A couple of times I wrote about how old media does not understand the internet. Here now comes another prime example.
The old media business is quite simple. They create or buy some content, today it is mostly bought from agencies, and since the content gets your attention, they put a ton of advertising around it. Whether you read a newspaper or magazine, listen to radio, watch TV, advertising is what you get. To add insult to injury, you the reader/listener/watcher pay twice. You pay attention, and you are charged for getting the media. You have to buy the paper/magazine, you pay for radio, and TV. Thus, media business were highly profitable.
Of course, old media wanted to transfer its highly profitable business model to the internet. Their website are plastered with ads. And since that wasn’t enough, they added tracking, selling your private data. And since greed knows no limit, old media wanted you to pay twice again, to watch ads. So they introduced their old fashioned subscription model. And put their content behind a paywall. But by then people had woken up, and those paywalls do not work. Especially, since you pay and still get tracked and bombarded with advertising.
On top, the internet has created alternative sources to get your news and your entertainment.
While advertising got more and more obnoxious and intrusive, as I wrote here, the internet started to fight back. Most tracking can be blocked, and intelligent internet users do so. And ads can be blocked as well. Around 50% of internet users do so. Firefox now comes with “private mode”, where trackers are blocked. And Apple is actively promoting the same thing, plus AdBlockers.
How does old media react to it? With lawsuits. I am not kidding. The big European media companies are suing providers of AdBlockers, claiming to have the right to force feed you ads.
In sheer desperation, one big media company started to block users, who use adblocker. That is fine with me. If you make ads mandatory, I leave. Your shit is not unique enough, that I turn off my adblocker. Especially, since ads are also a source of maleware.
Some people were unhappy though, and wrote code to circumvent the adblocker blocker. The game of whack a mole started. And again those people are being sued by media companies. It is hilarious.
While this fight is going on, I want to show you, what the media company achieved with its adblocker blocking.
One website was among the 250 most popular websites in the world in August/September 2015. Then they blocked users with adblockers. Now look how well that went:
Their users are running away in masses. And there is no end in sight. This is how you kill a business.
And this is how we win. Either we get the content without intrusive ads and without tracking. Or the old media business dies.
To quote from the brilliant science fiction book and bestseller Daemon:
Death to spammers
And while Dr. Alban sings ‘It’s my life’
we can sing, it’s our internet.