Sat 22 Nov 2014 08:34:02 AM PST
Why I'm not signing up for Google Contributor (or giving up on web advertising)
Making the rounds: Google’s New Service Kills Ads on Your Favorite Sites for a Monthly Fee. Basically, turn the ads into the thing that annoys the free users, wasting their bandwidth and screen space, until some of them go paid. You know, the way the crappy ads on Android apps work.
But the problem isn't advertising. The web is not the first medium where the audience gets stuff for free, or at an artificially low price. Cultural works and Journalism have been ad-supported for a long time. Sure, people like to complain about annoying ads, and they're uncomfortable about database marketing. But magazine readers look at the ads, and even Tivo-equipped TV viewers have low skip rates.
The problem is figuring out why today's web ads are so different, why ad blocking is on the way up, and how can a web ad work more like a magazine ad? From the article:
If people are going to gripe constantly about ads and having their personal data sold to advertisers, why not ask them to put a nominal amount of money where their mouths are?
Because that's not how people work. We don't pay other people to come into compliance with social norms. "Hey, you took my place in line...here's a dollar to switch back" doesn't happen. More:
It could save publishers who are struggling to stay afloat as ad dollars dwindle, while also giving consumers what they say they want.
You lost me at
giving consumers what they say they
want. When has that ever worked? People say all
kinds of stuff. You have to watch what they do. What
they do, offline, is enjoy high-value ad-supported
content, with the ads. Why is the web so
Why do people treat web ads more like
email spam and less like offline ads?
The faster we can figure out the ad blocking
the faster we can move from annoying, low-value
web ads to ads that pull their weight