Weekly Digital News Roundup: Oct 1 – Oct 5
How our love affair with ad-blocking risks giving Internet providers even more power
- According to Washington Post, Apple recently began allowing customers to download and install ad-blocking apps on their iPhones, sparking a big debate about the future of the Internet and the ethics of blocking online advertisements. Although ads support everything from social networks to search engines and newspapers, they can also be annoying, intrusive and a drain on your device.
- Despite the controversy, expect to see the ad blocking business grow. Someday soon, huge companies could begin offering ad-blocking features — perhaps including your Internet provider. For consumers, the case for using an ad-blocker seems evident. Web pages load faster, you use less of your mobile data and you save money as a result.
- On an LTE connection, the Huffington Post loaded in 5.2 seconds with all its ads, for example, but with an ad blocker, that time was cut to just 1.2 seconds. To the consumer, this is wasted data. To the wireless carrier, it’s a waste of network capacity. So, filtering out ads offers Internet providers two main benefits: They look good in front of their customers. And they ease the demand on their own infrastructure.
Pandora could be close to paying $450 million for an American concert-ticket startup
- According to the Business Insider, The music-streaming service Pandora is rumored to be making an interesting acquisition. According to a report from Re/code,the company “appears close” to paying $450 million for the American ticketing agency Ticketfly. While Ticketmaster still dwarfs Ticketfly – as well as every other company in the ticketing industry – Ticketfly does pretty well and handles ticket sales for performances at smaller venues and clubs where fans can get an intimate live-music experience.
- Rather than just selling tickets, Ticketfly’s platform also handles marketing and analytics for the venues it serves. Ticketfly sold $500 million in tickets in 2014.
- So far, Pandora has made all of its revenue from its radio-streaming service. It actually beat second-quarter revenue expectations thanks to solid advertising growth on its free, ad-supported tier, which grew 30% year-over-year. Its local advertising business increased by 67% as well.
President Obama Calls On Tech Companies To Aid In The Syrian Refugee Crisis
- According to the TechCrunch, Obama has asked the American people to do what they can to aid the Syrian refugee crisis. He’s now asking Silicon Valley to do the same. The U.S. has provided $4.5 billion in aid to the crisis so far to help the nearly 12 million Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland since an outbreak of a civil war in 2011. The White House has tapped tech companies such as Kickstarter, Twitter, Airbnb and Instacart to use their platforms to help raise much-needed funds for those displaced.
- Instacart will do its part by adding a way for shoppers to donate money to buy food for refugee families as they complete their checkout. “Instacart users will now have the option to donate food rations to Syrian refugees through the U.N. Refugee Agency, and we hope that even more companies will join in this effort,” Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta said in a statement.
- Kickstarter is also adding a way to donate to the cause, despite a decision early on to not to open up the platform for non-profit campaigns. However, internal leadership decided the refugee crisis was a special case and is heeding the call of the President with its first-ever charitable campaign this morning. Airbnb is helping out with free housing for aid workers in the areas most affected in the region and Twitter will use an early release of its donation product to allow non-government organizations a way to raise money on the social media platform.