It looks like a battle between Ad-blockers and people trying to create anti-ad-blocking sites like SC2Casts!
There’s no doubt that extreme amounts of ad-blocking can have negative impacts on websites and other content that could be regarded as “free”. I don’t want to delve into the details here, but if you are interested, have a look at an older blog post I made here. As a result of the more widespread use of ad-blocking, many site creators put banners up, explaining to the user that they understand why they are using an ad-blocker, and a polite request to whitelist their site to keep the site running. I’m perfectly fine with that, and usually whitelist that domain as long as the ads are non-intrusive.
However, a site that I frequently visit seems to have taken it a bit too far, SC2Casts. I was browsing the site on a PC I had just installed Adblock Plus on. This meant that my custom filters and whitelists were not migrated (and hence, SC2Casts was no longer on the whitelist). When you visit the site with an ad-blocker turned on, it gives you this message. Not only on the home page, but on every single page on the site.
It is very obnoxious, and very irritating. Also notice the 5-second timer they have put on the page. Having a look at the page’s source, I see that it is actually a PHP page. I’m guessing it is what the site owner uses to track how many people have ad-blockers turned on when they visit the site.
My first response was “Is there a premium membership I can buy to support the site, as well as turn off the ads?”. Answer was “Yes”. I checked the price of said premium service and to my surprise, it was absurdly priced. At roughly $2 per month or $100 for a lifetime membership, the premium was simply not worth it.
Let me make it crystal-clear. I’m all for supporting content creators. I have supported several YouTube content creators on Patreon. Why? Because I feel like the content they create is worth spending money on. SC2Casts Premium membership is simply not worth the money. The site does not require a high bandwidth. All videos are simply Youtube embeds (all links go to Youtube directly). All you’re paying for is time that someone spends each day to update the games played, and the yearly domain registration fees. I don’t use the site nearly enough to justify the purchase. As said earlier, I did have ads enabled on the site. However, when I see developers resort to really scummy ways of forcing people to enable ads/buy premium, I lose all respect for them.
Rule for me is simple: If you want my support, make a good product (which SC2Casts is). But also price it right (which SC2Casts is not). Trying to rip me off, or even worse, irritate me into buying your product will lead to one of two things:
- I won’t come back
- I’ll find a way to bypass your annoying popups, which is what I did
Besides, SC2Casts isn’t anything special. It’s a very simple site, and with a little coding know-how, anyone could replicate its design. The only thing it has going for it is the community, which helps with up-voting and down-voting videos, which adds to the tally of top videos of the day/month/year, etc.