Life After Content Blocking

Life After Content Blocking

This article summarizes the reality of today’s advertising supported web publishing models and with new ad blocking technology on the horizon, the future looks dim for many publishers.

Pour MN 382

By Jean-Louis Gassée

Ad blocking started as an initiative by independent developers who wanted to improve our browsing experience. Now that at least one company, Apple, has made Content Blocking “official”, ad-supported publishing business models are in trouble.

Back in the days when we bought a newspaper or magazine at the newsstand, we thought we were paying for the newspaper. We were only faintly aware that advertising contributed a large share of the paper’s revenue. In some cases, like old computer magazines, ads were welcomed and even avidly sought by the reader; they provided a needed source of information in a rapidly evolving field.

No strings attached, we buy, we read, and we’re done.

Then, the Web happened and newspapers and magazines became available on line. The unlimited number of sources of information and entertainment has lead to a new kind ofTragedy of the Commons: When finite advertising budgets are divided by an almost infinite number of Internet billboards, the revenue per ad tends to zero. As revenue from print ads continues to decline, Web ads aren’t picking up the slack:



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