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The Internet is Dead. Long Live the Internet

November 4th 2013

The old adage is that you get what you pay for, but the internet turned that on its head and most of us enjoy great services for free (I use gmail too).  The ability to monetise internet services has long been the bane of providers, from mail providers to media.

Advertising remains the underpinning income stream for many services with many sites offering basic functions or content for free (if you can put up with the banner ads) but you can sign up to premium services if you’re prepared to pay.  Some can make this work (think ) but other struggle.

And just as the likes of Facebook and Twitter follow Youtube and include ads, along comes a tiny company that enables users to block all of the site ads – unless the provider agrees (and pays) to go on to a whitelist

The argument looks pretty convincing.  Most users don’t want ads and don’t want to pay for services anyway.  Yet the value of disruptive services like Facebook is exactly the ability to reach so many potential consumers.  The actions of Adblock Plus may seem like modern day piracy but they may also be hastening the death of the “free” internet – and accelerating the growth of internet services where the there is sufficient value for the user to recognise that payment is worthwhile.

Even if Adblock Plus get stared down, the message is clear – add vaue rather than advertising.

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