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posted by janrinok on Monday March 24 2014, @09:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ads?-what-ads? dept.

An anonymous coward writes:

"Three weeks ago, video game reviewer and online columnist Jim Sterling used his weekly "Jimquisition" video column (warning: NSFW) at The Escapist to address 'the ever thorny issue' of viewers using ad-blockers while watching his content.

As Mr Sterling relies entirely on ads on The Escapist and his YouTube channel for his income and isn't exactly known for pulling punches regardless of topic, it may have come as a surprise to many that he expressed considerable understanding for those who choose to block ads [transcribed and slightly censored by the submitter]:

"No, I don't like it when someone views my work with Adblock, but I get it. I absolutely understand it, and I find it hard to judge anybody who does it. If I'm p---ed off at anyone, it's the advertisers; those reckless buffoons who brought up intrusive pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, and those f---ing banners with the smileys that scream "SAY SOMETHING" at you.

'There is this horrible cycle in place, if you didn't know, where the less ads that get viewed, the worse the ads are, because the less scrupulous commercial companies will go after the more desperate venues. What this means is, the more you ad-block, the worse the ads actually get.'

After asking his viewers to 'kindly consider' viewing his videos with Adblock disabled (and expressing some considerable distaste for those who publicly state that they block the ads and still insists on criticising his work), Sterling willingly conceded that ads on web sites can represent a real problem for users:

'When ads break web sites, when they ruin your browsing or are offensive to you on some level, how the hell can I blame you for wanting to obliterate them? I can't!'

Whether one likes Mr Sterling's videos or not, he no doubt has a point. Ads are the only available source of revenue for many web sites and content producers, but they have little or no influence over the kind of ads the ad provider serves through their site. As we all know, intrusive ads can significantly degrade the browsing experience and even be a malware vector. Besides asking their users to please endure potentially obnoxious ads, are there ways for web sites (like, say, SoylentNews) and content producers to make money from advertisements?

The story ends with an interesting twist: For those who wanted to support him but just couldn't stomach the ads, Sterling briefly published the URL to an Amazon wishlist as well as his P.O. box address at the end of the video. Last week he revealed that although he had done so in jest, several viewers had indeed sent him gifts (from 7:02 onwards)."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:04AM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:04AM (#20661)

    Ads do not get worse because of ad blockers. I work in a PC repair shop. We also do business IT. I rarely if ever see a single machine with ad-block. Perhaps my view is a bit skewed, but I still do not believe it to be a large percentage of the internet using population.

    That said, ads DO continue to get worse. Why would that be? Could it be that our current model requires companies to sustain what would be unsustainable levels of growth to keep investors happy? This is why we lay off thousands and ship jobs elsewhere. It is why product quality seems to drop consistently. I think it is also why advertisers try more and more devious ways to get their message across to you.

    By that logic, ad annoyance levels will only increase, and -that- is what drives further usage of blocking tools. The cart is before the horse here.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Skarjak on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:06AM

    by Skarjak (730) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @02:06AM (#20689)

    I'm going to bet that the people who bring their PCs to you are probably not the most technically literate group of users. They would do their own repairs.

    A videogame or tech website will attract a more technically literate crowd. I have forgotten the exact figures, but the percentage of people visiting these sites with adblock is non-neglibible.

    • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday March 25 2014, @06:17AM

      by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday March 25 2014, @06:17AM (#20830)

      Of course the percentage depends on the site and the viewers average competence. However I would wager the percentage is still low and my point still holds.