RSS Reader Blocks RSS Ads
NewsFire, a Mac RSS reader, is now blocking advertisements from Google and FeedBurner.
According to Niall Kenedy, NewsFire is the first aggregator to block advertisements in the default installation and not a custom user-supplied CSS stylesheet.
Whether this will be a growing trend is yet to be seen, but if I was Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc., at the moment, I’d be pretty p*ssed to know that a feedreader is blocking my ads on my full feeds by default.
Good for NewsFire…maybe it will start a trend.
What’s the big deal? Any reader who desperately wants ads can use a different newsreader or just change the config. Freedom of choice.
For me, none what so ever because I don’t do RSS advertising, but if I was running full feeds like Calacanis was and making money from it (I presume he is otherwise why run the ads) any move to block the ads costs him money.
If this is true this is just dumb.
Screwing authors and publishers will lead them to either a) block your reader or b) move to excerpt feeds.
So, if NewsFire is blocking ads by default like you’re saying and they get any type of mainstream pickup, we can all thank them for killing free full-feeds.
Authors need to get paid… and ad blocking tools hurt indie authors and publishers the most. Block ads you’re basically screwing yourself because the blogs you love will either go our of business, stop running full feed, force user registration, force payment, or go out of business.
It might get you 1.5 minutes of fame to include an ad blocker in your software, but you’ll never gain the support of the rest of the ecosystem. In order for free, full-feeds to work there needs to be a revenue stream.
Also, charging people for a product to block advertising is going to get you into some major trouble with the big media/Internet companies. If anyone gets any decent marketshare with a product like this you’ll see two things:
1. Publishers will start putting ads in text format inside of content so the software can’t strip it out (game over adblocker)
2. Very large lawsuits that will crush a company like this before it ever gets off the ground.
If people want an advertising free experience they should pay for it. Right now no one wants to pay for RSS without ads so we have RSS with ads.
Anyway, where is the CEO of NewsFire… you should really be calling he/she out in this post and have them come here and comment on why they’re doing this (if they are in fact doing it).
Hmm… we’ve had adblockers in browsers for how long? A couple years. Has it killed good free content on the internet? Nope. And that’s simply because most people will not use adblockers at all, while those who use adblockers wouldn’t click on the ads anyway. So you’re not losing out anyway.
And I don’t remember that any of the www adblocker companies lost in court. But perhaps I’m mistaken?
IMHO this is yet another storm in a teacup, much ado about nothing, making an elephant out of a fly. It’s just like a couple years ago when the browser adblockers turned up and everybody predicted The End of the Web As We Know it.
Jason’s right. Publishers make money from content. Some content is more profitable than other content, but none to the point that it should all be free.
Advertising is the classic vehicle for monetizing content outside of subscription. The rise of advertising in all forms of content delivery on the Internet is directly correlated to the ‘rise of the expectation of ‘free’.
There is a growing sense in the RSS world that registration for RSS feeds is not far off on some fronts. The blocking of RSS ads may likely serve to hasten publishers to gather data that they forgo with feeds now (vis-a-vis e-mail marketing, that is).
The lesson for advertisers here is *relevancy*. It’s the ad pumpers throwing junk into feeds that’s precipitating this ‘ad blocking’ movement.
You’re missing a fundamental point Matthias. All the ad blockers I’m aware of for browsers have to be installed afterwards and configured. That immediately guarantees that about 75% of users will never bother with them.
This feedreader however is blocking the ads by default. Without any effort on the users part. So now 100% of people are blocking those ads because lets face it no one will take the time to figure out how to turn the ads on.