This issue has been debated for quite some time already, yes, I already know that. This article is just another opinion from yet another “dude” somewhere out there in the world with a website/blog to his credit. Take it for what you will. Anyways, I thought it would be interesting for me to blog about this topic and dig deep down inside myself to see how I personally feel about this issue. Sometimes, people can be very hypocritical preaching one thing and then doing the complete opposite. I’m not going to lie. I can be like that as well at times and that’s why I like to write. It allows me to think before putting something down and so it allows me to reflect more deeply on the issue. Words on paper can sometimes be just as powerful as a voice.
What is it?
OK, to kick things off, let’s see how casual users like myself view commercials and advertisements in general. When we see a commercial on TV, there are a couple of emotions that can be emitted depending on the type of person you are. Well, actually, now that I think about it, it actually boils down to whether you like them or not! Some users may view it as a complete waste of time and want nothing more than for their regular programming to air again. On the other hand, there are some users that don’t mind the commercials in general but view it as just a intermission. They can either go about their restroom break during these commercials or in other cases, look for actual services and products of interest offered in the commercials. In the end, commercials are a form of advertisement. I think that much we can all agree on. While that might not hold true for 100% of the commercial content out there, it does hold a significant portion enough. Why? Well, it’s very simple. Money. Companies pay big bucks to have their commercials run on TV in hopes of getting you interested in their product or services. The more chances of your commercial being viewed (think during Superbowl or one the many popular TV dramas) will obviously cost you a lot more compared to a commercial being broadcast at 3AM in the morning where everyone is most likely asleep. Heck, I’m sure there are many commercials out there that cost more to have it put out to public for broadcast than it is to actually create the video commercial itself! Bottom line is, commercials cost money.
So what about online advertisements? They can be considered somewhat like commercials but in many cases, much less intrusive in that it doesn’t take you completely away from the page you are viewing (although there are exceptions to this). Also, you have an option of whether to view the ad or to skip it entirely. That part is important to keep in mind when reading the rest of this article. With commercials, you have no choice but to watch it unless you are watching it pre-recorded from your DVR in which you can then fast forward it. With advertisements on websites, if an advertisement excites your interest, clicking on it will take you to a different website for more information on that product or service. If the advertisement fails, then nothing usually happens. The advertisement might be a bit distracting depending on the type being used but generally, it’s just going to sit there.
How it Works
With all that being said, advertisement sucks! Well, at least that’s what a lot of people think. It’s a distraction and a complete waste of time. However, they don’t realize the importance of those advertisements. Once again though, it comes down to money and revenue. Many services can continue to offer you content because they have a generous revenue earned through their advertisement partners. A very simple example is Hulu. Hulu allow users to catch up on their favorite TV episodes online for free as long as they have a decent broadband connection. Yes, free. What many of these users don’t stop and think about is how this is made possible. Surely the giant TV companies and production studios isn’t going to give Hulu a free pass and allow them to freely stream their content on their site for free. Come on, money talks. Hulu must pay some sort of licensing fee and whatnot to be able to give you those content. But how is it going to earn the money to pay those big companies if they don’t charge users a single penny?! I’m sure you catch on by now. By accepting to show advertisements to these users, Hulu is getting paid by these actual advertisement companies and earn revenue. Because Hulu is such a big name service, I’m sure many third-party services and product companies out there would love to pay Hulu to broadcast their commercials in hopes to reach a larger audience base which in turn would lead to more people hopefully purchasing or spreading word about their product.
Now let’s switch over to the web. Many freelance bloggers write content for everyone to read. In many cases, these content is generally of some help to the readers. These bloggers typically do not get paid whatsoever and they create content purely on their own free time. Is there a way for some of these bloggers to generate some revenue in hopes to either pay for their monthly web host or even go as far as generating their sole monthly income? Well, advertisement is the answer once again. By place adverts throughout their website in hopes of users clicking on them, they can generate some revenue. How much they earn is completely dependent on how effective their advertisements are and the amount of visitors they get on a daily basis. Advertisements is an easy way to help the content owner earn some revenue for taking the time to put together articles and other informational pieces for the general public.
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