>People (if web marketers qualify for that term) used to bleat that ad-blocking equated to theft. I suggest the opposite: web advertising is theft.
Less theft, more blackmail.
Ultimately, the people who pay for advertising is the consumer, in that the sale price of goods has to fund all the costs and profits of the suppliers. Those costs include their advertising budget. The economy reaches an equilibrium wrt advertising; there are only so many magazines, bill boards, TV channels, etc; there is a limit to how many ads can be in circulation in the economy, and therefore a limit to the amount of money that can be spent on advertising.
The problem with web advertising and the way Google in particular have done it is that it has expanded vastly the number of places where advertising can be placed, and Google have not been afraid to use every new service they create (first search, then maps, then youtube, etc) as a marketing lever for their ad revenue; "either place an ad on our new service, or your competitor will instead" has been their basic tactic. Google's dominance of a few key services has allowed them to do that on a vast, global scale.
So for the consumer, their suppliers are effectively being blackmailed by Google into spending more and more money, as more and more ad placement space is created and controlled by Google.
It's a bit out of date, but some years ago the state of the ad market in the UK was that Internet advertising amounted to about £7billion per year revenue. It's probably more than that now. That is paid for entirely by consumers via the price of goods. There's about 70million people in the UK, so the web ad industry was taking about £100 from every man, women and child. Work it out for wage earners, and it's several hundred pounds per wage earner per year, regardless of whether or not you used any Google or Microsoft or any other on-line services at all.
So, it's getting to be quite expensive. It's quite a big chunk of a single month's mortgage payment, for example.
Paying for things like YouTube premium is lunacy, because you're not going to get to buy goods for less money as a result of that. You might not be seeing ads, but everyone else still is and you pay for that in the price of goods regardless of what subscription you have with Google.