As an avid user of sites like YouTube and Twitch, ads are a nuisance that I have to deal with constantly. However, plug-ins like Adblock can fix this problem. This clears up the screen for what I’m looking for and not what a company is trying to sell, but Adblock does come with negative effects for content creators as well.
For those who don’t know what Adblock is, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a browser plug-in that prevents ads from appearing and, according to a recent Statistia study, the plug-in has had major growth in use from 21 million online users reportedly using Adblock in 2010 to 126 million at the beginning of 2015. Now, even though this is good for the plug-in creators and its users as a whole, it does still affect websites and content creators when the plug-in is active.
Websites that generally have a lot of ads like YouTube and Twitch give content creators the opportunity to present their viewers with as to not only get themselves a little more cash, but also to benefit the website itself. In YouTube’s monetization agreements it states that 45 percent of the ad revenue goes to them and the other fifty five percent goes to the content creator. Investopedia states that in 2013 the average revenue per thousand viewers was $7.60; however, if the viewer is an Adblock user, their view does not count towards the content creator. This then prevents the content creator from getting any ad revenue from said viewer. Now, this might affect someone like PewDiePie who, at more than 43 million subscribers on YouTube, has more than any other user on the service. But when it comes to smaller users like I Hate Everything, who only have 700 thousand subscribers and primarily make their money from ad revenue, it’s pretty important.
Twitch is a streaming service that allows its users to stream themselves playing video games. Many people make a living off of Twitch similarly to how content creators make a living off of YouTube, but ad revenue isn’t as important for streamers as it is for YouTubers. This is because of Twitch’s subscription button that allows users to pay five dollars a month to support a streamer of their choice, as well as their donation feature, which allows users to donate an amount of their choice along with a message for the streamer. Since these features are available, Adblock isn’t really a problem for Twitch streamers, but ad revenue still helps the user make money.
Overall, Adblock hurts content producers on popular sites like YouTube and Twitch, since ad revenue is a source of profit. While it may not be a big thing for Twitch streamers, YouTube channels primarily get their money from ads. Because of this, Adblock essentially steals money from these content creators that we watch, preventing them from making a living off of our support.