Ad-blockers are costing us all, Tinder denies hooking people up, Rdio adds radio stations, Hulu hates binge-watchers, vote for the next free PS Plus game, and Amazon tugs on our heartstrings.
Ad-Blocking Costs Billions
As if we didn’t all know this already, ad-blockers are evil. That is at least if you regard their ability to prevent websites from earning enough money to survive as being a bad thing. Which, it is, obviously. Sadly, it seems a lot of people don’t see it that way, choosing a distraction-free browsing experience over the well-being of the websites they read.
A new report by PageFair suggests that ad-blockers will cost websites around the world $22 billion in 2015. And with their usage set to grow every year, the problem is only going to get worse. This is especially true in the U.S., where the damage done to your favorite websites is estimated to hit $20.3 billion in 2016.
It should come as no surprise to learn that we’re not big fans of ad-blockers here at MakeUseOf. Because, like the vast majority of the websites you enjoy visiting, we rely on ads to remain in business and pay everyone involved with producing content. So, please whitelist us, even if doing so means you get an ad shoved in your face every once in a while. It’s surely better than the alternative.
Tinder Doth Protest Too Much
If you want to try to tear us down with one-sided journalism, well, that’s your prerogative.
— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Tinder has reacted rather badly to the suggestion that the dating app is mostly used by people looking for hookups. That suggestion was made by Vanity Fair in an article titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’“.
The author, Nancy Jo Sales, uses Tinder as an example of how the idea of traditional courting is dead. Instead of dating, and slowly getting to know each other, people are using apps to enjoy hookups with random strangers.
Tinder isn’t happy at the way it’s painted in the article, with its PR team embarking on a 30+ tweetstorm criticizing the article, the author, and its dubious use of data. It isn’t yet clear who exactly is responsible, but they should have probably stayed silent.
This reaction seems utterly bizarre given that Tinder IS all about letting people enjoy carefree hookups with people to whom they’re only loosely connected. Isn’t it? That’s pretty much accepted at this point. We think Tinder doth protest just a little too much here.
Rdio Adds 500 Live Radio Stations
Rdio is adding support for 500 radio stations to its service, all of which will be free to stream for all users, regardless of whether or not they’re paid subscribers. The radio stations are all run by Cumulus, which invested heavily in Rdio a couple of years ago.
Stations specializing in music, talk, and sports will all be available to stream via the Rdio apps on Android and iOS. Listeners WILL have to put up with ads, and the deal only extends as far as the U.S. for the time being. However, Rdio plans to add more radio stations in more territories in the future.
Hulu Rejects Binge-Watching
Hulu is going against the grain by releasing its original content one episode at a time. While Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others are releasing whole seasons of most of their content, Hulu is rejecting that approach. In other words, Hulu is rejecting binge-watching in favor of more traditional viewing habits.
Shows affected by this change of policy include The Mindy Project, Difficult People, Rocketjump: The Show, The Hotwives Of Las Vegas, Casual, and The Awesomes. All of which will feature week-long breaks between new episodes dropping.
The reason is simple, with Hulu’s Head of Content Craig Erwich telling The AV Club, “We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week”. Which is a rather novel approach in this day and age, when most people want to choose their own viewing pace.
PS Plus Subscribers Vote for Games
PlayStation Plus subscribers already receive a handful of games to play each month, which is a rather sweet deal given the price of a subscription. But now Sony is going one step further and letting PlayStation 4 owners choose one of the games they’ll be gifted in September.
The first Vote to Play pitches League of Geeks’ Armello, Ubisoft Reflections’ Grow Home and Zoink’s Zombie Vikings against each other. Voting will commence on Aug. 13 and close on Aug. 24. The game with the most votes will be given away to PlayStation Plus subscribers in September, with the other two games available at discounted prices.
You can check out the three games up for grabs in the special trailers made just for Vote to Play you see embedded here. I think I’ll be voting for Armello, but feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section below.
Amazon Appeals to Dog Lovers
And finally, Amazon’s new commercial for Amazon Prime is aimed squarely at dog lovers. It features a dog with a bandaged leg who is visibly upset at not being able to move around as freely as his able-bodied canine brethren. Cue sympathetic owner, who orders a carrying harness for his dog.
He orders it from Amazon, naturally, using Amazon Prime, naturally. He is then able to carry his pooch around on his front as if it’s some kind of furry baby. Which is all a little weird, really. Still, look at that smile. Who could resist? Cat lovers like myself, that’s who. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you use an ad-blocker? If so, do you care that it’s harming your favorite websites? Have you ever used Tinder? If so, what for? Do you prefer binge-watching TV shows or waiting a week between episodes?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Youngthousands via Flickr