1. Bad math – It is wrong to assume media advertising is necessary to fund our information and entertainment services. It is not true that advertising gives us free media. We have to account for “the unpaid labour of the audience” and the built in hidden cost we pay when we purchase goods and services. The cost of advertising, which is built into the price of what we purchase, is like a hidden tax. That alone is enough to pay for the production of media content. The “unpaid labour of the audience “ (audience time used during a popup ad or an interruption ad) is a cost we bear that is worth more than 10 times the cost of producing media content. The average hours per year spent by the average Canadian watching or reading ads = 600 hours; in total over 20 billion hours of “unpaid labour”. Are we meant to believe that spending 20 billion hours per year is not a cost?
2. Not Democratic – Believing advertising is a necessity guarantees the existence of the private marketing-led media, which is the biggest anti-democratic force in society today. It is undemocratic because it allows those with the most funds to have the most voice.
3. Limiting the opportunity to disinform – Private marketing-led media, which is the avenue for spreading disinformation, can only exist in a public funding vacuum. Given a choice, people will choose a platform that is ad-free. Funding ad-free public media gives people that choice, and the result will be that marketing-led media will be displaced. Consequently, one huge avenue for paying to spread disinformation will be gone.
4. To insure against state control of publicly funded media – It is essential that the way public funds are dispersed is democratically determined. The simple way to achieve democratically determined funding is for the state to be responsible to pay a micro payment to a copyright owner each time a person uses ad-free content. That way the population’s choices determine what levels of public funding each and any media outlet merits.
Please ask your governments to fund an ad-free public media platform with democratically determined funding.