HOLY BALLS. RANT INCOMING.
Back in the days of TV, we expected to get quality programming for free, but we understood that we got it in exchange for watching advertising. The ads supported the shows, and the people who worked the shows on them got paid decent salaries.
Nowadays, the internet is still trying to figure out how to make money for itself. The content is still free, but there is no implicit contract between the viewers and the advertisers.
So, while the system works itself out, advertisers are trying to put TV style ads with internet content (which is on the whole much shorter because no content creators can afford to produce TV length content as the monetization system just isn't in place yet) and we get complaints that the ads are almost as long as the video you want to watch. Things will sort themselves out in time. The internet needs to find the most efficient way to make money. Please stick with the ads.
When you use an adblocker - who are you hurting with this seemingly innocent act?
Advertisers? Yes, a little bit, they loose some eyes on their message.
Websites? Yes, a little bit, as they loose a fraction of a cent for each ad you don't see.
Content Creators and regular people? Yes! Why? Crap flows downhill my friend.
You? The most - read on.
The internet needs content - videos, columns, comics, porn, whatever. Without content, there would be no internet. I think everyone can agree people who create quality content should be paid a fair market rate for their time, but the money to pay for the content that drives the eyeballs to the site doesn't come from thin air. It comes in exchange for people seeing advertisements. (Or an equivalent - pub club members don't see ads because they've already paid for the content.)
If people don't see advertisements, the ads don't get clicks and don't get their message across. This means advertisers pay the websites less and less, and lose confidence in the internet as a marketing system because it doesn't really seem to work.
When websites don't make money, they close down shop (after all, a business isn't in the business of providing you free entertainment), lay off employees, and certainly can't afford to pay content creators fair value (or any value) for their work. Sure, content creators can work for free to do something they love (something I personally did for 7 years before LRR started working with the Escapist), but at some point, you have to give up a hobby that costs you money and time and find a real job.
Before you say I'm whining, keep in mind I do have a real job. I sit at a desk 4 days a week (my company is actually wonderful and supportive of my other job - LRR) so I can work Fridays, Saturdays, evenings (and sometimes Sundays) to provide you with free content.
So, when you block ads, you take away the money that compensates me for this work. You reduce the profitability of sites like The Escapist that are willing to pay me, (instead of expecting it for free as many sites do, as there's lots of content out there, and a website has to pay its bills and keep roofs over its employee's heads before it considers paying contractors like me) and you reduce my ability to make content until I get to the point where I say, "you know what, screw it, and go back to working 5 days a week because I can't AFFORD to do what I love" and I stop making internet funny times.
By refusing to pay for content or watch ads, you slowly strangle the creative people who make it for you. And you don't strangle the 14 year old kid who puts up stuff on his deviant art profile, you strangle the incredibly talented web-cartoonist who stops working on comics to do more professional illustration work. You strangle the really talented writers who go back to day jobs in marketing. You kill the best content by keeping its creators from getting fair compensation.
Sure, there's new content always being created, but the creators won't keep making it for you for free forever. Eventually, they'll have to grow up and move on with their lives. And who will be worse off?
So holy shit, if you like an artist, buy a print. If you like ENN, watch an ad. If you like a writer, buy their book. If you refuse to pay for content, eventually there won't be an quality content for you to refuse to pay for.
This is why I love you guys, you juggle all the work of LRR and the other wonderful stuff you guys put up on The Escapist with actual careers and your own lives.
I'd gladly sit through ten minutes worth of ads for one LRR video.
Again, if sitting through an ad every now and then is what it takes to enjoy your stuff, then it's kind of a steal if you ask me.