It appears that Ken has a major case of sour grapes. I am a user of ad blockers. I use them not only to eliminate annoying ads, I use them to protect my privacy. I do not like the idea of personalized advertising based upon what websites I visit. I do not like the idea of advertisers downloading cookies on to MY computer just because I view a web page that contains one of their ads. What web sites I view, is between me and the web site I am viewing, not some advertiser. I view web ads as an infection, needing to be controlled. AD BLOCKERS PROVIDE THAT CONTROL!!!
Ken rants against Internet users who do not experience the Internet in the fashion that would render maximum profits to Ars Technica, stopping just short of calling them thieves. It is obvious that he cares not one iota about users privacy concerns. No where does he indicate that Ars takes any steps to ensure that ads do not place tracking cookies and the such. All he does is cry about ad blockers depriving him of profits! Ken obviously cares not about users privacy issues as long as ad revenues flow.
He also displaying some ignorance of the subject on which he is pontificating. For example when he is discussing the radio and television advertising model he states "advertisers in those mediums are paying for potential to reach audiences, and not for results." I am sorry but no company spends money for "potential to reach audiences". All companies spend advertising money with the expectation of results i.e. more business. If a company spends money on a particular form of advertising and it does not produce results, they do not continue throwing money away. They go to a different form of advertising. Ken also states "They have complex models which tell them if X number are watching, Y will likely see the ad." This is true. Radio and television have complex models because they take into consideration those who do not respond to advertising.
When he states "they really have no true idea who sees what ad, and that's why it's a medium based on potential and not provable results" he is making an assertion which is false. While it is true the advertisers have no idea WHO is seeing the ad, they do know how many people are exposed it. Neilsen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nielsen_ratings and several other rating companies provide rating services for both local and national broadcasting entities. The advertising rate for advertising during a broadcast is determined by the historical rating a broadcast has obtained. The higher the rating the higher the ad rate. Everyone remember the millions paid for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl. Ken says that because the advertiser does not know WHO viewed the ad, there are no provable results. If that were true, why would a company spend MILLIONS on a single ad if there were no provable results? That just makes no sense.
Now Ken also states "on the Internet everything is 100% trackable and is billed and sold as such." Here Ken is indicating that either the Ars Technica's advertising department is being dishonest, selling clients the idea that 100% of Ars visitors will click through to the client's site or that Ars is willing to conspire with their clients to place adware of some form on each visitor's computer. Combined with Ken's stressing the exaggerated importance of knowing WHO views an ad, my guess is the later, since that is the ONLY way for Ars to guarantee 100% of anything getting to a client. Why else would ad blockers cause him such heartburn.
Either way...now that I know this about Ars...I will never visit that site again without an ad blocker of some kind.