It Would Cost Each User $232 A Year For An Ad-Free Internet, Study Finds

An advertising company you probably haven’t heard of crunched the numbers.

It Would Cost Each User $232 A Year For An Ad-Free Internet, Study Finds
[Surfing the Web: NicoElNino via Shutterstock]

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 called Ebuzzing 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. (Perhaps they all have ad blockers installed.)

So there you have it. An ad platform you probably haven’t heard of found that online ads are vital to the web’s continued existence. Glad we settled that.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.