Adblock forcing sites to try the subscription model?

So today we live in a world of online media where the businesses running online companies have few options when it comes to monetizing their online content. Two of these options include ad based revenue where they can make money off of advertisements or a subscription model where someone pays a monthly fee to have access to the content. Needless to say neither option seems to be that popular.
Both are so unpopular that people will willing go to lengths to avoid dealing with ads or paying monthly fees.

In the case of avoiding ads we have the app that can be added to select web browsers known as adblock.Now what adblock does is fairly straightforward. It blocks ads. Many enjoy this option simply because you can now listen to pandora or watch videos on Hulu without dealing with pesky ads ruining your experience.

However this little short cut raises a slight problem, How do they make ad revenue if the users aren’t seeing the ads? Well the truth of the matter is a lot of ad money comes from the websites selling their user information and analytics to ad companies and not so much selling of ad space. However the money being lost from ad revenue has not gone unnoticed. It’s a big reason why services like Pandora and Hulu+ have been moving to the subscription model.

It’s harder for services that have gone through ad revenue to adapt to a subscription model because their user base is not used to having to pay for their services and they will often lose viewership because most people won’t be willing to pay. But remember as previously mentioned there is more money coming in from the selling of user information than there is the selling of adspace.

Where Adblock really becomes a problem is on services like YouTube where content is being not only being created by everyday people but it’s also letting the content creators benefit off of ad revenue. The amount of money youtubers get from ads varies depending on the views they get and whether or not they are using copyrighted material, but it’s still important to leave that in mind that it’s not just google benefiting from the ads on youtube.

Like many other services before it YouTube is trying out the paid subscription market by releasing channels you pay a monthly fee to watch. Personally I don’t see this model succeeding on youtube simply because YouTube is a place where users are not going to willing pay to view content.

I’m not going to tell you not to download adblock because I know that on many sites ads have a tendency of ruining the experience but I would at least say air on the side of caution when using adblock simply because if content creators can’t make money off of ads they will be forced to find other ways of monetizing. One thing I would recommend if you do use adblock is to disable it on the websites that you wish to support. For example I disable adblock on YouTube simply because I want the YouTubers I watch to benefit from me watching them. But just realize that by using adblock you might be bringing about some long term consequences.

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