The problem is ad distribution companies here and now. The problem won't be gone until they're gone.
Given the choice of paying $1 for a podcast or pirating said podcast, sufficient number of people would not choose the first option to make it a viable business.
1. People who are adblocking are saying that they are not willing to pay with attention. You can only compare their relative willingness to pay with attention vs money when you provide both options fairly.
2. I don't take it as given that businesses have the right to make money however they want. There are human right principles and I think an important fundamental right missing from the UN Declaration is the right to not be subjected to subtle influence techniques that compromise your beliefs (even if those belief are about which soap you should buy). Any business strategy that goes against this principle should be illegal and if certain industries and businesses die as a result, so be it. I would take no economic growth over compromised human rights any day.
As a person who's adblocking, that is not what I'm saying. I'm perfectly willing to pay with attention; I'm not willing to pay with my data, I'm not willing to be tracked across sites, and I'm not willing to let my browser execute whatever garbage the ad network is sending down the pipe at me.
Myself, I'd prefer to pay with my data if the terms were clear. I have an issue with manipulation, and I'll be blocking all ads I can until the ones that are left are non-attention-grabbing, non-interactive, not manipulative, related to the site I'm in, moderated, and preferably pull, not push.
What does that leave? I don't pay for YouTube, for example. Not that I care that much, because the stuff I watch on YouTube is mostly not the stuff I would miss. The stuff I would miss would probably be available even if YouTube didn't exist (e.g. Zero Punctuation).
Since we're talking about paying, here's another question: do I resort to piracy? Yes, because there are often good reasons to do so.
Movies and shows? Netflix and Amazon mostly don't have subtitles in Spanish, so when I wanna watch something with my wife, sometimes the only way is to download it.
Music? I'd love to be able to come to some agreement with Spotify that lets me save a number of songs a month or a year and let them be mine, so they'll never disappear from my playlist just because Spotify pulled them.
Books? Usually the first book I read from an author I haven't read before is a book I'll pirate. If it's good, I'll buy it and buy that author's subsequent books. We used to use libraries for that kind of stuff.
As you can see, most of those problems aren't solvable by ads.
Here's a question for you, though: do you think Wikipedia would be better off with ads?
Can you please explicitly list those alternative payment methods you had in mind?
When I last researched this, alternatives like micropayments, Flattr, cryptocurrency, digital wallet donations, etc are not viable revenue amounts in comparison to credit-card subscriptions or sponsored ads.
As for the mobile phone payments that are more popular than credit-cards in China and Africa, those are not privacy-preserving from what I can tell.
Then there's also Blik, which is the same except I don't even have to log in on the web page; I read a random six-digit code off my bank's app, enter it on the payment intermediary site, confirm again on the phone, and money moves.
The conventional wisdom is that ads are more convenient. I hope that, sooner or later, this will stop being true and we'll have a variety of better ways of supporting content.
i strongly disagree. everyone's beliefs need to be challenged. that is the only way we have progressed as a society throughout the ages.
This is why I love Patreon, it has the possibility to shift us back into the "for the joy of it" production - removing the need to shill on a month-by-month basis. If enough people support you directly then advertising loses it's appeal by spurning potential listeners. Meanwhile your hobby is getting support from the other hobbyists and people with a slight interest can dip their toes in and explore the world.
On the web, put up an add with no tracking (effectively a digital billboard) and I'll stop using my ad blocker. The advertising might be annoying, but the surveillance is a human rights violation (according to the UN).
I watch baseball games on the MLB streaming service and when they go to commercials, the screen goes to a static image with no sound. It's kind of jarring and I think I would prefer to have something still playing. The best thing would be if they just went to a wide shot of the ballpark with ballpark sounds, but the normal ads are better than silence IMHO.
The only reason people don’t choose free over paying is if the convenience or cost is worth it. For music, organizing and having easy access to all music files is worth $10/month or less to many people versus risking copyright infringement charges. But raise that to $100/month, and see what people do...
The ease of transferring data on the internet and high bandwidth connections tilts the favor in choosing the free version.
Perhaps paid podcasts are possible if it’s easy enough, I might not mind 50 cents or $1 via Apple Pay in my podcasts app, or a subscription service that eliminates all ads.
Even if we ignore the piracy angle, an additional problem is if a vendor provides a service for free or cheaper with ads, people choose that one over one that is paid. So for items meant for mass consumption, such as podcasts, the more lucrative ones will be the ones with ads. Similar to how no one can compete with free offerings from Google or Facebook.
The problem is that often it's hard to get anything but an ad-buttressed solution because everyone wants to double-dip (e.g. NYTimes, Hulu). Further the conversation often comes up for things that have lower value, but the creators hope it's their payday. There are countless podcasts that seem low effort -- usually a group of guys chatting with no preparation or work about things -- that I have to imagine people turn on as background noise, but if faced with a pay wall would abandon quickly (examples would be Accidental Tech Podcast or the like, the Daring Fireball one, etc -- the "how can I print money with zero work" podcasts).
There are others that are absolutely brilliant that are worth it but have some byzantine, many-islands, poorly supported way of funding them -- Anthropocene Review, 99% Invisible, Hidden Brain, etc. As we get into a small number of large podcast subscription services I expect a lot of them will see great results.
> The only reason people don’t choose free over paying is if the convenience or cost is worth it.
This is how you make a profitable business even if free alternatives (like piracy) exist. Steam managed to pull that off for videogames (their DRM is unfortunate, but it's only part of the equation here).
> an additional problem is if a vendor provides a service for free or cheaper with ads, people choose that one over one that is paid
That's very true. It's why I argue ad-based models should be made illegal. They're distorting the market, as it's very hard to compete with "free, but monetizes your sanity and/or your data".
Only anecdotally to make us all feel warm and fuzzy.
It seems pretty intuitive that people just prefer the thing that costs the least utility, whether that be time or money.
How often does one re-listen to a podcast within, say, 6 to 12 months? Maybe a year after, if it had a real impact?
At the end of the day, however, all you need is the fact that there are no successful paid podcasts, and the most successful ones use advertising. There's nothing stopping anyone from creating one, and it's not a novel idea. Same with newspapers. The very fact that one doesn't exist, when the alternative (paid version without advertising) is a known idea and easily executable, must mean that there is a problem with the business model itself.
Perhaps the problem is that it can't compete in the same environment with media that uses advertising. Perhaps a sufficient number of people simply aren't willing to pay a sufficient price for them to exist without advertising.
There are economic principles, though. In competitive markets, price is roughly what the market will bear. Physical goods have a price floor, because you can't sustainably sell such goods for below manufacturing costs. Digital goods scale for free, which removes any realistic price ceiling - that's why piracy exists, and that's why there's a market pressure to make the price close to $0.
> Perhaps the problem is that it can't compete in the same environment with media that uses advertising.
This is precisely the problem, in my opinion. Moreover, there's no actual market pressure - only creator's own ethics - to offer ad-free, paid version. With the current market landscape, if you're offering a paid product, you can only gain by adding advertising to it.
Admittedly, I haven't looked at more recent figures, but as of 2014, the highest revenue podcasts on Itunes were bringing in about 3-10 cents per listener. The average podcast probably makes a lot less per user/per ad.
To people who are saying, "I wouldn't pay a dollar for each episode of a podcast": would you pay a dime? That would put your 'value' as a listener on par with some of the highest podcasting CPMs I can find online. If your CPM is less than $100, and I offer you 10 cents for an ad-free episode, it seems like it makes a lot of economic sense to take me up on that offer.
Of course, the economics probably don't work out perfectly at scale, because fewer people would be just picking up new podcasts randomly, so listening numbers would probably drop. But would they drop by 90%?
A $1 per podcast download price would be the equivalent of a $1000 CPM, which is... insane. I can't find anything online that indicates anyone is making that.
A person who will gladly pay $15 for a table-service meal, and add a $3 tip to it, for roughly 60 minutes in a restaurant, or pay $12 per seat to watch a feature film lasting 90 to 180 minutes, will nonetheless complain bitterly when paying $1 for a 60-minute podcast or e-book novella, or grumble about a $20 ticket for all-day admission to a museum.
If you don't pay for the content you enjoy, you are driving the content creators into the unctuous arms of the advertisers, and forcing them to keep their day jobs. Paying direct to the creator is one of the best ways to support their art.
$1 per podcast episode is not egregious, presuming it contains some scripted content or guided improv and some production polish, like editing and foley. It does, however, limit the number of podcasts one person can follow on a median income.
It might be a better model to lower the price of the admission ticket for podcast followers, and then sell premium physical-goods merchandise using the brand trademarks once they are in the fold, for those who can afford to spend more. That is, charge $1/month or $10/year to listen, and also sell limited-edition t-shirts, or figurines of the characters, or laptop stickers, or autographed episode scripts, or backpack/keychain fobs. A higher cost to access the lowest tier of fandom also limits the growth of the fan-base, and having a big fan-base is where the money really is, not from the mass-market canonical art, but from the exclusive perks available to richer and more dedicated fans. The end-goal of building a brand is selling one or more Veblen goods, and one of the ways to get there is by accumulating so many fans that some small percentage will be willing and able to subsidize all the others.
But you're right, I'm just an anecdote drop in a fairly small bucket.
$1 for a 30-minute podcast episode is $2/hour, which is far from "egregious" by almost any standard.
Disney back in the 90s threatened to not allow theaters to show their movies if they ran ads. I think that died though
This sounds like projection - are there any numbers or data to back this up? Because the market shows that people prefer to get things for free, either subsidized with ads or by ad blocking.
Google also tried this with contributor.google.com but they shut it down due to lack of interest.
Where ads starts to bother me is when they get invasive. If it moves, dances, or otherwise gets in the way of the content I am actively trying to consume, then I'd prefer to block it. The third party tracking is a little creepy; I understand the need for analytics, but most ad networks go too far. Even in the real world, when advertising becomes too saturating, like the billboards that blanket my city and blot out the skyline, in my opinion that's crossed a line. So... balance in all things I guess.
You can read more on the context of this project in this article: https://www.adblockradio.com/blog/2018/11/15/designing-audio...
He seems to be shifting away from that. There is a "private feed" that will "increasingly carry content that will not be available on the public one" (from first 20sec of Making Sense #168). So yeah, he either wants more income or just donations isn't that great.
If they cannot find an ethical business model, then they must go out of business.
I hate Display ads because they're content heavy, irrelevant and suck my personal information. But podcast ads are not targetting nor using my cookie or phone id. It's just some content creator is getting paid to get the word out and in fact the podcaster would make it clear that this is an AD unlike in many other platforms where inline and native ads are common.
Edit: Corrected autocorrect
You say that, but there are products to allow dynamically insert personalised ads server side when you download a podcast.
This is in large part why we're starting to see companies make "podcasts" that aren't podcasts at all, requiring proprietary players. At that point they really don't need to sell ads against their shows, because they're collecting data on you in a way that a podcast you're listening to on a typical podcast player absolutely cannot.
Edit: This assumes using a web browser to access the feeds. Obviously cookies won't be kept with an app.
I buy lots of games of certain genres. I'm always wanting to know about similar games in those genres that match my taste. But almost all game ads are for the major big games that I generally either don't buy or already know about and will buy ad or not.
Ads that inform me of new games that meet my taste will easily convert to sells far beyond the rate of standard ads. But such ads rarely exist at all, the closest thing being sponsored reviews but even those I generally have to know about to look up.
But at the same time, I want these relevant ads without giving up medical information, health information, relationship status, political views, or similar such information.
There are ads, but they are spoken by the host in his normal tone. No loudness tricks, just one minute reading the copy. I suppose OP's tool won't detect this unless a human tags all the spots.
Second, the ads are focused to the audience and may actually be useful sometimes: hosting companies, SAS tools, etc.
In the reality there are no one "correct" line. The line is just the equilibrium between this opposing sides.
Possibilities are endless.
Can this be applied to sponsor messages on podcasts. Wonder if there's enough of a difference to notice it.
With web ad blockers you protect against tracking, privacy violations and potentially malware and thus don't see "unacceptable ads".
In contrast this seems to be about blocking ads just for the sake of blocking ads.
Ads are malicious. It's perfectly fine to block them. Privacy protection is just a convenient side effect.
At the same time, I think most ads aren't malicious. They aren't "intending to do harm". Ads sell things. Sometimes things people want. I'd guess that most people who use ad blockers just don't like being sold things.
I am happy to be sold things, on my own terms. I don't need ads to find out about things to buy.
Also, it's not "unsolicited" when you made the choice to turn on the radio and turn up the volume. If you don't like the ads, turn the radio off.
> I am happy to be sold things, on my own terms.
I'm pretty sure everyone is happy with everything, when they define their own terms.
GP isn't getting PTSD, but ads here are like mosquitos. A few here and there you won't notice, but once there's lots of them buzzing around and biting, the quality of life goes down very quick.
As for unsolicited - they are. They are a malicious third party injecting itself where it isn't welcome. Also, be it TV or radio, ads weren't supposed to be there. This is where the infectious nature of advertising shows. They came and took over these media, and dragged their quality down.
I've always had a problem with this, who thought it was a good idea to allow large colourful structures literally designed to capture the attention of people operating heavy machinery next to places where they are travelling at high speeds?
Which advertising relaated business are you in?
This is pretty much exactly what the OP project does.
They do this by preying on insecurities and making you feel less valuable and incomplete. Another tactic is either outright lying about the product, or constructing statements where a reasonable person would "fill in the gaps" to produce the lie they intend, even if they don't explicitly state it. Closely study some ads sometimes, they are incredibly psychologically manipulative.
This is before such considerations as privacy, tracking and data leaks with online advertisement, and the general idea that advertising is a zero sum game, and the only way to "beat" your competitor at it is to blow even more money on it, thus its a massive economic inefficiency, advertising doesn't create value, it merely shifts it around.
While advertisement is rarely actively malicious in a targeted way, they are a systematic evil much like pollution, everyone would be better off if it didn't exist in the first place.
Also, study the 101 of the domain. Like the famous Cialdini's book Influence: Science and Practice, or Cliff Ennico's How To Sell Anything To Anybody talks. Moral bankrupcy is in the very DNA of the practice, so no surprise that most ads just reflect this.
Ironic you'd bring up ethics in a discussion of ad blockers. Considering how radio & podcasts depend on sponsorship, isn't it unethical to remove ads that pay for the content? Effectively it is stealing.
I believe ad blocking is ethically justified on the grounds that it's just defending yourself from other's unethical behavior, and that you're entitled to do so - claiming otherwise would imply you're supposed to be forced to sit through entirety of a performance. That would be absurd invasion of your autonomy.
Also note that you are not paying radio hosts/podcast authors through advertisements. The ad network is. The exact payout structure is complicated and agreed upon without involving me the listener, but it boils down to parties speculating that a fraction of ad impressions will turn into eventual boost in sales, and money flowing from advertisers, through networks, to publishers, based on that expectation. At no point was I consulted in this, so I feel no obligation towards participating in whatever deals these parties set up between themselves - doubly so given that I'm being harmed by those deals.
You've captured my issue right in this place. Ads sometimes sell things people want. All the other times are what I consider doing harm.
I think there were some legal rulings IIRC in the UK regarding software to auto mute/block/skip ads on TV/Radio, but for the life of my can't find them.
If it was ruled illegal, then it being "perfectly fine to block them" might be correct ethically but not legally, although I suspect the details of implementation might be the important point.
I'll often find myself turning the radio down to the second-lowest volume it goes, so I can turn it back up when there's actual music. Equally often I turn it down and then forget about it for the rest of the trip. Honestly, a trip in silence is sometimes preferable to one where I have to micro-manage the volume knob, let alone one where I have to listen to radio ads.
Personally I mute or switch channels as soon as the commercials start and I've actually turned down at least one job offer because they had radio on the office floor.
Too little variety, no real local personality, basically none of the things radio was great at doing.
When I'm in the car now, it's all a mix of public radio/podcasts for news and discussion and Shoutcast-type streaming radio for music. I do sometimes pull up specific stuff from my personal uploaded music collection on Google Play Music or find something else I want to hear on YouTube, etc. but not often.
The funny thing is that I've found more streaming "radio" stations that do a better job of (the things I liked about) radio than actual radio stations do. It dropped off a lot since the '00s when the cost of legally running a station skyrocketed but it still beats the endless Clear Channel wasteland on the FM dial.
Content on the internet powered by ads is almost entirely content made to distract people. Cutting it of my life is only doing me good. Until everything decides to block me, I'll just be blocking ads because I hate them and the industry behind them.
Businesses do not communicate between themselves using obnoxious language. Business letters are stereotypically formal. They reserve the brash language of advertising for their potential customers, and those subjected to it are within their rights to point out this hypocrisy.
If you honestly believe this about podcasts running ads, then why are you listening to them at all!?
When your political beliefs are at odds with the current legal framework, you have no choice but to compromise to some degree. That doesn't mean you don't actually believe what you claim.
It's easy for us to use adblockers as the minority of technical users, but that's a privilege based on the other 90% still seeing them (which I personally see nothing wrong with and clearly most publishers dont want to poke the bear either).
Otherwise of course people would love to have everything free plus no ads. But ads built and paid for a lot of good things on the internet, which wouldn't have been possible had they all expected payment or other models.
I'm all for pushing Google et al to be less aggressive with ads and make the web more usable and not requiring adblockers in order to have basic performance. But I don't disparage advertising as a whole because I understand the tradeoffs.
Anyway, paying for ad-free and surveillance-free experience is increasingly not possible, as companies try to double-dip.
Don't defend advertisers. They are vampires. Don't mournfully look upon them and proclaim, "Even these wretches must eat." Plenty of jobs need doing. Advertising is not, never has been, and never will be one of them.
Why is the onus on me to defend what software I run on hardware I own?
Frankly, I don't care whether people think it's defensible or not. If something's only purpose is to waste my time and sell me shit I don't need I will use every possible solution (whether technical, legal - GDPR complaints, etc - or else) to get rid of it and make my life better.
Maybe instead of thinking whether blocking/skipping ads is defensible, we should ask ourselves why as a society we are accepting having an industry whose only mission is to waste as much of humanity's time as possible while manipulating them to do things against their best interest?
Resisting psychological manipulation by entities that don't want the best for you remains highly defensible.
Media creators want what's best for the hand that feeds them.
Both advertisers and mediums that host advertisements are subjecting me to messages that are intentionally designed to influence my behavior, often in ways that 1) I did not ask for, and would not elect given a choice 2) are misleading 3) are interruptive or otherwise undermine the utility of whatever I'm watching/listening to.
There's a similar justification/motive outlined on the main site https://www.adblockradio.com/en/
"Do you have ugly crooked yellow teeth..." Why do we need to tell people that crooked teeth are inherently ugly. This sort of add is the reason we have girls under 10 worrying about getting braces when their dentist never even mentioned the idea and who are whitening their teeth.
Not all are that bad, and some ads exist just to inform. But given that someone doesn't know until they have already had to listen to the ad, it makes simple enough to justify.
I don't like ads either but remember there are multiple perspectives here. We should focus on purging bad actors than the entire practice. For now though, I see ad blockers as the tools of change and fully support them.
Currently, once a few businesses in the market start using refined-sugar type ads everyone else has to or they die. I want legislation that only allow ads that are the fruit kind, not the refined-sugar kind. Until that happens, I will block all ads.
I think there is an issue here because people are talking about different kinds of ads.
A new restaurant putting an ad out that lets people know what the attraction of the new restaurant is (the first Hispanic Sushi bar in town) is not a problem at all (to me, anyways). But if you listen to ads you will find that many don't fall into that category. Political ads are a big example, but also many ads for cosmetic surgery and weight loss. The ads for scams are some of the worst (though generally those last only a few days per scam). Ads for gold that try to scare people into making investment decisions that aren't likely in their best interest are another example.
If ads self policed themselves better perhaps people wouldn't be so set on blocking them.
I like to picture it like this: if everyone around you is shouting through a bullhorn, you have to use a bullhorn too just to have a shot at being heard by the person next to you. But how about taking away everyone's bullhorns? Suddenly, people would have a chance to have an actual conversation.
A floor needs to be put, to stop the ethical race to the bottom, and that floor needs to be put way above where advertising industry currently is.
At the moment everyone "needs" ads because everyone else does it. If this cancer would disappear then everyone is on a level playing field and can attract business by ranking well on search engines, etc.
How are new products and inventions supposed to create word of their existence? As a musician I see ads for new VSTs and instruments or accessories all the time I’ve never heard of, and affect my workflow in a massively significant and positive way.
Over the last ten years, I have noticed a pretty interesting ( disturbing ? ) trend in the Ads that are streamed across all the Radio channels. Back when the whole Radio scene was just starting up, the ads were few, the RJs used to talk a lot more ( and made sense ) and songs were played in entirety.
Slowly they have changed to a point where RJs are just meant to be show pieces who are there to say not more than four-five lines of jokes/sarcasms during a two hour period.
The Songs are not played in their entirety. They are stripped at both ends.
The Ads have gotten louder, more offensive, aggressive etc.
And now some Radio Channels tend have small sound bites that are played repeatedly all day, that justify the streaming of Ads. This I really don't understand.
The startup I worked at used it for contests, out of 100k downloads of a podcast, 1 of them would get a different starting or ending segment to give away something. So it was persistent to your user-login on the podcasting portal (which was a thing back then :-))
All that said, the best ads (from a listener experience POV) are the extremely short, to the point ads that are honestly too short to put the effort into skipping. Planet Money (and the NPR podcasts I listen to in general) does this well. I'm curious what their CPMs are relative to a typical ad.
The latter is unthinkable on commercial radio, where separating ads from 'content' is a skill unto itself.
StreamRipper cut the streams by ID3 tag change and accompanying silence. My script just played the ripped MP3s, and ignored the ones with an ad-like ID3 title or that were too short to be a song. You could either pre-record and then skip backward and forward, or listen live and have nothing played back in the ex-ad gaps.
I even had a remote control with "keep current" and "keep previous" buttons, to put the songs into my archive.
Until the Content Mafia ruined everything to keep their cocaine flowing. :/ (I worked in there, and I have enough material, to testify on the cocaine abuse that dominate[ds] the industry.)
The Radio jockeys here (India) have started promoting ads as part of their regular content without any disclaimers or mentions that it is a promotion. e.g. They just say, 'you should put your child in this college for 100% placement' without mentioning they are being sponsored to say so.
So, just adblocker wont cut; I need (RJ+ad) blocker. I might have a jumpstart thanks to this project!
Since you're in India, I wonder how economical it would be to hire a telemarketing company to do this for you.
Only few news media, mostly those which had been existing for over hundred years as news paper, still maintain some integrity after switching to online media but obviously they are at the verge of bankruptcy as they cannot compete with limited attention, instant gratification, confirmation bias fuelling media houses.
Right now there are youtube channels that don't monetize, and have good content. There are soundcloud profiles, blogs and short stories that have no ads.
Most of the advertised internet is garbage, but it's also by far the most popular, due to the ads.
Advertising skews people's views of worthiness, and makes a mockery of honest recommendations. That's literally what it was invented to do!
Media living in fear of offending advertisers limits the range of acceptable discourse and causes it to slant corporatist.
It reminds me a little of some TiVo competitor back-in-the-day where you could hit a "skip commercials" button and it would try to get back to the show by some visual or audible change/gap. Since then, somehow we've lost interest in being able to skip commercials but I still remember fast-forwarding on my VCR and how it hurt that DVDs prevented even that.
This is solid progress on one side of the fence because you know the other side is working on new things too.
Ad-blockers on the internet are justified because of invasive tracking. Radio and podcasts have no such thing, and ads are are central to their sustainability.
If you want to push the world to improve, you can't just rage blindly, you have to identify and move towards a solution that's sustainable for everyone. In the case of ad-supported businesses and services, this means non-tracking, non-intrusive advertisement (combined with subscription models, but that doesn't work for everything).
If you want to push back against tracking in ads, you have to support non-tracking ads. Otherwise there's no incentive for anything to change.
Why? I don't want any ads whatsoever.
Maybe it's harsh but if they can't survive without ads then let them go? Many good podcasts already charge money.
But going beyond that, who are you to declare that entire mediums' worth of content is invalid simply because of the lack of available mechanisms for collecting the revenue they need to sustain themselves? What a gross oversimplification.
If you want behavior to change, you have to provide a valid alternative. You can only say "I won't put up with X" if there's a viable Y to replace it with. Otherwise it's just "I won't put up with you". In which case, when it comes to businesses, the other party will either get even more aggressive with their tactics, or just die altogether.
Sounds good. I preferred when websites existed as a result of a person's individual passion on a particular topic, not the network of fake news clickbait vying for attention that we have now.
Contrast this to the commercial radio stations which allocate a huge proportion of their airtime to annoying, dishonest, manipulative ads employing all sorts of shady tactics (like those discussed elsewhere in this comments thread) to try to part me with my money.
This is the biggest strength of government-organized public spending, by the way. Some people say private organizations - when you include nonprofits - can accomplish anything a government can. And that's true in theory, but in practice certain things don't work at all unless everyone's on the exact same page. And turns out it's really hard getting everyone on the exact same page. So democracy says "we're going to vote on what that exact same page is, but then we're all going to act as a single unit no matter how we individually feel about the decision". Some things can only work that way.
I get what you’re saying, but Sirius XM would like a word with you.
But this one is great
'Machine learning meets Shazam.'
First, they have to control the distribution. Then, they have to build the tech, which will obviously involve some kind of DRM.
To say that I hope they fail is an understatement.
But I know they'll try because in the internet economy, companies simply must fight, kick, and scratch for every last fraction of penny of advertising revenue.
I hope that they are unable to wrest sufficient control over the distribution channels to force this ugly future upon us. Indie podcasts will be safe, but the well-produced, mainstream podcasts will go the way of cable TV and it will be gross. Ads ruin everything.
There was a post about NPR raking in ad dollars yesterday, and I've heard in passing that their research team have evaluated DRM before.
The result of extremism here is that it wouldn't be viable financially to produce content. Paid subscription models don't seem to work leaving advertising the only revenue stream publishers have.
I'm saying all this from a content consumer point of view, not a publishing one.
I'm sure, in an ad-free world, that content creators who really care would find a way to make it work. Maybe there'd be less content this way, but so be it. Quality isn't quantity.
*HN users not withstanding
Note that the product is shit because it's designed to waste your time ("engagement" and "growth" and all these bullshit words). The product would improve significantly if it was paid because then the incentive would be to deliver value to their users so they keep using the product & paying for it.
> They're already paying for their internet bill.
Why can't it just be included in your internet bill? If Facebook (or whatever paid alternative replaces it) becomes mainstream I can see ISPs just including it in their packages.
All that means is the barrier to entry increases from anyone, from any background and means to people who can afford to produce content already. You lose the young kids starting out, you loose those from poorer backgrounds, you loose the creatives working on their side projects while working a 9 to 5 because they can no longer afford to make content.
If _you_ don't want ads don't consume the content, you're not entitled to it. Quality might not be quantity but quantity (being able to continue to produce content without a huge financial burden) develops quality.
I don't really understand how waiting around and hoping for someone to make something out of hobby or charity is a reasonable stance when content brings me a non-zero amount of value and entertainment, when I can pay for it and get better results. Life is too short to sit and pray that someone else will feel like doing something for free that will happen to benefit me.
The idea seems a bit juvenile. Or as if we're all such simpletons that anything will please us all the same, it doesn't matter, so just wait for the next free shit.
I don't even understand how this idea survives concrete examples. If I happen to enjoy someone's free hobby content, then I directly benefit from their ability to make a living producing that content.
Bingo. He's unwittingly the poster child for the devaluation of human capital.
Lol you don't understand how knowledge can be shared between two or more parties without one of them making a profit? Am I reading this right?
> when I can pay for it and get better results
That's called "commissioning a work of art". Or, iterated, can be turned into patronage. Unlike advertising, this is a honest and correct way of rewarding creation of art using market means.
This seems like a relatively high quality site compared to the rest of the internet.
But then, this being HN, this sort of speculation is to be expected, heh.
1) Extraordinary value can indeed be created for free, simply because people want to contribute something. You'll note that all the money pays for in both cases is hosting.
2) Both sites can exist without involving the advertising industry and all its corruption.
You know what Youtube runs on, right? It's not just the creators who get money from ads.
(+) In general.
The vast majority of on-line marketing is outright hostile towards the people it targets; it's a constant battle for attention, PII, and bandwidth and it comes with side effects like actual malware spreading through ad networks. Until that changes, ads should be considered as threats, and they should be blocked at the door regardless of what the content creator thinks about it.
Bad UX as a business model? It can't go away soon enough.
(It's like observing that horses don't work for races because motorcycles outpace them. Well, get rid of the motorcycles and horse racing makes sense again.)
We can't have nice things because advertising is inherently cancerous in nature. It will grow and repurpose everything it touches until it too serves to feed the advertising machine and depends on it for survival. There's as much balance to be found here as there is with cell growth rates - you want them at the level that supports the functioning of the organism, and not somewhere in the middle between that and the fastest-growing cancer cells.
They pay premium for access to those.
Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal seem to work. Switched to Tidal recently, love the reach incl. ECM label!
(If there would be something comparable for newspapers I'd pay too, as is, I ublockorigin (or abstain))
I'm not saying ads are good, and no ads are great. I'm saying there has to be a balance. And publishers are best to realise this as well since the more they push, the more people will push back.
Maybe (just a passing thought as I'm typing), the ad pricing model should change? Maybe if ads were more expensive and more selective it would offset the revenue by quantity into revenue by quality ad-wise...
Ads are not my main issue, the trackers and the website-bloat are. If I could trust the intermediary I'd voluntarily supply my interests in order to facilitate better ads (but there would need to be a resonably small scope of where this information goes).
Consumer tastes change. Just as we saw a precipitous drop in smokers from the 1950s to now, we are witnessing a sea change where the human parasites are slowly waking up to the revelation that their business model has a sunset.
Consumers are starting to be more vocal and active in their (justified) desire to not be bombarded with advertising everywhere they go.
and with the typical easy to digest Gladwellian narration.
What's egregious about it to my taste is that much like Gladwell's podcasts, it suggests to the audience that is simply the facts and totally fair, while all the questions are very much, "Is AT&T's 5G offering fantastic or awesome? And how long before I can use it?"
For someone literate in the topic it goes beyond the normal "don't let facts get in the way of a good story" that most podcasting falls into and you can hear the AT&T ad guys writing the script. But for the average listener it is just smooth, easy listening that draws you in without you realizing it is paid advertising attempting to win you over for a financial goal.
Aren't most podcasts selling flat rate slots to run ads?
Example: Company A gives podcast author $X amount of dollars to run a 30-60 second ad in their 1 hour podcast.
If all 10,000 listeners don't listen to the ad then the podcast author still gets the same amount of ad revenue.
My thought process on that is, if I begin to hear an ad on a podcast and it's for something I didn't plan to buy anyways, then I will skip the ad by fast forwarding within 3 seconds. But if a solution existed where I couldn't do that then I wouldn't end up making the purchase by listening to the ad. I'd probably switch the podcast off for something else until the ad played out and that comes with the risk of me not going back to the podcast because I found something more interesting.
Ad skippers are generally a different type of person who won't be convinced to buy something just because they were forced to listen to it. They will however buy something on their own terms and some of them also like to show support for the things they listen to or watch by donating directly to the content provider (I do this a lot with music).
Advertising works because it is psychology. Nothing rational about it.
If an ad plays, you can just flip to something else just like tons of people do on cable TV. If a podcast starts forcing ad plays then ad skippers will just switch to something else until the ad is done.
If someone really doesn't want to listen to an ad then they will find ways to avoid it. This is partly why piracy is so popular. It usually has little to do with price. It's just wanting to watch or listen to something without having ancillary content forced upon you in a distracting way.
People who furiously skip the ads manually will indeed remain unaffected.
If two products are the same price, but only one is advertised, the advertised product must be inferior because they are using your money to try to manipulate you.
Next time you watch TV, notice the brands and consider their competitors. Advertisers tend to be inferior quality and optimizing for short-term gains over customer benefit in comparison to their competitors.
Why does Mazda advertise so much more than Toyota? Because they provide less value per dollar, and have to make that up via thought manipulation.
50 dollar for a book? Ha! 9,99 max and that's pushing it.
100 dollar to get access to a podcast with 200 hours of quality content that may change your life. Ha! 19,99 if I'm having a good day.
100-300 dollar a month for quality TV? Ha!! I'll pay 10 and then watch BS commercials all fucking day.
Because adblockers drive down the value of ads so substantially companies will give up on trying to pay their overhead costs by using advertising and instead switch to a Netflix like subscription model.
The irony with this is that once you’ve had to log in to a site with payment information your privacy and anonymity are completely erased and you’ve often given the provider the ability to run background and credit checks on yourself.
I Italy very often ads are in higher volume: so annoying, so maybe a filter will sure add info on how to spot ads