Content providers are in a double bind: readers don’t want to pay to read, but they also resist and resent the use of advertising and tracking software to generate income. While the introduction of subscription-only models has had mixed success, the UK newspaper The Independent recently shut down its print run, while the Guardian is cutting 250 jobs. Who'll pay to publish if we won't pay to read? [more inside]
"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
Google has removed Ad Blocking apps from their Play Store. AdAway is available on the open source Android repository F-Droid. AdBlock+ remains available from their own site.
David Collier has discovered a pleasant trick (requiring Firefox and AdBlock Plus) that brings the mighty Facebook Connect empire to its knees.
The maker of popular plugin Adblock Plus has issued a proposal for a solution that would allow publishers to unblock their ads in certain circumstances. [more inside]