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A Better Understanding of Advertising

A Better Understanding of Advertising

The current blanket bias against advertising held by a large percentage of the current population is understandable: The role advertising plays in life hasn't ever been taught to them and their role in the work force has been exclusively as a wage laborer. But free and democratic content, new products, and a thriving economy all require advertising.

Advertising was always baked into TV, radio, magazine, news and other media programming. You couldn't filter out ads, so the media economy was stable. Internet browsers apps now allow ads to be blocked, so a problem occurs: How will free, democratic content continue to be provided online? How will new products enter the market and be able to succeed?

Any ecology that includes parasites (An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host) becomes weaker according to relative percentages, and includes a point at which the ecology is compromised or destroyed by parasitism. Ad blocking started out as just a few people and caused no important harm, but has now grown to 20 or more percent of members of the internet ecology. At this point, 20 or more percent of returns for content is removed from what would nurture the system, and so on with higher percentages (the effects of this I wrote a bit about here. At some point even existing content is not sustainable, nevermind new creation.

Will that mean that there will be little or new content being created for the internet, and creators will turn to TV and print (and paid subscription models like Netflix or New York Times' website?

Advertising can be understood best in terms of funding something people want: More and varied content they can access freely. It's also democratic, funded by consumers. Alternative funding sources for creating content include selling a product directly, which influences content itself as well as its platform (and returns to the status of having ads, just less useful ones), or funding from individuals or groups (which inevitably means political or other influence on content). Alternative funding is an option only for large organizations though, and all small content creators exist only on generalized ad platforms. Advertising also means people in the economy can think up, develop and bring new products to market and have a chance of success. More broadly, it means all businesses can continue to do business, trying out new products on the market, competing for what buyers might want, generating goods and services, distributing money and tools throughout the whole economy, and in the process funding content people want.

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  pageloads since August 19 2017