Ads have positive value to readers
Jason Calacanis says about Google AdSense:
... people look at them like content and they don’t even mind them. In fact, I see them as value added. As such, it’s a revolution in advertising—for the first time since the Superbowl people want the ads!!!
That’s right. We are all consumers of products and services, and information about the options available is indeed valuable, especially if it respects our time and needs, so it doesn’t force us to watch irrelevant ads. And this is exactly where digital media win over broadcast.
And it’s essentially a solved problem now. From here on out, it is just a matter of tuning and perfecting the technology and the ecosystem, so they become even more valuable, and advertising can again pay for publishing, including journalism, like it always has—don’t forget that the subscription you pay for a dead-trees paper typically doesn’t even cover print and distribution costs, the rest is paid for by ads.