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Consumer Ad Blocking Doubles 379

Posted by kdawson
from the swatting-gnats dept.
Dotnaught writes to tell us about an InformationWeek article reporting that, according to a Forrester Research report, consumers are fed up with ads. From the article: "In the past two years, the number of consumers using pop-up blockers and spam filters has more than doubled.. More than half of all American households now report using these ad blocking technologies to block unwanted pitches... Today, 15% of consumers acknowledge using their digital video recorders to skip ads, more than three times as many as in 2004." The study would have been more meaningful if it hadn't conflated spam blocking with ad blocking.
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Consumer Ad Blocking Jumps

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  • by plantman-the-womb-st (776722) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:25PM (#17121412)
    Consumers have been fed up with ads evr since Cable TV was promising to make television "ad free". What consumer cares at all about ads? We don't, it's the sellers that care about ads not the buyers.
    • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:44PM (#17121678) Homepage Journal

      What consumer cares at all about ads? We don't, it's the sellers that care about ads not the buyers.

      I care about ads. There's a reason they used to say (and sometimes still do), "and now an ad from our sponsor". The ads are SPONSORING the program! Somebody has to pay the bills. I'm not saying I never skip ads, but I definitely don't feel intruded upon.

      • And I thought... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ahnteis (746045)
        And here I thought I was actually PAYING for cable. What WAS I thinking.
        Oh -- not enough millions of dollars that way. I have to pay AND watch ads. I'm SOO sad for the Comcast &c CEOs.
        • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:11PM (#17122008) Homepage Journal

          And here I thought I was actually PAYING for cable. What WAS I thinking.

          You're not thinking, that's the problem. Your cable bill is paying for ACCESS, not for the production of all the content. Do you think your ISP bill pays for production of all web sites on the Internet? Now, some channels can survive on the puny amount of money they're paid, but it certainly is not going to pay for everything.

          • by jrockway (229604) <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:42PM (#17122348) Homepage Journal
            > Your cable bill is paying for ACCESS, not for the production of all the content.

            Really? Then why does it cost more to get more channels? If your assertion is true, then it should cost the same no matter how many channels your cable box is authorized to decrypt.

            Also, who pays for ACCESS to broadcast stations? There's the same quantity of ads on cable as there is on broadcast TV.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Really? Then why does it cost more to get more channels? If your assertion is true, then it should cost the same no matter how many channels your cable box is authorized to decrypt.

              Because 1) some amount of your cable bill does go to the stations (as I already said), and 2) because they can.

              There's the same quantity of ads on cable as there is on broadcast TV.

              Actually, no, there isn't. There are lots of channels that are commercial free -- mostly the ones that have very low production costs (for e

              • Re:And I thought... (Score:5, Informative)

                by ross.w (87751) <rwonderley@g m a i l.com> on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:07PM (#17122624) Journal
                You're in the wrong country.

                The ABC here in Oz doesn't have ads (at least never in the middle of programs, and in between shows only to promote their other shows)

                Same with the BBC in the UK, except here in Australia we don't have the licencing system. Problem with that is the Govco here cuts the ABC's budget whenever they say something it doesn't like. Can't do that to the BBC.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by MyNymWasTaken (879908)
              The cable company pays access fee to the content providers (i.e. the channels), so offering more channels = paying more fees = charging a high rate. The content providers supplement the usage revenue with advertising revenue exactly like print magazines do.

              Whining about it shows a rather significant economic illiteracy.
            • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:14PM (#17122710) Journal
              Then why does it cost more to get more channels? If your assertion is true, then it should cost the same no matter how many channels your cable box is authorized to decrypt.
              *blink*

              Access, as in access to the content. You want SciFi's content, you have to pay SciFi to access their content. That's why it costs more if you have more channels.

              Also, who pays for ACCESS to broadcast stations? There's the same quantity of ads on cable as there is on broadcast TV.
              Actually, I believe cable operators have to pay the stations in order to broadcast their content. They can't just stick up their own antenna and funnel that to their subscribers.

              Also, arguably, you're paying for the convenience of accessing broadcast stations over cable with great reception. Remember one of the complaints about satellite was/is that you can't get your "local stations" so you still need an antenna.

              By the way, the reason there are ads on basic cable stations is that they wouldn't sell enough subscriptions at a price that would make it worthwhile. How much does HBO charge? $9.95/mo? $12.95/mo? Would enough people pay $9.95/mo for, say, commercial-free Sci-Fi channel to make it worthwhile?
              • Re:And I thought... (Score:5, Interesting)

                by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:55PM (#17123158) Journal

                Would enough people pay $9.95/mo for, say, commercial-free Sci-Fi channel to make it worthwhile?

                I would, so long as it didn't require continuing to pay $39.99 for 400 channels of crap just to get Sci-Fi Channel, USA, and a decent feed of local channels. Oh, and Cartoon Network and Disney. $5 for local channels + $10 each comes out to spending $5 more than I'm paying now without all the junk and without all the commercials. You bet your @$$, I'd do that.

                Would I pay $40 in addition to my current bill? Hell, no. And that's precisely why we won't ever see those stations in an ad-free fashion until the majority of content is obtained by direct download rather than broadcast/satellite (which is already well on its way to becoming a reality).

            • Re:And I thought... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by The Great Pretender (975978) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:20PM (#17122774)
              Why do I have to pay for each movie in a movie theater? Surely, I'm just paying for access to the building and thus all the screens? Why do I have to pay for all the different bands on different days at a venue when I've already paid for access once? Why can I not go to a carnival and pay once? Why must I pay separately for all my rides? Why, in the old days, did I have to pay my ISP to connect, while paying the phone company per minute for my internet connection? In fact why do I have to pay for minutes used on my cell phone?
              • by phorm (591458) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @11:13PM (#17123782) Journal
                Because they're all different things. Apples to oranges. You have to pay for each movie in theatres, and sit through ads, but from what I've been noticing they've actually reduced those lately and most likely in response to declining ticket sales.

                DVD's with unskippable commercials, do you think those are really subsidizing the industry?

                The fact is, while a certain part subsidizes the industry, the rest is just pure greed and power trips on the part of the corps. They can force-feed you ads, and most people will choose to accept them, so they do so. Again the reference to decreased ad content in movies, because if people show they're fed up enough to drop the service entirely, it might actually get cleaned up for awhile.
              • by rainman_bc (735332) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:49AM (#17124702)
                Why do I have to pay for each movie in a movie theater?

                Just to point out that you also get 30 mins of marketing crap before the movie starts too... rest assured that money doesn't go the theater, it's another way for movie companies to squeeze more revenues out of the movie.

                We honestly have every right to try to avoid the marketing crap thrown at us. It's our choice what we see and what we don't see. If the marketing companies had their way, the advertisements would be on the inside of our eyelids.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by BillX (307153)
            Whoa - I just had this crazy idea. My household is paying about $50 a month for basic cable TV, and this is just for the cables / infrastructure to *deliver* the content. What if, and this is a crazy idea, there were some way to do away with all that and broadcast television content wirelessly? Sure, it would cost more initially for RF transmitters and so on, but the delivery company could save all that cost on maintaining the cables. After 10 years or so, the delivery cost for the wireless channels could w
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by erroneus (253617)
              The original promise of CTV was commercial free entertainment. And then they fell to temptation. They all do. Even the game makers fall to the temptation of money for advertising. I probably would too... might be a little ashamed of it at first, but then I'd get over it.

              But there's more to the tragedy of the addition of commercial ads on cable TV. There's the drop in broadcast power as well! That's the REAL bitch of the problem. Just having local channels and news would be plenty good enough for me a
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by cyberscan (676092) *
              The answer to unwanted commercials is filesharing and passing burnt DVD's around. "Piracy" is definitely a good way of avoiding rip offs.
        • Do you whine about advertising in the print magazines you purchase?

          There is a difference between basic cable (sci-fi channel, the food network, comedy central, etc...) and premium cable (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc...). One is subsidized by advertising while the other is more expensive and is external ad (i.e. they still promote themselves) free.
          • Re:And I thought... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Darlantan (130471) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:26PM (#17122180)
            No, I don't whine about the ads in print magazines I purchase.

            I just don't re-sub to them. Recently subscribed to several National Geographic publications and found that they contained so much advertisement that they weren't worth even the deeply discounted rates they offered to resubscribe.
          • Tear 'em out (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Ahnteis (746045) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:47PM (#17122392)
            No, I generally take 2 minutes to tear out the annoying ones before I read the magazine.

            I realized after I posted, however, that I should have also noted that I am only *really* bothered by annoying or super-frequent ads. Popup blockers and ad blockers were developed AFTER the audience was over-inundated with advertisement. If they had just kept things at a reasonable level, we'd still be watching the ads instead of blocking them. But they get more and more greedy and have to fit "just one more" ad in.
      • by Jason1729 (561790) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:53PM (#17121790)
        That's why friends episodes cost nearly $10 million each to make. 6 Actors each getting $1.5 million to produce 20 minutes of content.

        Without these sponsors paying for garbage ads, maybe we get some decent content that doesn't cost 8-digts for 20 minutes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That's why friends episodes cost nearly $10 million each to make. 6 Actors each getting $1.5 million to produce 20 minutes of content. Without these sponsors paying for garbage ads, maybe we get some decent content that doesn't cost 8-digts for 20 minutes.

          The program makes that much money because a LOT of people like the show. Who cares that you don't like it? The point is that money is there, so who should make it? The producers? Quite often it's the actors that people tune into see. Personally, I don'

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Sunburnt (890890)
            "The program makes that much money because a LOT of people like the show."

            Wrong. The program costs that much money to make so that a LOT of people WILL like the show. Advertising, hiring writers capable of keeping in line with heavily-researched viewer desires, and the competitive market for photogenic actors who can forge an illusory "connection" with the viewer make major television production an expensive business all around. Indeed, the costs are elevated by the need to recover money sunk into ter [wikipedia.org]
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by drsquare (530038)
              Bullshit, the actors got paid that much because it was an insanely popular programme that depended on those characters being in it. If the actors left the programme would collapse, that's why they could demand such figures.

              Also Jennifer Aniston was the only photogenic actor in Friends.
      • by KillerBob (217953) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:21PM (#17122134)
        Likewise... I use the ads as an excuse to get a drink, check my e-mail, visit the loo, etc. Ads on TV are pretty harmless, really. Besides... I like some ads. Every now and then, they'll come up with a witty, intelligent ad that makes you laugh. I'll actually watch those ones...

        As far as crap on the Internet... Firefox 2, Adblock Plus, the list found at http://pgl.yoyo.org/as/ [yoyo.org], and on my mail server, milter-greylist, SpamHaus RBL, and SpamAssassin with a sensitivity threshhold of 1.0. (and a daily cron task that has SA learn my "Spam-Bin" folder on IMAP as spam). Oh, and ClamAV, too, to block viruses.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by numbski (515011) *
          It's not that it's new. It just keeps getting more and more annoying.

          Did you count how many items you listed there? I counted 7. You're willing to jump through SEVEN flaming hoops to avoid it. SEVEN.

          That's a lot of hoops man. I personally really enjoy football (american, NFL) and even I am beginning to become unnerved by the ads. They squeeze them on-screen in-game. Commercials between PAT's and kickoffs. Then back to commercial before the first play of the drive. WTF?

          It's very, VERY distracting.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by penix1 (722987)
            "It's very, VERY distracting. Pair that with the need to crank up the volume when it goes to commercial. Ugh. Drives me batty. I get to the point that I mute the TV when it goes to commercial."

            That's because the FCC authorized the average volume of advertising can equal the peak volume of any given show (up to a max predetermined level). The louder the show, the louder the advertising. It is a constant race.

            Phillips made a TV that "auto-mutes" advertising (SmartMute(TM) it is called). My neighbor has one an
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JanneM (7445)
        The ads are SPONSORING the program! Somebody has to pay the bills.

        Yes. And if the ads no longer pull in enough money to pay the bills, it's not the fault of the public. There's no natural law stating that, say, the TV advertising market will always be big enough to support the kind of high-budget programming you're getting at the moment.

        People think of this backwards, seeing themselves as the consumers. They aren't. Mass media companies are selling eyeballs to other companies to advertise for, and all the T
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by killjoe (766577)
        "The ads are SPONSORING the program! Somebody has to pay the bills. I'm not saying I never skip ads, but I definitely don't feel intruded upon."

        The cost of those ads are being added to the products you consume. In the end you are still paying the bills.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:11PM (#17122010) Homepage
      The funny part is that when you significantly reduce advertisments in a persons world they becom hyper sensitive to it.

      My daughter has lived pretty much AD free for a long time now. I use privoxy at home so no ad's come throughthe net, we only watch PVR Tv so ad's get skipped and she listens to only her ipod or sirius in the car. Our DVD player is a cheapo lite-on that is hackable to remove the must watch restrictions on DVD's. so she can press stop-stop-play to start the movie right away or simply press menu to skip the warnings and ad's.

      when she goes to a friends or relatives house she cant stand how their TV has unskippable ad's or that they cant skip the junk at the beginning of the DVD, or that the internet is full of annoying ad's.

      My wife and I also notice this in ourselves. Advertisments annoy us enough to swich off the cource the momen they start if we cant skip them.

      Today advertising is getting even more annoying. we stopped PVR'ing anything on Spike-TV network as their damned blipverts in the show do nothing but ruin it. More networks are going to this and more shows are no longer watched because of it in our home. This is what people are seeing, Advertising is no longer an annoyance it's getting downright rude.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sunburnt (890890)
        I agree, and its funny when people ask, "Sure, you avoid ads now that you can, but won't you wind up watching them again once this function gets circumvented by advertisers?" As though anything on television were so very compelling that the whole damned thing can't be avoided once its value is degraded through unavoidable advertising.
        • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:06PM (#17122606) Journal

          Exactly. It's a death spiral. The more intrusive the advertising, the more consumers will rebel against it, which causes the advertisers to try to be more intrusive to get around the circumvention, and all it does is succeed in annoying everyone. Pretty much the same as viruses and spam. I'm already at the point that I view reading email as a burden. If you want to reach me, IM is faster. When that becomes an ad-fest, I'll move to another medium, staying continually one step ahead of the advertisers.

          As for TV, I'm just waiting until the last two or three of my favorite shows are available on the iTunes Store so I can cancel my DirecTV subscription. The math comes out about the same in price for the number of shows I watch regularly compared with a year's DirecTV subscription for three boxes, but with iTunes downloads, there are no commercials, no interruptions, no bugs in the corner of the screen, no sped-up closing credits... basically none of the annoying things that TV networks do to ruin the content.

          If and when iTunes content becomes an ad-fest, there's always bittorrent... and if the ads get annoying enough, that's precisely where I'll end up. The surest way for the networks to ensure that they get no revenue at all is to take desperate, panicked steps to increase their revenue.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @10:14PM (#17123308)
            When i quit watching tv it was exactly because of this. There was no tivo around back then, and one day i said to myself if they try to sell me another goddamned pickup truck before this show is over ill toss the fucking tv out on the curb & never turn one on again.

            The VERY NEXT COMMERCIAL was for ford pickup trucks, no kidding.

            I took it as a sign and threw the damn tv out right away. Best thing i ever did.

            And youre right, it has made me more sensitive to advertising, I cant bear commercial radio these days, and i would never even dream of going online without an ad blocker. Ive simply had enough. If i want your product i will seek it out, otherwise leave me the hell alone, the more you shove your shit in my face, the less i want it.

            Ive found that nowadays advertising has opposite the intended effect on me. When i do see an ad for the latest movie/product it makes me want to avoid seeing/buying it. When im at the store i ALWAYS look for generic/always save/no-ad brand (yes there actually is a brand called no-ad, and it is my favorite precisely because they dont advertise)

            So advertisers, when you pop up in front of me & say "buy X-brand widgets" what *I* hear is "stay the hell away from x-brand widgets, they suck balls"
            When I block your ads, i'm doing you a favor.
          • Ad arms race (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HangingChad (677530)

            As for TV, I'm just waiting until the last two or three of my favorite shows are available on the iTunes Store so I can cancel my DirecTV subscription.

            We do sort of the same thing with Netflix. We're ready to drop HBO from our cable lineup. You might have an even better idea there. Download your shows and watch what you want, put an antenna up for local stations. DirecTV always manages to find a reason to raise our rates every year, Dish is worse.

            But I'm wondering if the download shows won't start

          • Ironically, some of the worst channels here for excessive commercials are the cable channels. Much as I love so much of their programming, BBC Canada [bbccanada.com] is almost unwatchable live, so I record it and skip the ads. They do the right thing with some shows (e.g. Spooks [bbc.co.uk]), showing them uncut in an expanded time slot. Others they cut (e.g. Life on Mars [bbc.co.uk]), but I'm a regular customer of various U.K. DVD places and have a multi-system TV and multi-region DVD player.

            In the U.K. the BBC is funded by license fees: in eff

  • Always has been (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RealSurreal (620564) * on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:25PM (#17121430)
    Consumers have always been fed up with ads - they just never had a way to avoid them before.
    • by Firehed (942385)
      And with sponsored product integration into shows, you'll continue to have no way to avoid them. On the plus side, you might see 30-minute shows becomes 30 minutes long again (but don't count on it).

      Of course, that only applies to TV right now, but expect it to creep into other forms of media.
    • I think the original poster is wrong about this study losing meaning because it conflates adblocking with spam blocking. Both online ads and spam are unwelcome intrusions into our daily lives, and both are delivered via the internet. Both can be blocked with readily available technology and both are widely ignored by users, even when they get through the protection.

      I think you're making the mistake of granting online ads some special significance because they were paid for by mainstream operations, but re
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Ididerus (898803)
        Well, personally, I'd rather watch free porn over a blackberry, unless it was vine-ripe and full of juice.
      • by misleb (129952)
        Of course they are similar, but I want to see the numbers separated. I want to know how many people are using are using ad blocking vs. spam blocking separately. They are different because consumers don't usually choose to block spam. Usually one's ISP or mail provider implements it globally. A consumer might appreciate the feature, but they didn't necessarily request it. So to say "consumers are blocking ads at a signficantly higher rate" because their email is filtered is misleading. It would be more accu
  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:26PM (#17121434)
    The study would have been more meaningful if it hadn't conflated spam blocking with ad blocking.

    I dunno. For me, and I suspect many people, there's very little difference between spam and non-spam advertising.

    • by squidinkcalligraphy (558677) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:31PM (#17121500)
      Interesting, isn't it - I was thinking the same thing - both are unwanted intrusions into your day.

      However, non-spam advertising tends to cover (or help cover) the costs of whatever it is you're consuming (website, TV program, train ride), while spam is completely unsolicited (email spam, junk postal mail).

      I guess you'd have to put billboards into the category, though I (unfortunately) don't see legislation against those popping up in a hurry.
      • by roman_mir (125474)
        However, non-spam advertising tends to cover (or help cover) the costs of whatever it is you're consuming (website, TV program, train ride), while spam is completely unsolicited (email spam, junk postal mail). - the cable TV advertising is completely unsolicited by most (I am sure,) since consumers are paying (mostly) for the cable.

        Google ads on the other hand are just a trade-off, that the consumers are mostly willing to live with, since they are not paying for the service (even though I actually filter ou
        • Movie theaters are just as guilty at pushing unsolicited ads onto the paying customers as cable TV providers, utilities such as gas/electrical/phone companies/ISPs etc.
          • Re:More than that (Score:4, Insightful)

            by SnapperHead (178050) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:55PM (#17121808) Homepage Journal
            Movie theaters piss me off, which is why I stopped going there more then once a year. I love paying $9 per ticket, $20 for a drink and popcorn, sit in a theater with some jackass laughing with his friends the entire time, some baby crying, the guy in front of me who takes his shoes off, getting my sit back kicked non-stop ... then to top it all off, seeing a totally crappy movie.

            I have ranted about this many times. I will deal with ads on TV, websites, etc. But, I can not stand sitting through 5 car commericals, 4 perfume commericals and 6 soft drink commericals ... only to have more commericals come at me.

            ok .... deep breath ...
            • Re:More than that (Score:5, Insightful)

              by TekPolitik (147802) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:06PM (#17121966) Journal

              I love paying $9 per ticket, $20 for a drink and popcorn, sit in a theater with some jackass laughing with his friends the entire time, some baby crying, the guy in front of me who takes his shoes off, getting my sit back kicked non-stop ...

              This is why I only ever see movies in gold class unless I'm taking the kids. In gold class you don't get any kids because everybody has to be old enough to legally drink alcohol, you don't get noisy chatter among a group of friends since it's priced out of range for the sort of people that do that, you won't get the feet in the back of your seat unless the person behind you is at about 12 feet tall since the seats are spaced far enough apart that this can't happen.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cp.tar (871488)

        I fail to see by which criteria TV ads are solicited.

        Though I do welcome them every once in a while, when they enable me to take a leak without missing a bit of a lengthy movie.

        Given a choice, I'd still get rid of them. Most of them are so annoying that they get on my "I won't buy this shit. Ever. Even if the competing product is cheaper." list.

        If I want it, I'll look for it myself. See if I find any happy customers.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by MollyB (162595)
          Besides seconding your sentiments regarding the annoyance factor, I suggest, in addition, that there is a simple economic argument to make: the cost of the promotion must be tacked onto the thing being sold. I never buy stuff I see advertised on TV (e.g. John Deere) and always hunt down the low profile reliables (e.g. Kubota).
        • by Sunburnt (890890) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:06PM (#17121958)
          "Though I do welcome them every once in a while, when they enable me to take a leak without missing a bit of a lengthy movie."

          You need to upgrade to DVR, friend. It enables you to take a shit without missing any of the film.
        • Given a choice, I'd still get rid of them. Most of them are so annoying that they get on my "I won't buy this shit. Ever. Even if the competing product is cheaper."

          Funny, my list is like your's except that mine is the "I won't buy this shit. Ever. Even if the competing product is costlier."

          Same goes for WalMart and such. I finally was fed up with the overall quality sucking, so I've quit shopping there. It's not some altruistic reason like wages, Chinese labor, etc. just tired of the crap quality.
          -nB

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by dgatwood (11270)

            There are two types of stores: specialty stores that sell good products in a very narrow area and general stores that sell cheap products in a wide variety of areas. The specialty stores are few and far between, and mostly seem to exist in areas like furniture, fabrics, clothing, bicycles... mostly higher priced products that are not electronic in nature, though fabric succeeds as a specialty store because there are so many different types that it isn't practical for a general purpose store to cover it tho

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lymond01 (314120)
        However, non-spam advertising tends to cover (or help cover) the costs of whatever it is you're consuming (website, TV program, train ride)

        Yes, because my $140 monthly cable/internet bill just doesn't seem to be enough...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          And what portion of that goes to slashdot or any other site you visit? How do they get any piece of that money?

          They don't, so why do you bring that up?
        • None of that money goes to actually making that media.
        • by Bryansix (761547)
          What in the world? First off who pays that much for broadband?! Secondly don't get me started with this crap about paying for access to Internet so therefore everything on it should be free. It's completely illogical. Hell you are on Slashdot which is advertiser supported and without that support this website would not exist.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by XMunkki (533952)
          Well I guess the actual point is that if you pay $140 a month, none of that goes to the content providers. As a web master, every hit I get costs me something. Of course it's not that much and I'm not that scared (and even want hits), but the cost is on the receiving end (of the query). If none of the pages you view were free, you'd soon stop using the internet or at the very least you'd contend that your $140 is not getting you enough.

          And it is quite possible that you have your own website as well. Imagine
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Sunburnt (890890)
        "I guess you'd have to put billboards into the category, though I (unfortunately) don't see legislation against those popping up in a hurry."

        Not anymore, at any rate. Vermont's banned them since 1968. [publicbroadcasting.net] They're apparently [wikipedia.org] illegal in three other states as well: Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii.
    • Non-spam ads actually help pay for the media you are using. Spam ads do not.
  • that someone actually _payed_ for the report. -- I am currently looking for fundings for a report on wether or not the percentage of people who think that water is wet increased last year or not. VISA, Mastercard virgin sacrifices accepted.
    • by teslar (706653) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:06PM (#17121960)
      I am currently looking for fundings for a report on wether or not the percentage of people who think that water is wet increased last year or not.
      You clearly do not work in academia, so read and learn:

      Your project will be called "Description of belief distribution dynamics over large time frames as a function of population dynamics: Is water wet?"

      Your angle is the general question of how does the percentage of people holding a given general belief, obvious as it may seem, vary over time? Answering this very important question allows valuable insights both into likely distributions during significant historical events, for instance when Columbus set sail on the medium that some people may have believed to be wet and the likely distribution at any point in the future. In the specific case of "is water wet?", this information can be used comercially, for instance, by umbrella manufactures in order to better understand the dynamics of their market over time - if the percentage of people believing that water is wet is at a low point, this may reflect in a decline of umbrella sale.

      The answer is to your question not obvious. At a minimum, to find it, you will need to:
      1 Identify the number of people one year ago who did believe that water was wet
      2 Identify how many of those have since died
      3 Investigate whether babies are born with an innate belief about the state of water and if not, do they acquire this in their first year?
      4 Identify the number of babies born in one year
      5 Identify the number of people who have changed believe in the last year and optionally investigate why
      6 Estimate the new number of people now believing water is wet based on 2-5 above
      7 Calculate the percentage based on the current total world population

      Once you have answered this basic question, you can go on to build a general predictive model of the evolution of this percentage over time, tie it in with commercial market research as described above and look for correlations with other trends in the population.

      This is a significant workload - you will easily be able to argue for and get enough funding for yourself, 3 PhDs and a Post Doc if you spin this right. Remember, your project is interdisciplinary - it involves Sociology, Infant Psychology, Dynamical Systems and Marketing at a minimum. Interdisciplinary stuff is becoming quite trendy, so write Interdisciplinary Research Proposal in big letters onto your funding application - it can only help.

  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:33PM (#17121524) Homepage Journal
    ``according to a Forrester Research report, consumers are fed up with ads.''

    And I'm fed up with hearing about it and not knowing what it means. What _are_ these "ads" people are talking about?
  • by Rayin (901745) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:34PM (#17121536)
    What I'd really be interested in is a study on how effective advertising is, and the trends over time, on several types of advertisements. I can't remember ever buying a product based on an advertisement. At the same time, I can recall many times when I've promised myself NOT to buy a product as a result of a terrible, or invasive/unwanted advertisement. As ads permeate our lives more and more, I imagine I'm not alone. Personally, when I'm looking for a product, I pointedly search for reviews on it, and descriptions of features. Generally I look at the company website and, if available, third-party ratings and tests. With the Internet coming into more and more prevalent use in our daily lives, perhaps the old paradigm of "push it till they are sick of it, and will remember it" should trend towards "give them a place to find it, and information on it, if they want it."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ezzaral (1035922)
      You definitely are not alone in your aversion. The frequency with which I see an ad for a product varies inversely with my likelihood to purchase it. My wife finds it pretty amusing how irritated I get over some ads and often asks me if talking back to the TV has made me feel better (yeah, it does). She on the other hand just tunes them out and says they don't bother her. I've often wondered how many others share my extreme aversion to all forms of advertising. Obviously it has not reached a sufficiently cr
      • by peragrin (659227)
        More than most people are willing to guess. ads in my home get muted, or the channel changed or blocked by some other means. i can tune out most of them, but some I just can't stand. But ads work like spam. you send out a hundred million identical copies to 30 million people and chances are 5-10 will buy the product. it's profitable I guess. that or a bunch of people are really good at lying.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shihar (153932)
      The point isn't to make you want a product. They just want you to recognize the product. The simple recognition of a product adds credibility. Take Esurance. I bet you have seen their irritating ads. I bet if you were looking for car insurance on the Internet you would be weary of a company you have never heard of. On the other hand, I bet you would at least believe that Esurance is not a sketchy fly by night operation. This is all the advertisers want out of you.

      They want you to believe that their p
  • by Aaarrrggghhh (987643) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:38PM (#17121582)
    It probably won't be long before some clever ad makers create a secondary level ad within an ad that seems static at normal speeds and becomes a more active/interesting animation as people fast forward with their DVRs.
    • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:50PM (#17121742) Homepage
      TV ad producers have been doing this for a while - advert spots that only look right when you fast-forward past them. They were fairly common on ITV and Channel 4 in the UK for a while in the 80s, but seem to have fallen out of fashion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Surt (22457)
      This is already being done. Some of the lesser cable channels are starting to do this to try to cross advertise their shows. The problem is, I can't imagine how painful it must be for someone without a DVR.
  • by cswiger2005 (905744) <cswiger@mac.com> on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:38PM (#17121590) Homepage
    A better quote from the article would have been:

    "Broadband households have become even harder to reach: some 81% of those with high-speed Internet access employ pop-up blockers and spam filters."

    It's not surprising, either. At one point, it was commonly recognized that computers belonged to the people that owned them, and that it was the responsibility of people writing software to make sure that the software was well-behaved and did what the user told the software to do-- except for deliberately malicious software. While I do not claim that all forms of advertising are malicious, it's becoming the case that websites using lots of pop-up or pop-under ads, or software like games using Massive's technology or other in-game ad-delivery mechanisms operate under the assumption that they are free to do things with the user's computer and consume networking resources to fetch and display content that the user didn't ask for and does not want.

    I can tolerate ad-bars appearing on the right-hand side of a page, so long as most of the screen real-estate shows the actual content I want, but some sites do obnoxious and deceptive things like displaying an interstital ad first. My response to that is to copy the ad link into an email, and send a complaint off to both the webmaster of the site I was on, and the site holding the advertising, indicating that their ad was so annoying that I won't be returning to the offending site for at least one week, and that obviously they will be losing my eyeballs and ad impression revenue for that period of time.

    It seems to have an effect, too. At least two of the newspapers I visit (the Boston Globe & the LA Times) have toyed with interstitial ads and have dropped them soon afterwards....
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)
      Actually, many advertisers have stopped using pop-up windows because most of the newer web browsers have built-in pop-up/pop-nder blocking (Internet Explorer 6.01 SP1 with third-party toolbars, Internet Explorer 7.0, the original Mozilla web browser and its SeaMonkey successor, Firefox, Opera and Safari). They now use ads that are part of the web page instead.
  • by Sunburnt (890890) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:42PM (#17121640)
    Advertisers and networks are getting clever at sneaking ads past us DVR users. So far, I've seen:

    1. Ads styled to resemble the program they interrupt: this is common during the Daily Show, especially during the last commercial break.

    2. Experienced DVR users note that the blank-screen pause length between shows and commercials is generally longer than that between two commercials. I've observed other people responding both consciously and unconsciously to this, unpausing shows quickly during that period of blackness. Who doesn't like being precise with the remote and avoiding the post-commercial rewind? I've noticed that some networks, for the greater part of this past year, put a longer pause between the second-to-last and last commercial. Usually, some of the ad's audio is played before the FF function is rapidly restored; sometimes, people will just sit through the ad. The fact that I've only seen this with this particular timing (it wouldn't make sense to do this between two early commercials, because the viewer's brain isn't cued up to unpause the DVR) is what leads me to suspect it as a deliberate ploy; perhaps some /.er in the broadcast industry knows more?

    Anyone noticed any more of these little tricks? If I was an advertiser in a market with a high proportion of people likely to use DVR, I'd try a 15-second, unchanging, large-text ad with voice-over to at least propagate the brand and slogan for a few seconds of FF time.
    • by lou2ser (458778)
      You mean like HeadOn?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeadOn [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rich0 (548339)
      I use mythtv to ad-skip all the time, and I've noticed the blank screen before the last commercial in a break on ocassion. I don't think it is intended to deceive - I think this is a result of how commercials get mixed into the video feed. Typically the last commercial in the break is a network promo for another show. I think that these ads come pre-mixed into the feed for the program that you're watching, and the affiliates mix in the rest of the ads. So, that would explain the blank before the last ad
  • I use Adblock with Firefox, but I only use it to block particular annoying ads. The ads on slashdot, for instance, are relatively unobtrusive, and don't flash or anything that would drive me to block it. When I do block an ad, I'll generally put a * somewhere pretty early in the string (such as http://ad.doubleclick.net/* [doubleclick.net]), so anything from the obnoxious advertiser gets blocked. As soon as the advertiser puts up one obnoxious ad, I'm done with them.

    Spam is another thing entirely. Some spam is advertisement

    • by Sporkinum (655143)
      The article linked had approximately 35 items blocked in my current adblock configuration.
  • The study would have been more meaningful if it hadn't conflated spam blocking with ad blocking.

    Wow... I wonder whether there happens to be three times more DVRs now? Weren't these people just using the fast forward button on their VCR before?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sunburnt (890890)
      "Weren't these people just using the fast forward button on their VCR before?"

      I don't know what the data would suggest, but my anecdotal experience indicates otherwise. Everyone I hang out with uses DVR to avoid ads; none of these people were previously using their VCR for the same function. It probably is a matter of convenience; although I don't know anyone (I hope) who is befuddled by VCR programming, it is undeniably easier to use a DVR, connected as it is to the technology which lets the viewer fi
    • by MoonBuggy (611105)
      As the other reply said, using a VCR is IMO not worth the effort just to avoid the ads; obviously if it were a show I taped anyway then I would fast-forward through them, but since I got a DVR I'll just hit pause at the beginning of a show I am watching at that moment, or at the beginning of the first ad break, do something else for 10 or 15 minutes and then have an hour's worth of TV show with ads I can skip. Combined with the fact that series linking and having a single button to go from "hmm, that might
  • by MonkeyBoyo (630427) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @07:54PM (#17121806)
    I used to think that if I visited sites with advertising then I shouldn't interfere with the ads. After all I didn't have to look at them.

    Then fancier moving ads came out (maybe some with bugs) and I found some used up most of my CPU cycles in firefox.

    Eventually I had to install AdBlock+ so I could be sure that I could have 40 tabs open without cripling the browser.

    Sure a fancy ad may only add a little overhead, but when you multiply that by 40 it adds up.
    • by Dynedain (141758)
      So true, so true...

      I installed Firefox with Adblock and the Filterset G updater on my girlfriend's aging Mac laptop. Because without the adblocking, she couldn't even edit her MySpace page due to the overbearing animated advertising that appears all over that site. Her computer would just lock up from the load.
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by leeosenton (764295)
    "The study would have been more meaningful if it hadn't conflated spam blocking with ad blocking."

    Then why post this here?
  • by wile_e_wonka (934864) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:05PM (#17121954)
    It isn't like people just get DVRs just to skip ads. And people don't download the Google toolbar just because it blocks popups (actually, I bet more do this than buy DVRs to skip ads--before switching to Opera, I used to use the Google toolbar to block popups, but I would not actually show the toolbar, so I was actually only using it for its popup blocking ability, not for its search features. But I bet the majority of users download it for the search function).

    The article could more correctly say that "people are fed up with ads" if it were showing that people are going out of their way to block them. Instead they're showing that a lot of people downloaded the Google toolbar and discovered that it also blocks ads, and a lot of people bought DVRs so they could watch shows whenever they want, and discovered they can also fast forward through commercials.

    A better measure of people's "fed-upness" with ads would be keeping track of the increase in use of products like ad-block in Firefox, or see if there's a major increase in the use of products that block ads that cost money (far fewer people would use such a product, but a dramatic increase in usership could likely be extrapolated to the general attitude of a population).
  • by darrenadelaide (860548) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:10PM (#17122002)
    What can you expect when ads are intrusive and frequently block themselves over using Javascript over the text you are trying to read.

    I got so fed up after yet another wired blog was covered over by their own paid advertising I started to block them, if they would have be un-obtrusive (for example google who I think do a good job in balancing the ads to be there but not in your face!) I wouldnt have bothered.

    Until companies like Wired stomp on this practice rather than encouraging it they are going to be seen as just as much as (well not quite this bad) a pariah as companies such as zango.

    Darren
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ^_^x (178540)
      I agree... I cut my visits to Wired to a minimum when I noticed they started using Javascript to reload their pages every 30 seconds. I would assume it's for some kind of tracker to see how long each page is being read - but it feels like someone's reading over my shoulder, and I don't really want to leave my browser open to any of their pages now, or manually disable Javascript to read their site, so they're history to me.
  • Count loyalty in (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:23PM (#17122144) Homepage
    I too am disturbed with websites that produce too little content and too many ads, but there's a conundrum attached right next to it.

    Most webbies of today are free of charge, whereas the visitor has the right to objectively decide whether he or she wants to read it for free or not. I feel that if I browse a site and return to it as well, I also need to give the author something in return. It's all about loyalty and morale. You get something for free and should therefore give something back.

    Some can argue that there are too many ads on the sites they visit. If this is true, there is likely a good alternative to that site, too. What better way to show that you're displeased than stop visiting the site?
  • by JoeSchmoe007 (1036128) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @08:26PM (#17122178)
    The lack of interesting content on TV is a related problem that is just as important. I, for once, just stopped watching TV altogether 7 years ago and haven't had any kind of service since. My decision was 70% motivated by luck of content I was interested in and 30% by annoyance of commercials.
    • Especially when there is bittorrent to download the little bit of content that you do want to watch. I canceled my cable service* 2 years ago and my MythTV box turned into a downloader. I feel no guilt about downloading content that was otherwise broadcast. I was really only paying the cable company for delivery of content (not the content itself) and I would have MythTV'd the ads anyway... so what is the difference?

      It is interesting how using MythTV actually got me watching LESS TV. I would have thought it
  • Spam=Ad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday December 05, 2006 @09:58PM (#17123172)
    The study would have been more meaningful if it hadn't conflated spam blocking with ad blocking.

    Are they not both advertisements customers don't wish to receive? And it's hard to argue website flash ads aren't as intrusive as advertising in my Inbox. As are the ads on TV shows that come over the speakers at twice the volume as the actual program.

    Spam originated on Usenet, so to say that spam has to be sent solely via email is absurd.

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