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Last month, I learned that the primary way we support Destructoid was quickly shrinking due to a browser plug-in: the ad-blocker. On the bright side, it brought some closure on why our ad checks never quite kept up with perky site traffic or growing bandwidth bills.
No, I'm not going to chainsaw your face for installing an ad-blocker. Chances are, though, you understand that blocking ads denies us some coffers and you probably feel a little bad about it, but all ads intrinsically annoy you. That's okay. Still, it is enough for me to say that it's a problem facing my site and other sites like it, and a few weeks ago, I started to appeal to readers to whitelist us -- that mostly failed.
Is asking for nickels the best way to future-proof a gaming site?
"Almost half of your readers block your ads. We don't think we're mistaken."
To me, I think this is becoming a real problem for websites that rely on ad revenue. I feel this mentality of block all ads and force site owners to find new ways to generate revenue ties back in to the entitled generation
, as I've called it in the past. People who believe everything should be free and that they are entitled to information, software, movies, games, music...all for free because it is their right or because they feel they are being "screwed by the big organizations/outlets".
Now, let me preface this with the fact that I am not referring to those who block ads on sites that are completely obnoxious, attempt to mislead with fake download now buttons, or require you to sit through 10-15 seconds of an ad before you can proceed. I am talking about sites that legitimately put up non-intrusive ads and adhere to a set of ethics with regards to how ads should be displayed to the users. I routinely allow sites to display ads to me that I support, that do not attempt to mislead or annoy me, and whose content I find to be reputable and valuable. That said, I will not unblock any site that performs any of the aforementioned things.
What do you think? Are the days of online ads numbered? Are we moving to a content-based society that will result in subscriptions for basic information? Yes, there will always be the free news site, but eventually, as they gain in popularity, the need for funding will arise and I am certain that the thought of ad-based revenue will be discussed. Heck, even donationcoder/mouser
has experimented with ads.
What do you think?