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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Advertising

Kellee Maize
Advertising and the Internet are like twin demons that just can't get enough of each other. I personally am divided on the subject. Mostly, I hate advertising, obnoxious ads constantly popping up telling me stuff I am not the least bit interested in. On the other hand, advertising pays for all this free stuff I use all the time, like email, this blog, on-line storage, the on-line office apps I use, etc. Occasionally someone will put together an ad that is very entertaining, at least the first time you see it. If it wasn't for all the free stuff, I would say ban all advertising everywhere.
     Then we would be like Communist Russia, back before the collapse, back in the U.S.S.R., back where there was no god. Reading a novel not too long ago where the story spends some time in Moscow, our hero comments on how drab and lifeless the downtown area is compared to Western cities, and he attributes it all to the lack of advertising. No advertising in Soviet Russia except for the state sponsored political kind, none of the flamboyant, flashy, near pornographic stuff we are constantly subjected to here in the West.
     One way to reduce ads would be to pay for content. The big movie houses like Netflix, HBO, etc. have managed to make that work for movies. Newspapers are trying to make it work for internet. The New York Times, The Atlantic and the L.A. Times all offer you some free visits, hoping that you will subscribe, and their subscription rates are very reasonable. Problem is that you subscribe to one because it's really cheap, and then another one, and then another one, and pretty soon you're forking out real money.
    I'm paying $50 a month for a high speed link to the web, at least I think it's $50. I haven't checked in a while. There are so many bills like that. They come in on a regular basis, they've been doing it for years, they are pretty stable but they do vary. Mostly they are creeping up but occasional one will take a dip, but unless one gets way out of line, I don't pay much attention, I just pay the blame things.
    I would pay $1 a month for internet content if all the ads would go away, maybe even a buck and a half. Get enough people and enough websites to sign up and you might even have a viable business proposition. Websites would get proportionally paid by the number of pages viewed. Viewers would have a fixed cost every month. People who spent more time on the web would get more for their money. It would take some persnickety software to count all the page visits and divide up the money, but we already do most of that anyway. It shouldn't be a big stretch. Getting people and websites to sign up would be the big hurdle. Porn sites would go from being a money making business to a taking-over-the-world kind of business.
    But you know what? An channel that was nothing but ads might make some interesting watching. I mean Home Shopping Network is basically just one long advertisement and they seem to be making a go of it. You could even have multiple channels, like one for guys, one for girls. One for cars, one for clothes, one for cheapskates, one for people with a few bucks to spend.
    I'm paying roughly $100 a month for entertainment on cable and given the number of Trailblazers basketball games movies, and TV series we watch (sans ads), that comes out to about $2 an hour. Heck of a lot cheaper than the $50+ it costs to take four people to the movies and buy one popcorn and one coke. Shoot, a popcorn and a coke now cost more than a ticket.

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