The Internet is without a doubt the most comprehensive resource in the entire world with an almost immeasurable amount of content that is growing exponentially every single day – every second in fact.
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it and it’s even more amazing when you consider that in terms of information it is almost exclusively free.
Hundreds of millions of webmasters add to this pool of never ending content every day with enthusiasm and vigour without taking any payment from the viewers of that content and the reason they do this is thanks to advertising and the global advertising networks that make it easy for anyone with a hosting account and a few ideas to make money from advertising without having to really know anything about the logistics.
Of course not everyone partakes in this practice – Wikipedia are very well known for completely avoiding advertising even though there is no doubt they could make a very considerable fortune from doing so. Other sites and quite the opposite and revel in the opportunity to make advertising revenue – in fact some websites have as many as 50 advertising calls on a single page load.
There is a new wave of services now that aim to block these ads for the end users, installed on the end user’s PC these services intercept the advertising calls for each website that the user visits and block them from being displayed at all. It is very easy to see why people use these services because on some advert-heavy websites it’s actually hard to read the content on the site because of all the adverts but it does pose a problem that threatens the foundations of the Internet.
The problem is that if everyone starts blocking adverts then the webmasters will not make any money – sure service providers and retailers will continue to make money but the providers of all the free information on the internet will not and they will then be forced to either stop providing that information or to start charging for it.
Perhaps a more innovative solution is required – with the help of some big data analytics perhaps we could have a micro payments type of system but an autonomous one – as you browse the internet every page that you visit calculates your average worth as a visitor to that page and you have the option to see the adverts or pay that amount; this would keep the webmasters and the advertisers happy whilst keeping the option for a free Internet open to all users.
The cost that accumulates from these micro payments could be considered just another service charge similar to that of the Internet charge itself.
Maybe this idea would work, maybe it would not but the alternative will probably end up involving webmasters detecting when you are blocking ads and either blocking you from the site all together or charging you to visit the site without ads.