Reply to post: Re: @kryptonaut RE: " won't get content..."

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest


Re: @kryptonaut RE: " won't get content..."

I know. I dislike ads. I detest the fact that malware can be disguised as an ad. But, at the moment, ads are part of an ecosystem which also includes content providers and content consumers. That ecosystem is failing because advertisers have overstepped limits, and because consumers have gained the technical ability to change the balance of the system by cutting the advertisers out of the loop. That's fine for consumers in the short term, but in the longer term this disrupted ecosystem will inevitably cause the smaller content providers, who rely on advertising income, to go out of business. That's what the original article was about. There will then be less content available, apart from that generated by the few people prepared to work for free, or by people whose content is itself advertising or enabling some other form of income.

I'm not blaming people for blocking ads. But you have to see that doing so will have consequences beyond simply making your browsing experience more enjoyable. Adblocking is a very blunt instrument.

Content providers do not generate a site and then rub their hands and decide to insert big bouncy ads all over it, and maybe a bit of malware for good measure. They set aside an area and ask Google or some other service to fill it with an ad, trusting them to provide something appropriate, and receiving a *very* small reward for each ad served (more if it is clicked on, which is more likely to happen if the ad is relevant to the viewer).

Ultimately if the advertising model is to survive (and at present I can't see a viable alternative way to finance small sites) then the Googles of the world need to sort themselves out and vet ads more responsibly. At the very least they should give content providers more control over what style of ads get shown, so they could choose whether or not to allow jiggly-flashy ones, or auto-start videos, or scripts, etc. There is not that level of control at present.

I personally contacted an advertiser whose gaudy flashing ad was disrupting a site I enjoy reading. I told them their ad was annoying, and inappropriate for the site, and likely losing them credibility. They replied that they would think things over, and then a few days later told me they had changed their advertising image as a result. That seems to me a win-win situation - they now present a more appealing ad, the website looks better, and viewers are less likely to adblock it so the site will continue to be supported by advertising revenue.

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