Back in the days, to the layperson, getting annoyed with those text or banner ads was an indication that you’ve been using the “free” stuff for a little too long. And along came the browser plug-ins that would get rid of ads on (almost) all the websites for a paltry “donation.” I remember making a few here and there to help me stay focused.
But then, businesses with a significant online presence started to experiment with payment models in exchange for the value and service they provide to their audience. That’s when we began to hear words like freemium, freeware and paid services. The first two were ad-supported, but the latter was utterly ad-free!
While most of the Apple and Android AppStore apps still follow this model, the minority have moved to another payment model that rules the internet — the subscription model. Why? It’s simple to understand, easy on the pocket, and you don’t feel bad about yourself, especially if you’re on a budget.
The promise of an ad-free experience was still there, except a few massive services — The Economist and FloGrappling — that charge a premium for their subscription and still show ads! I’m a FloGrappling subscriber (because I’m a jiu-jitsu practitioner, and that’s a grappling sport… in case you were wondering). They have video ads before I can play the actual video!
I think it’s unfair to charge your customers and show them ads because it’s selfish and self-serving. Period. And I’m pretty sure thousands upon thousands of people are tied to these services because of the quality of content they publish, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer through their ads.
Being a subscriber means one has the privilege of accessing valuable content or service. And the lifetime value of these people is far higher than the revenue service can generate from displaying intrusive ads that ruin the whole experience of being a loyal customer.
That feels as if a service is taking advantage of me! How? A subscriber spends a whole lot of time-consuming content than a free user, and thanks to the ads, they will be exposed to a whole lot of ads too! So, essentially, I’m paying a company to show me some ads so they could make some more money?
This sounds so damn broken and crooked.