AdBlock: hindering creativity?

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AdBlock Plus is an internet browser extension that allows its users to surf the web without the addition of third party advertisements. This, in effect, has demoralized and stunted growth among many smaller content providers, who are trying to grow their presence on the internet. Producing content that people want to view and providing this content for free, takes time and money from the content provider who would like a return on their investment. Advertisements are the easiest type of income generation for small content providers who cannot get paid promotion or subscriptions to offset the costs.

From the site adblockplus.org users can download Adblock for free and be one of the over 300 million users that feel advertisements online are unnecessary. Viewers of online media are bombarded with advertisements and have gained a negative view of them. Users of AdBlock have an online experience that makes them realize how much they are targeted each time the use the internet, making it a hard choose to uninstall.

Adblock works by removing all the third party advertisements that sites place on their webpages to generate income based off of clicks or views. Normally these advertisements are generic and try to relate to the theme of the website.

Online creators are placed in a difficult situation as they compete with main stream media. Creators need to produce something people want to view, then find a way to get their target audience to visit their site. Now with the addition of Adblock they need to find out exactly how they can earn income from the people they do attract. Today’s generation is platform agnostic, and we want information quick regardless of the provider. Brand loyalty is also difficult on the internet, where there is an abundance of sites to get information from.

Other ways of generating income on the internet have forced content providers to become more innovative. In more cases this forum of advertisement can carry more weight when the content provider stands behind an advertisement. Other larger businesses have also recognized the need for smaller content providers to earn income and have created ways both parties to capitalize on this. Giving out coupon codes, custom URLS, branded products sales, sponsorships, and many other methods have allowed for mutual benefits. The content creator has control over what is getting shown to their audience and the businesses get marketing.

As for Adblock I feel that it will continue to grow as internet usage increases. This in effect will continue to hurt many small content providers who can’t adapt to new forms of income generation. On the other hand those who can adapt to the changes can grow, as their competition struggles. In my opinion Adblock is not hindering creativity on the Internet, but instead making content providers work more strategically.

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