I’m a huge fan of Marco Arment’s Instapaper and usually enjoy his blog, but in Double-dipping, he offers an opinion that, as a guy who writes for magazines, rubs me up the wrong way:
I bought my first iPad magazine1 last weekend: one issue of The New Yorker. […] As I was flipping through it, when I saw the first of many full-page ads, I was offended. I thought, “I paid good money for this and it’s full of ads?”
Consumers have tolerated double-dipping — products that cost customers money and have ads — for over a century.
Double-dipping? An interesting term for advertising. In reality, adverts are a subsidy. Without them, magazines would cost more, and I’ll bet—given that magazines are already often quite expensive—that would anger readers more than a few ads they can skip astonishingly easily.
It doesn’t feel as offensive in contexts that have always had it, such as printed newspapers and magazines, or cable TV.
Ads in digital magazines are a swipe to shift away. They’re easier to skip than adverts on TV.
Maybe these different standards are because the contexts are so different: magazines, newspapers, and TV all feel cheap, since they’ve shat on consumers to make a few more cents for decades,
Just… wow. I remember when I was a kid and bought chunky videogame magazines for about a pound. Typically, in those days, they would be 50 per cent adverts. In some cases, I actually quite liked the adverts; even if I didn’t, it was clear from responses in the letters pages that without them, I’d be paying three quid for the magazine instead of one. This didn’t make me feel like I was being “shat on”—it made me realise that I was getting the same content, but for less money, with the compromise being some ads I could very easily ignore.
Adverts are only really a problem if they’re horribly intrusive, such as when a television show is astonishingly badly cut, or when websites shove ads in your face before you see any content.
… but the iPad or a well-designed website are clean, high quality, and customer-centric.
Or maybe it’s just me. I just don’t feel comfortable paying for an iPad or web publication, no matter how good it is, and then having ads shoved down my throat. It makes me feel ripped off: what did I pay for?
How about the content, and the wages of the people who write the content, and who design the app?