Here are 232 reasons why you should be grateful for internet ads

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Online advertising is annoying but the Internet wouldn’t be nearly as great without it. Fast Company directs our attention to a study from UK video ad platform Ebuzzing that claims it would cost each of us around $232 extra per year to get all of the stuff on the web we now enjoy for free if we eliminated online ads. Of course, Ebuzzing’s study is self-serving since the company makes its money primarily from serving online ads. That said, all of the incredible information that we have for free at our fingertips thanks to the web really does seem like a bargain. 

We all know that ads are the lifeblood of the Internet. Annoying? Sure. You’d be hard-pressed, though, to find anyone who didn’t understand that they were a necessary evil. But what would happen if we were to somehow–miraculously?–dispense with all the ads? How much would you be willing to pay? One U.K. video ad platform calledEbuzzing conducted an interesting (if intentionally oversimplified) study calculating the average value of each user in a noble attempt to figure out how much it would cost to support an ad-free Internet. Per the Telegraph: “Video ad platform Ebuzzing calculated the average ‘value’ of each web user by dividing the amount of money spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2013 (£6.4 billion) by the number of UK web users (45 million).” Note that the figure is U.K.-only. According to Ebuzzing’s math, though, it would cost £140, or $232.24 per year, for an ad-free Internet. That’s about two months’ worth of a Comcast bill. The company then polled 1,400 U.K. customers, asking if they would be willing to pay that figure for a year of no-ads browsing: 98% said no.

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