Ads are part of equation
I DON’T really understand why people complain about advertising so much.
While ads are annoying, they do serve an important function: they pay for the stuff you watch. But sadly, advertising is beginning to infiltrate places it never used to be found.
SBS had to resort to selling advertising some time ago to balance its operating costs and, with its continued federal government funding on shaky ground, you can probably expect to see a little more of it in the future.
Even some pay- TV networks rely on advertising these days, much to the disgust of subscribers who assumed ( quite reasonably) that by paying a subscription for their TV content would mean advertising wasn’t necessary.
And Youtube has started wedging advertising into some of its more hightraffic channels as well.
Naturally, users complained loudly about the commercial intrusion ( on a free service nobody was forcing them to use) but the ads have stayed.
And, funnily enough, the world’s biggest video- sharing website didn’t collapse under an exodus of disenchanted users – people accepted it, got over it, and got on with their lives.
Ads are annoying, that’s the point – if they’re not intrusive, they won’t be noticed. If they’re not going to be noticed, nobody’s going to pay to advertise. Advertising is a necessary evil in the world of free media. TV shows and online newspapers don’t produce themselves and not everyone has government funding.
And for all the complaints about how advertising is flooding our electronic media these days, it isn’t anything new.
Free- to- air TV has been subsidised by advertising and sponsorship practically since the first shows hit the airwaves. Although people generally don’t like watching ads, they have generally been accepted as part of the landscape.
Streaming and downloading content online is becoming more popular as a way of watching TV and movies in the internet age and TV networks and production companies are learning that there is little point trying to fight this.
They are learning to embrace it and use it. For it to be sustainable, it also needs to be profitable.
TV networks who stream selected shows online through ‘‘ catch- up’’ services are already making this evolution, offering their content for free online – all you have to do is watch one ad at the beginning of each segment.
Seriously, that’s not exactly a humanitarian atrocity is it?
If a few ads mean our TV and movie content online continues to be available easily and for free, it’s a small price to pay.
Free information and entertainment is great, but remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pick up the tab, and advertising has been doing that for decades.
Speaking of lunch, it’s time for a word from our sponsor . . .