I don’t know about you but I am sick to death of the debate about Internet adverts. Ad blockers are not a new invention, they have existed on desktop for years – yet here we are having this conversation again because of Apple.
Due to its inclusion in iOS9 – content blockers as they call them, are big news again and tens of millions of devices can now block ads easily. What you forget is the average user doesn’t really care – but that’s by the by what the conversation is really about content creators getting paid.
Now with that out the way I can get to the real news, I am perfectly happy to see your ads. In fact I welcome them, adverts have been the backbone of content creation from newspapers and magazine, onto radio and television and there is no reason that should stop.
The Wired Way
If you visit the wired web page now while using a desktop ad blocker you will be given a fleeting glimpse of what you wanted to read and then a vail will descend offering you two options. You can either whitelist the website or pay them $1 a week for an add free experience.
David Pierce by his own admission hates the Wired page adverts – including a rather annoying auto play video. However they help pay his salary, which is interesting in itself as Wired is a popular magazine publisher. Interestingly this model has only been adopted by wired.com and not wired.co.uk – although only time will tell. The real thing is that webpage ads really don’t pay very well anyway – publishers need to resort to all sorts of tricks (such as auto play video) to make anywhere near the money they need.
We conducted a trial for the month of February on Eurotechtalk, we placed a web ad (through ad sense) on the bottom of each article. I did this despite my inherent hatred of them – to see what our options are for gaining any revenue at all – and it’s clear ads are not the way forward.
We get around 1,500 unique visitors a month (Which granted is no where near wired levels) – we got zero advert clicks and made a grand total of $0.07. Thats doesn’t even pay for the time I spent creating the ad and working it into the website. This is a tiny little box though that most people won’t even see – but it’s clean, ethical and fits in with design of the website.
However micro payments to websites are never going to work in reality, yes I probably would pay $1 a month to read the wired website, but I am never going to pay even a few cents for many of the websites out there that are ad supported. Contribute to read
Maybe we could have a contributor like system where you pay so much a month and websites that you read more get more of the cut? Brilliant idea, but getting the various platforms to play nice together would be impossible.
If web ads go away, and this means a few fall by the way side and don’t continue to regurgitate news that would not be a bad thing. With the added bonus of cutting down on the online noise – win/win right? Wrong – I don’t want all of my news coming from websites that have financial backing from big business.
Their opinions are not all the goes on in the world, and big buisness will always have a specific angle to tell – in order to keep the backers happy. So we are back to web ads – it’s the only way really. Keep showing me them and keep writing, but please do it correctly!
Adverts just need to step back a bit, all promises of ad platforms such as Ad sense and Amazon are not delivering. In exchange for tracking, we are supposed to get more relevant adverts to make readers more likely to click on them and buy the item. What we actually get is adverts for things we decided not to buy or have already bought. Making the slowness in your website and all the tracking cookies or loads into my web browser not worth the exchange. Granted it is the quickest and easiest way to get them onto your site – but as we already discussed they don’t earn you much money anyway so what exactly is the point? The answer – truth is people much more knowledgable than I don’t have one. However adverts will remain placed into content, maybe it is just the web we need to know how to use better. Until that point please continue to show me ethical ads – it’s the only way.