenses overall).

          Also, given that you're looking at it through pretty solidly western eyes, it might be worth considering how much money that is to people in less developed countries that can afford Internet access right now, but aren't really throwing $5 around like it's nothing either. Having the option to pay your share instead of get advertisements might be reasonable, but shifting entirely to a pay your own way model would essentially cut off large swaths of the human population from the web.

          Payment vs. Advertising debates are all well and good on a site by site basis. Making the entire web choose one or the other would come with huge losses either way.

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:02PM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:02PM (#84701) Journal

    According to the summary it seems that the articles argues "ad-free internet" vs "paid-for internet", that is the wrong division. The kind of internet I've experienced the most (and sadly see less of) are an internet that are split into four categories 1) ad-supported crap 2) discrete ad-enhanced but mostly donation quality [quite often in the form that ads only appear when the coffers go below a certain level] 3) ad-free quality 4) ad-free quaility with even more quality behind a paywall (a new fifth category has appeared lately - crap with more crap behind a paywall, sadly enough most newspapers fall into this category these days)

    3 & 4 is how I remember internet in the pre-tripod-days, and still how I experience the very good stuff like usenet-access.

    Would be more interesting to see what people would be willing to pay to get access to [an ad-free?] internet with a much better signal-to-noise ratio..
    (I for one would refuse to pay for access to facebook and instagram [heck, I would probably pay to have it blocked if I didn't know how to block it myself] but I would pay for a more steady stream of articles dumbed down to non-specialist-levels [but not the lowest common reader - using a swimming pool as a unit of volume is a great warning of a too-dumbed-down article] from technical universities, research companies and techncial information [ie. non-press-releases] from companies like ibm, intel, motorola/freescale, arm, pfizer and so on)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by velex on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:04PM

    by velex (2068) on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:04PM (#84702) Journal

    An ad-free internet? And I'm supposed to pay upwards of $200 per year for this? Don't make me give up my Russian Caravan tea! (Local tea shop---it's very good. Nice deep, acidic flavor that's a good answer to the ponciness of Earl Grey. A warrior's drink!)

    Let the internet(s) have ads. These humans love being goaded on by one weird old trick. These humans love it when they constantly see techniques that would enhance their sexual appeal. How do I know? None of them implement serious measures to prevent their devices from presenting those things.

    So let the internet keep having ads. Adblock and Ghostery will keep me happy. The rest of the humans can continue to be tortured by popovers, popunders, popwhatsits, popwherevers, and all sorts of other popping things.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @09:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @09:50PM (#84756)

      As long as you're taken care of, fuck everybody else, right? Its people like you that are the problem. The people who produce malware, viruses, and invasive ads see the world exactly the same: fuck everybody, we're going to make sure we get ours. Sociopathy is not something to be proud of, asshole.

    • (Score: 1) by GWRedDragon on Sunday August 24 2014, @07:00PM

      by GWRedDragon (3504) on Sunday August 24 2014, @07:00PM (#85026)

      The problem is that many of them don't even realize there is another way, and among those who do, there are plenty who don't have the knowledge to install ad blocking.

      What is a 4-click process for you or me might be a 4 hour battle for grandma. That un-knowledgeable person is, of course, also the prime target for scammy ads.

      --
      [Insert witty message here]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23 2014, @05:48PM (#84716)

    Besides this article being all hot air and no content the fact is amazingly many of web sites are paying good money for nothing at all. They've got oodles and oodles of useless JavaScript, images in wrong formats and not losslessly compressed and all kind of stupidness that makes the web slow and expensive.

    It's obviously the same deal as with water and electricity, it's too bloody cheap to care about.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Saturday August 23 2014, @07:26PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday August 23 2014, @07:26PM (#84740) Journal

    The question is not whether we want to have ads vs. ad-free networks. I have no problems with ads per say, for example I don't care the slightest that printed magazines have ads.

    What I care about is:

    • Obnoxious ads (that includes everything making sound, everything using a non-negligible amount of CPU, everything which makes the page unusable without JavaScript, and almost everything using animation).
    • Tracking (that includes everything which is not hosted on the same site as the page served). Note that I'm OK with tracking clicks on ads; I can easily decide whether I want to click or not.
    • Malware in ads. If the ad networks cannot keep their ads clean of malware, they have absolutely no right to complain if people block their ads. Indeed, I'd say ad networks should be made responsible for all and every damage caused by malware transported by ads they serve; maybe after they had to pay for a few cleanups of corporate networks, they'd think a bit harder about what they allow on their ad networks.
    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 1) by mathinker on Sunday August 24 2014, @06:37PM

    by mathinker (3463) on Sunday August 24 2014, @06:37PM (#85015)

    From TFA:

    Video ad platform Ebuzzing calculated...

    Yeah, I really believe the quality of this calculation. Let's not take into consideration, for example, that many UK advertisers may have global markets?

    OTOH, some of the other stuff in the article did seem reasonable, like "better ad strategies will be necessary in the future to prevent people from wanting to block our ads" (I agree, since ad blocking will just get better and better, and more and more widely adopted)...