The Price for Free

Will the proliferation of ad-blocking software lead to a ‘pay per view’ internet?–PC Pitstop.

The Price for Free

by Jim Hillier for Daves Computer Tips

Ads – The Price We Pay for “Free“

As soon as companies realized the sheer reach and potential of the world wide web, it quickly became the “in” medium for pushing products and promoting sales. Ads galore – it doesn’t matter what site you visit, you are almost certain to be confronted with ads – some right there in your face, others of the more subtle variety.

No wonder then that millions of users have turned to ad-blocking software to rid themselves of this annoyance and, at the same time, increase their enjoyment of using the Web. BUT, and it is a huge but, is this proliferation of ad-blocking software now itself set to slowly but surely change the inherent nature of the internet via its negative impact on revenue?

The first steps on the road to pay-for-view have already begun with news sites such as The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times all limiting content for non-paying readers. Now, German tabloid “Build.de” is preventing users from even accessing the site if they have ad-blocking software installed and active:


The two alternatives are currently to either disable the ad-blocking software or pay $3.40 per month to access a mostly ad-free version of the site. According to publisher Axel Springer, these measures are necessary for Bild.de to make ends meet:

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