I think you guys are looking at this too literally. Yes there is most definitely (free) software that allows for this. But the general question is: would you PAY to never deal with ads again?
I think it'd make more sense if it was a cross platform question, ie tv, pc, phone, etc. Furthermore, it'd be more interesting if we assumed that there was no free way to do this, OR, that the pay route was infinitely superior to the free methods.
So lets re-ask the question, with these new premises:
If it were impossible to block ads for free, would you pay $$$ to never see one again, on TV/PC/phone?
My answer is unequivocally yes. I hate ads. I hate them so very very much. They don't encourage me to buy a dang thing, and in fact depending on the severity of awfulness of the ad, actually deters me from certain products. For example, after I saw that Doritos commercial using a mock political debate to sell me their chips, I swore them off. The ad was so horrible and so insulting to my intelligence, that I actively avoid doritos now.
This is why I pay for netflix/hbo: I hate ads. These companies have good business models where they make enough $ from my purchases and subscriptions, and don't need to smack me like a money pinata, which is how many companies treat their consumers. They deliver on a quality product and have good financial structuring where they make good profits without needing to shove ads in my face 24/7. They deliver on quality TV which encourages me to PAY them, instead of regular stations that need ad revenue b/c the quality of their station is so low that not a single person would go out of their way to pay for it.
I hope people try and look at it from this more abstract angle. Yes we know its possible for you to do it to an extent now. But once again, the real question is: would you pay money to never see an ad again, if it were impossible to block on your own?
So for me, to never have to see an ad again? It'd be totally, absolutely, 110% worth it.
Also the future of ads will lie in targeted advertisements. Its already targeted to a certain extent (ie you wont see commercials for kids toys on Comedy Central at 1AM), but it will go further. Think about it: lets say your a dude, and you see a commercial for something like vagasil. Youre a guy, you literally never need Vagasil. Its just inherent with not having female sex organs. So, every time you see a vagasil commercial, that company just wasted X money advertising to a consumer that will NEVER buy the product, no matter how many ads they shove down your throat. In the future I predict you will see ads that only directly pertain to you. So for all of us, instead of seeing commercials for crap we don't like/want/need, we will start seeing ONLY commercials for, say, computer parts (perhaps even only specific brands directly relating to our interests). Only ads for game genres we enjoy. As companies such as FB sell more and more private information, this will become easier to do, and more and more prevalent. As each company wants to maximize revenue and minimize expenses, this is naturally the future course for ads.
Furthermore, they will start implementing code in such a way, that to block an ad will remove your ability to consume whatever content you are after. So, in the future, if you use ABP you might not be able to use sites like FB, youtube, google, or (depending on their desire for $) Windows/Mac itself. Perhaps it will be coded into future OS'.
I'll never cheat on you again you beautiful penguin!
Edited by kmac20 - 11/14/12 at 7:42am