Will adblock plus stop you making money online?

The Internet is a wonderful thing.  Information on any subject is available throughout the world for free.

With a mobile phone in his pocket a farmer in Idaho now has the same information that was once only available to the President 20 years ago and at a fraction of the cost.

There is a snag though.  That content costs money to produce and – for the most part – most internet users aren’t accustomed to paying for it outright.  They expect it to be free; whether that be a recipe, relationship advice, medical information, a timezone calculator, games, email, weather forecasting, messaging – whatever you want, you can get.  And it’s all free.  Or rather, it’s made free by being ‘ad funded’.

But this advertising ecosystem, funding this content – is changing fast.  Desktop ad blockers like adblock plus and apple’s stance on ad blockers for mobile for iOS9 – are making ad blocking easy and stopping the flow of value back to the content creators.  Latest estimates that US ad blocking grew 45% this year and will wipe $1bn / year off the revenues of online publishers.

So what’s going to happen?  Are ad blockers going to kill us all off?  Can the internet stay free?  Will ad blockers force users to buy content from just a few ‘approved’ content producers?

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