I am becoming more and more grumpy about the spreading presence of irritating website pop-ups instructing me to turn off my ad-blocker … even more so in the past week or so by sites refusing me access to their content if I have an ad-blocker active in my browser.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that there no such thing as a free lunch and that journalists are ultimately paid by the income generated by adverts on newspaper web sites. To demonstrate my willingness to pay for my news, I do pay the newspaper site that I visit most frequently a not inconsiderable sum of $$ every month for full access and that’s fine by me. Mind you, I am being hit twice over on that site as although I get the access I subscribe to, I still get the adverts though I think they should be removed in this case.
But the internet is intended to be browsed widely; just one news site is not enough to cover all that we need to know about the world while there is a limit to what any of us are willing or able to pay for. So, inevitably adverts are the thing.
Have these news sites ever thought of the reason why ad-blockers are more and more widely being installed? It’s not because we readers are unaware of the realities of life, we know that the ads pay for what we get BUT were we to be reading the print versions of these newspapers we could skim over the ads and only look at those that interest us whereas on websites they thrust themselves at us, they blink and flash and are laden with unwanted video content and sound tracks. They are a huge and irritating nuisance that eat up our expensive bandwidth and slow down the loading of pages, sometimes markedly so. As if those features were not bad enough, many adverts contain trackers and other nefarious means to capture and monitor our behaviour.
Perhaps if news sites were to accept only relatively discrete adverts that don’t hit you in the face, that don’t include video, that are light on bandwidth and allow pages to load quickly then they would find that some of their “customers” would be prepared to turn off their ad-blockers in return. You know – adverts like we get in printed media. Some compromise on their part in other words would help both sides of the equation.
Just a thought.