Is Ad-blocking Fair? – Supporting The Creators Of Content
I wonder if we’ve all become a little too adjusted to free content. Many people create their own artwork, take photos, write stories/comics, build games… etc… and share them freely online for our own enjoyment. I read a survey about Google Play a while back stating that people just aren’t as likely to spend money on an app on this store, even though they can take a long time and require a wide range of skills to build. Many of the people who provide free content are often able to do so because they make money through advertising. I think it’s fair for them to expect a little bit of something in return for what they do.
Now I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty for doing this, in fact I use an ad-blocker myself due to the large number of sites that advertise aggressively. I really dislike it when I’m trying to engage with the content just to have some untargeted pop-up flashing in the middle of the screen. When I’m watching videos it’s pretty annoying to have to view the same lengthy advert again and again. I know almost instantly if an advert appeals to me or not and so a skip button is also nice. If the adverts were just spotted around the edges and were relative to the target audience of the content then they wouldn’t bother me at all. I get the feeling however, that aggressive methods have still proven more successful. For example, I heard that the game Flappy Birds made a decent income while it was out, but I’ve also heard that it was terrible for adverts.
I very rarely respond to adverts anyway. You could also argue that for every person that uses an ad-blocker there are probably many that don’t. I do personally like to support creative individuals online if I can. I’ve made the odd donation or spread the word – not everybody has the available funds to spend but they can still help in other ways. I think if given the chance many people will surprise you by showing how grateful they are for your content. I’ve seen instances where people have banded together to raise money for the things they love. Just look at some of the donation pages through websites like Kickstarter.
I’m on the fence about the ad-blocking issue because I know that some people rely on it for their income, but I don’t like being made to feel bad for not wanting to be bombarded with adverts aggressively. I think many of us would like to support the creators of content though if we could. We also have to accept that if we want to continue enjoying certain free content then we may also have to help support the creator as well.