Ads vs payment

This subject came to mind with the recent mention of adverts.

Apparently a monetised YouTuber gets on average around $3 for 1,000 views, assuming of course that they have the minimum 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views in the last 12 months. That’ll be for a Western audience too. Ads on websites get the site owner around $2 per thousand unique views, none for ad blockers of course.

For us consumers, surely paying $3 for watching 1,000 videos and $2 for reading 1,000 web pages would be a better option? That’s a month for some or a year or more for others!

What would happen to our spending habits in an ad-free world too? Looking in the shop fridge, would cheaper brands (perhaps made in the same factory) start feeling just as appealing? Would we buy less crap, easily saving that $5 per month/year?

I would love ad-free. Things have changed over the years though. It’s not just ads. It’s tracking, filter-bubbling, product pimping by ‘content creators’, PR for brands, products, interest groups, governments, and so forth. It has all become an enormous collective industry that will fight to stay in control.

Yeah, half of the tracking crap uses advertising as an excuse as well.

I read an old NYT article a year or so ago that was talking about the advert free cable TV revolution. That didn’t last for long and now Netflix is planning on introducing ads, I dunno whether that’s for a cheaper subscription tier or to maintain the current pricing.

But yup, far too much product pimping out there. Who wouldn’t add $5 to their internet connection bill for it all to go away?

Something like that would be ideal for adoption. But I think it would be weaseled out over time, just like cable tv. There is just too much money being made with the current way of things.

The only way I see sites getting away from the ad model and all it’s cousins is an alternative network movement. It could very well exist within the current internet as a collective of sites which follow an agreement of values. An agreement of no ads and no tracking along with a search engine or more which only gives results for sites which respect the agreement could do a lot for removing nefarious interests. Voluntary user monthly funding to the whole network along with a means for users to portion their funding contributions could help sites to live. One means for getting site owners interested in adopting the agreement would be to inform site owners to offer an ad-free and tracking-free version of their site to the network movement as a means for additional revenue via funding portions from user contributions to the network. They could very well keep their dirty sites as is and pull in more revenue by offering a second version which follows the agreement.

There’s the tracking with that too, to see who gets what slice of the pie, unless it’s just universal.

I’d love to see more people use platforms like Odysee and get into the habit of tipping every now and then. Donating to open source software to make it more competitive. Collectively we could make it a stupid decision to put stuff on YouTube.

I would think that a healthy portion of it should be universal, along with users having the ability to review their own web history and stats for the month (a browser plugin with locally stored data?) to reward particularly exceptional sites. I’m pulling these numbers out of my ass, but say 50% to the whole network, and 50% portioned up as the user sees fit, according to their own review of their history and stats (numbers of visits, time on sites, and so forth). There could also be a means for users to exclude sites from receiving a portion of their contributions, according to content quality, personal views, and so forth, which could help in culling bad sites from the network. For example, if a bad site gets itself high in the search ranking but lots of users choose to exclude it from funding, that site might very well not live well on the network.

Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the internet, in spite of what Al Gore thinks, has some interesting thoughts on Internet V 3.0.

I don’t see data pods working. From a user perspective it is essentially a furthering of the whole cookies situation right now where every site has an annoying popup to set cookie options, and some sites won’t function without cookies. Sites will say, no data no content.

I don’t get the pod thing either. But then again that guys mind works on levels I could never comprehend to begin with.

I’m still hopeful people are going to start getting bored with most of it.

My only worry in that regard is what replaces it. :grinning:

I think the key phrase in that article is the network effect. More than enough people are aware enough of the dark side of data harvesting an Big Tech, yet few make the move away from it, instead expecting “the man” to make it all better at some point.

It reminds me of interviews with Extinction Rebellion where the spokesmen refused to say how many cars or TVs they owned, saying that it wasn’t “about the individual” because it was a “systemic problem”. You can do both! Do as I do and not as I say, as they say.

If everybody who is aware made a point of moving to and only ever sharing content from better providers then the network effect is helped but what we have at the moment is a significant percentage of internet users shrugging their shoulders thinking they can’t do anything about it! Even 10% of the internet moving to alternative platforms and engaging in tipping would turn those platforms into goldmines, massively increasing the network effect as everybody flocks there, taking more of the internet with them.

I don’t disagree at all. Effort from users could go a long way. I guess my problem with doing that has always been a distribution problem. If I would like to donate funds to the various projects that I use and want to support, doing so would be a mess and expensive, given separate payments to each project and minimum payment amounts. Despite many payment systems being available I haven’t seen anything available yet for this purpose. It should be a micropayment system of course. Do you know of anything like this? Ideally, there would also be a means for users to keep track our own useage of various projects. My initial ideas about it:

Supporting software and sites. A desktop (or phone) plugin for personal tracking of software use and a browser plugin for the same for sites. Also users can make manual entries and add notes. Everything gets auto-tallied out of the available monthly payment, and the user can upload the resulting file to a micropayment system or optionally have it happen automatically. Users can manually tweak the tally how we see fit. Users could also add notes to payment receivers to thank them or to make requests, such as bug fixes, feature additions, content additions, possibly with one time or ongoing commitment for things which get improved.

All very good points. I’d be happy to pay a few bucks for a service which I know isn’t harvesting my data or censoring what I read.

Goes back to the illusion that big tech created with people thinking all this stuff was “free”, while never considering how these companies managed to pay for all the servers, infrastructure, and employees required to provide all this “free” stuff.

Guess they just figured it was just someone sitting in their parents basement so there wasn’t really that much in the way of overhead to begin with.

For open source there’s Open Collective where I assume that monthly contributions aren’t taken as individual transactions. I’ve only made one-offs on that so don’t know. They don’t take fees apart from voluntary tips, like the zidisha microlending platform and unlike corporates like Patreon. The problem is getting everybody to sign up.

When you think of $5 or whatever a month though, 1,000 people cycling through 12 projects per year, giving 1 project $5 each month is exactly the same as giving 12 projects 40 cents each month but without the payment fees on the microtransactions wiping out contributions.

One of the reasons for the overhead is the data harvesting and AI processing that goes on though.

These days of 64 core/64TB servers that can handle millions of concurrent connections the picture has changed somewhat. How much would something like Wikipedia actually cost to run if it was located somewhere cheaper and stripped all the chaff from the wheat in the employee ranks? $1m per year instead of $500m? Google Search without the data harvesting and AI? I dunno, but the processing requirements just dropped by 99%.

I agree that the boxes themselves are fairly inexpensive. The real costs come from all the other systems required to keep the boxes running.

Large data centers are always located near sources of water because they are water cooled. Even smaller data centers that just use air conditioning consume massive amounts of power. Those systems aren’t cheap.

As with most businesses, labor always account for the single largest expenditure. All the systems required to keep the boxes running still require lots of people. I agree with you that a lot of that labor force could be reduced when you consider how much of it is devoted to the data harvesting and monitoring, but even with that, hardware has ownership costs that always exceed acquisition costs.

Of course that’s true, but the closer we get to the single box singularity the cheaper hardware, infrastructure and (to a lesser extent) people requirements get. I remember reading an interesting view of an IT pro who implements increasingly convoluted systems of microservices using various cloud computing platforms for companies who think they need it because it’s the hot new shizzle. He said that the majority of these companies could easily run their entire setup with SQLite3 running on one machine.

I also think of SoCal property and people costs compared to saner places. Like with charities located in swanky London or NY addresses, they don’t need to be there. Take those sky high SoCal salaries where effective interns (with CompSci degrees) are paid $150k and half or third that cost to locate somewhere else in the US where being paid less means getting the same or more because of taxes and property prices.

Lots of people and companies are migrating away from there today. Where I live has one of the lowest cost of living rates in the country, but we are seeing that rapidly change due largely to people migrating away from overly expensive areas such as SoCal. If your home there cost 1 million, you can easily come here even at current crazy real estate prices and have a nice home on a big lot for a 1/5th of that and have a large chunk to sit on. And that is happening more and more. I think that situation will level out over not too many more years if things stay on course of what has been happening.

I feel sorry for ordinary people growing up in those places. It’s bad enough elsewhere with property prices, but imagine being a 21 year old somewhere like that wanting to move out but stay close to friends and family and looking at silly money for some crappy pad!

It’s even become normal to say that £200k is alright for a house. Average salary in the UK is £25k so average house prices should be 3.5x that, which is the multiplier used in the past for mortage affordability. Then it went to two incomes and the multiplier kept going up after that.

Imagine interest rates going back up to 8%?!?!

The median house price in Sydney is around 1.4-1.6 Million AUD currently
Virtually impossible for an average couple to get in without some inheritance or 6 figure incomes

PLUS, if you can get in then it’s a huge gamble with interest rates likely to rise

They need some rent-to buy plan and permanent rentals, and foreign ownership/corporate ownership/multiple ownership banned or heavily penalised
otherwise the next generation will be renters for life, or possibly homeless

I posted somewhere on here NZ’s plan back in the 50s to 80s
Affordable house prices, a small deposit needed and the government lent you the rest @ 4% interest
This was back before private banks were allowed into NZ in the late 80s
Everybody who could work could own their own home

Now, almost nobody but the affluent…