The Fight For Freedom From Adverts

Dr Stuart Woolley
Predict
Published in
5 min readFeb 12, 2023

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A new war is coming against insidious ads that are beginning to pollute public spaces, both online and offline.

Photo by Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura on Pexels

A disturbing trend in the modern world is that adverts are creeping insidiously into more and more places that previously were immune to their irritating pestilence.

At first they were confined to TV screens or commercial radio broadcasts between programmes, but as we rarely watch broadcast style TV or listen to mass commercial radio any more that market is on its slow and inevitable decline to eventual obsolescence.

Indeed, much of the audio and video content we consume in the modern world is now facilitated by streaming services — a middle ground between owning tangible content and putting up with endless adverts that is credited with saving the music industry and propping up the TV one to boot.

We can jump between such streaming services at will and pay, usually a fairly small sum, for the privilege of not having to watch or listen to adverts and for a virtually limitless supply of content.

As with all industries where a potential money making racket is identified, we’re seeing a fragmentation of video screening services — something that died out a long time ago in the music industry, thankfully.

This ultimately degrades their usefulness as no-one will continue to pay for many and disparate streaming services as both the aggregate cost and friction of use rises above a certain threshold.

Indeed, some services that are losing revenue as a result of this fragmentation, loss of subscribers, and slowly diminishing content due to lack of available resources¹ are already undertaking a kind of race-to-the-bottom in the offering of free or lower priced services for the price of, you guessed it, having to watch adverts.

This, of course, is unsustainable and a consolidation bloodbath is coming in video streaming services in the style of VHS vs. Betamax — but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today.

Audio and video aside, the war has been won against page hogging online website advertisements that reduce the percentage of content to next to nothing and soak up download bandwidth with megabytes of JavaScript page coded bloat.

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Dr Stuart Woolley
Predict

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.