We pay for website content by viewing advertisements. Ads have become intrusive and heavy; they take away personal privacy in the content-to-data exchange, suck up an enormous amount of bandwidth, and that caused users to revolt. What about apps?
Old Is Better
There are times when new methods and products help to improve our lives. There are times when they do not. Seatbelts? Improvement. Filtered water? Improvements. Expensive AirPods Pro with AppleCare+? Mixed results. Great audio becomes expensive audio.
Websites need advertising. Application developers need advertising. Website visitors need content and information. Mac, iPhone, and iPad users need applications. See how all that works together?
Unfortunately, it isn’t working too well. Internet users are rebelling against oppressive and weighty advertising.
For example, use GTMetrix and test a Mac360 article page. It doesn’t matter which article, but I chose one of my recent ones. My PageSpeed and YSlow scores (tests that display online performance) are among the highest on the interwebs. The Fully Loaded Time is barely 1-second. Total Page Size is less than 150KB. Total Requests is 7.
Now, compare that to another Apple oriented website I follow– iMore. iMore fails both PageSpeed and YSlow scores. Fully Loaded Time is over 42-seconds, Total Page Size is 3.17MB. That’s megabytes. The number of requests– many of these are advertiser trackers– is more than 700. That’s 700. Vs. 7.
See a problem?
Website visitors do not mind advertising. Mac360 has advertising. One display ad, two text-link ads, two innocuous embedded text ads. That works for us. That works for our readers. Mac360’s pages load blazingly fast, use up far less bandwidth, and work perfectly well on a big Mac display or a small iPhone display.
The obvious problem identified above causes other problems. Tom Foremski calls it a digital divide. Online advertisers struggle to make money. Websites struggle to make money while Google and Facebook own most of the online advertising industry. They make money.
What’s the next problem?
Media companies are being forced into a subscription model because deflationary advertising trends cannot support high-quality free content — and that’s very bad for society.
Good content comes at a price. Either a behind-a-paywall subscription price, or websites full of ads and trackers which steal private information from readers.
The continuing devaluation of advertising by Google, Facebook, and the rest of the web is keeping the media sector in a perpetual round of disruptions — with layoffs and closures and forcing them into a paywalled subscription business and away from free content paid for by advertising.
Those names crop up often. Is it any wonder that politicians want to divvy them up? They can be described as a scourge on society.
Traditionally, more eyeballs mean more advertising revenues, and media companies have been getting larger and larger audiences. But there’s something wrong; their advertising revenues continue to fall.
Those days are gone.
Yet, I see something similar taking place with applications, and it is happening much the same way. There was a time when apps had a price tag. Buy the app and you own it and could use it forever, including free upgrades for life.
Those days are gone.
There are more than 100-million Mac users, about 300-million iPad users, more than 1-billion iPhone users– and that isn’t counting the billions of Android users or hundreds of millions of Windows PC users– but the number applications available to each of us has grown something akin to an exponential order of magnitude™.
Too many apps mean developers, like advertisers, struggle to make money and find it difficult to survive and few prosper. So, Apple opened the doors to app subscriptions; sort of an app developer’s paywall.
The Golden Rule applies. Them with the gold get to rule. If you have money, you can get the best online content. If you have money, you can use the best applications. Either way, you pay and pay by the month.
Who is to blame for this mess? The nature of the internet? Apple? Google and Facebook? Greedy advertisers? Whomever or whatever is to blame the whole conglomeration has congealed into a deadly sauce that threatens to divide humanity into the haves and have nots. Again.