Google might not be too happy about an outcome like that, but I'm not overly concerned about Google's wellbeing. :)
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this since you work on ads: are ads actually essential in the software industry, or could we do just fine without them?
Perhaps justifiably so, but we have to keep in mind that any producable "value" will have to "hurt" in some way. We have to give something in exchange for "free" services. Yet the focus is only on the price paid instead of the fairness of the transaction (or lack thereof).
Either we give up the "free" model alltogether and shift back to paid services only, or we choose the lesser evil and live with it.
Of course that's going to be met with the same hostility. It's 99.9% the same thing.
> crypto mining in the browser
Of course that's going to be met with similar hostility. Climate change is even more present in the public consciousness.
This is true in a specific way, and it is sometimes useful to use this frame. But in this case, I think the frame obscures more than it focuses.
"We" aren't getting together and voting or bidding or whatever. I think the closest thing to a choke point for decision making about some of this is in Google's hands, with Chrome. At least until the browser monopoly wheel spins again.
> We have to give something in exchange for "free" services
Eh? No. The requirement is that services need resources to exist. If you immediately extrapolate to pseudo-moralistic finger-wagging at "consumers", you're ignoring a lot of ways various organizations have found to exist. It is either self-blinding or a heavy thumb on the scale.
This mutual hostility has worked for the entire life of the internet and probably has another decade of life if not more.
Regarding usability of ads, in 20 years I never bought anything shown. When I need something I search for relevant product solving my need and I buy it. And trying very hard to avoid fake reviews. If your product type showed on ads is what I need, I will still do my best to check the market and find best product type for me with lowest price I can get. Which is typically not what is shown on ad. At the end they dont change anything for me.
Now the question is - would internet without ads really be that bad?
That was probably NPR.
Text version: https://text.npr.org/
(Disclosure: I read book each week and I am thrilled by anything new I learn. I dislike pictures of cute animals and I do all communication with friends over the phone or going out.)
The industry would definitely adapt, but I don't think it would be more favorable to society. Here's what I would expect to happen if we stopped letting third party ad networks detect ad fraud:
* Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, etc and other huge sites are already big enough to run their own ad serving, and keep doing that. They are still in a position to detect fraud as a first party, and they're big enough that advertisers trust them.
* Current ad networks build first-party integrations, where to the browser everything comes from the publisher's site. This could be designed as a newspaper licensing an ad serving system. This would provide high levels of trust, but not as high as the current system because you lose the protection of cross-origin iframes.
* Ad networks don't find it worth it to integrate with long-tail sites, the sites make less money, we have fewer of them.
If we went far enough to functionally remove ads from the internet, either by banning them or by ads losing the adblocker-blocker-blocker-blocker arms race, then I'd expect a different pattern:
* Everyone moves to subscriptions of various kinds, probably with slightly porous paywalls.
* Right now ads are effectively a progressive tax: the publisher makes more money from you in proportion to how valuable it is to advertise to you, which is roughly in proportion to how much money you have. To raise the same amount of money from subscriptions you need to charge more than what people can afford to pay at the low end, so some people get cut off.
* There's a massive drive to consolidation: people don't want to have a lot of subscriptions to manage, so we get things where one subscription covers many people. The economics of how small sites get included in this are complicated, and I suspect this also hoses the long tail.
* Free sites are popular, making money through some combination of product placement, charitable funding, and funding to push worldviews. The latter worries me a lot.
This is already happening in the advertisement world of today, where certain topics—some political but some not—are not "friendly to advertising", and so get demonetized on various platforms. How is that different from the scenario you worry so much about?
I think they're pretty different. If you look at the AdSense prohibited content policy  or the ones for other general-interest networks they don't allow their ads on sites about porn, drugs, gambling, etc. If you run a standard newspaper, for example, covering the full breadth of what a newspaper typically covers, you should be able to put ads on ~every story.
In a world without ads, the newspaper would probably be a subscription site, and would be competing with non-subscription sites that are funded by people who want to push a perspective. The current dynamic effectively prioritizes perspectives in terms of how much people want to read them (because that's where the advertising money is) while in this new dynamic there would be more prioritization based on how much money the people with that perspective have (because that's where the funding is). I think that's probably worse for the world?
Imo subscriptions aren't viable at all. For me to subscribe to something I need strong evidence that I will use it enough.
Automatic micropayments with a daily allowance seem like a much superior solution. They remove the friction of making the subscribe decision and keep the content creators in check by only paying for interesting content. Subscriptions can be easily forgotten or aren't annoying enough to bother to cancel them even if the provided content isn't worth it anymore.
I like the idea, and I do use their service. They have plenty of room to improve- the articles they pick tend to almost always have a certain political slant, and I find more puff than meat more often than I think a curated service should offer.
But. It's a real attempt at a new model, and they're trying. I do get enough value out of it to keep using them to the few-dollars-a-month level, and I hope they improve their system over time.
Which is precisely why companies prefer the subscription model. See gyms, cable TV, and insurance companies.
How do you ensure some content quality that goes beyond a headline and a catchy teaser paragraph?
Kindle Unlimited had this problem when they started distributing payouts based on pages read, which led to a proliferation of books with catchy first page, instructions to skip to the last page and a bunch of junk in between.
How about a simple button that makes a view/visit not count?
> instructions to skip to the last page
That happened because it didn't count pages read or time spent.
I’ve managed to find value from Kindle Unlimited, but pretty much nobody but self published authors (which I have no problem with, but there’s effectively zero bar to entry meaning quality is over the place) is available on the service because of the KDP Select issue. It doesn’t seem to be evenly enforced either, since the Harry Potter books are available via Kindle Unlimited yet are available for sale on other eBook stores, for example.
That is great, but who are the people paying you? Are they end users, or are you selling a service to other web companies that DO rely on ad dollars to make money?
It's all well and good to say that you hate ads because you can afford to pay to remove them. Many can't, and we should think very carefully before we remove services they need.
Anecdotally, the advertisement-supported content is mostly garbage.
If one looks at the history of the HBO cable channel vs. broadcast channels (i.e. ABC, NBC, and CBS), and also Netflix, I think one can see there are similar dynamics at play.
The chaos of freedom is a beautiful thing, but using the government to enforce your version of utopia is scary.
I'm not sure I understand the point of saying you listen to non-ad-supported podcast, and not mentioning how they are supported or if it's pure hobbyist stuff you listen to.
Advertising comes in many forms (i.e. native content), and unless you link your .opml file, I can't ascertain the value of your statement. I do not recommend doing so, but young tech people think it's OK to put your real name on the internet (which is contrary to the ideas I was taught in the 90s; the use of pseudonyms has proven sound given our current circumstances).
The current allocation of human productivity enablement is not the only one possible (and an "is" is not an "ought to be" as per Hume).
Vimeo requires the person creating the content to pay, yes? So if I want to do a series of videos on Kibana, or Active Directory, or astrophysics, I need to pay Vimeo in addition to the effort of creating my content.
Basically no one outside a philosophy lecture has ever suggested that the current state of anything is the only possible one, that's a meaningless strawman. Please avoid the condescending suggestion that others can't imagine things being different, it's as patronizing as it is pointless.