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Ad-mageddon! Advertising blocking, its impact and what comes next

Advertising blockers have already had a huge impact on the digital landscape. This impact can only worsen if the popularity of blocking ads reaches a critical mass on mobiles and workstations. For this article, I've discussed with many publishers, users, the Bureau of Interactive Advertising, media agencies and Adblock Plus itself to have a full view of different perspectives on blocking ads and especially trying to to know where everything will be

Blocking advertisement background

Go to the next header if you already know the basics of ad blocking. If this is not the case, ad blockers are add-ons for desktop / mobile browsers or stand-alone browsers that completely remove paid advertising from your browsing experience.

Tired of advertisements that mingle with your search results? Install an ad blocker and enjoy ZERO sponsored ads. Are you tired of watching a 30-second Facebook video with a 15-second ad mid-stack in the center? Simple Fix: Download an ad blocker, and voila, video only – that's life, Zuckerberg.

The same is true for most sites, YouTube video ads with click-bait styles (see "see what happens next") bottom or right of the most popular content.

There are other reasons to download ad blockers – security reasons, such as: preventing bad people from accessing my webcam . Did you know that even harmless sites can open your microphone or access your camera? Have you ever had the bizarre impression that, one way or another, you were looking at this' rainbow pillowcase of Nicolas Cage? HOW?

Well, a little plug-and-play plug-in or mobile browser can help stop everything that's dead.

There are many instances (some intentional and some unintentional) of ads creating malware issues. "Malvertising" has been found not only on lousy sites that you expect to have privacy or security issues. Even the New York Times and the BBC had a problem last year when they inadvertently launched advertisements that were trying to divert computers from visitors.

Many well known sites have experienced similar problems to varying degrees. The use of ad blockers eliminates most of these problems from any concern.

The perspective of the user

Although there are many different reasons for using an ad blocker, the basic motivation is quite simple. Users are tired of being bombarded with advertisements and feeling their effects on the user's experience, or they have security or privacy issues.

If I wrote a confession, I would tell a tale about how I nearly lost my mind when my cellphone stifled on a 20-slide gallery, "click-bait ". It was resized, delayed, and the ads continued to "enlarge" the location of the "next" button, which led me to click on an ad instead of the next button. Yes, it was even on WiFi.

It was at this point that I started using ad blockers on my desk and my phone. Perhaps it was one of the first cases of Post Traumatic Ad Disorder (PTAD) ever recorded. I am not happy and do not appreciate that my precious moments are sucked by ads.

The Publishers' Point of View

I've worked with some of the biggest names in the media over the past 18 years and I could be a little more empathic about their fate than a typical consumer. Publishers seem to get it from all sides. The way people consume the news has changed dramatically and has influenced many publications.

Then you have cases where Google has removed more and more clicks over time, direct results ("answers") to "see the original image" in Chrome. Now, many sites that actually get a visitor's visit fail to monetize the page view because ad blocking is enabled on that person.

I have published many publications on the subject, and many of them declined to comment or stopped responding when they heard about the subject of the article. Like saying "Candyman" three times in a mirror, it's almost like they do not even want to pronounce the name, lest it have bad consequences.

Some publishers, such as Forbes and Business Insider, have taken some pretty aggressive steps in blocking those who have ad blockers. Others, like The Guardian, take a more subtle approach and try to appeal to the reader's logic.

To be honest, many went a bit too far by blurring the ads in the content or trying to inflate artificially page views using tactics like multi slide shows -pages. Unfortunately, whether they are part of creating or increasing the popularity of ad blockers, all publishers are now dealing with effects.

Something I've seen recently, these are publications that try to deceive advertisers using various techniques. An infuriating method I encountered included about 20 to 30 separate scripts that would automatically load and insert advertisements if one of them got stuck. This was set up on a news site. When I tried to block the actual advertising object, another script and another ad were loaded in its place. I dubbed it the "whack-a-mole" strategy. For me, this seemed to be an indicator of despair.

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Another interesting method used by publishers is to use their own server as an ad server. This fools the blockers into believing that the ad is not really an advertisement. Although this method may trick occasional users, advanced users can easily block these ad sections with a right-click setting in their ad blocker.

Publications such as Wired and City A.M. at one point would have blocked readers blocking ads, but has since stopped doing so. Other publications like Forbes and Business Insider have stayed the course, apparently still blocking all users with blockers, asking them to add them to the whitelist or disable the blocker. Although I understand the thought, this approach seems to worry a lot of users, and there are a lot of forums and social discussions with raging messages raging about this practice.

By the way, I think companies that employ this technique should be notified that using the "cached" version of Google bypasses the wall of ads. Reinforce this loophole and launch a threatening look at your consultants.

I sometimes see other approaches, such as an "article limit", which allows you to read a few free articles a month or another period of time.

I contacted Alon Zieve, COO of Seeking Alpha, who seems to navigate the problem of blocking advertisements in a logical way. Zieve reports that the blockers have definitely had an impact on SA's revenues. They have tried to block some users of ad units and offered them the opportunity to participate in the whitelist or subscribe to the ad-free version. "Fortunately, because our users love our content, we have a relatively good turnout on these options."

Interestingly, he finds that users find it difficult to understand how to whitelist the site when they decide to do so. Looking for Alpha also has their own version of Google's contributor service, excellent email strategy, and other marketing strategies in place.

When asked what publishers need to do to survive, Zieve responds, "At Seeking Alpha, our approach to survival is simple. Produce valuable and valuable content that our users love, and there will always be a way to monetize it. Their multi-pronged approach seems to have been successful in alleviating the block ad problem.

Perspective of Adblock Plus

I conducted a Skype interview with Ben Williams, director of communications at Adblock Plus. He had some interesting things to tell about the story of Adblock Plus, the challenges, and where he thinks it's going to happen.

I agree with Williams' view that Adblock Plus was answering the call of what was desperately wanted there. The big bad wolves first tried to submit small businesses to submission (some are still there) and then, when that failed, some decided that they would work with them.

Adblock Plus does not seem to have any axes to machine. Williams was surprisingly zen about lawsuits and the negative press. In fact, the media outcry was met with Adblock Plus brightening up a bit and not blocking all commercials but by setting the sensitivity setting (if you will) a little lower.

It is also important to note that Adblock Plus can be paid by default for whitelisting of your ads, provided that they adhere to the quality guidelines and that many of the big players have it. 39 have done.

Adblock Plus supports the new funding models for publishers, and they do not think the advertising genius will be bottled again. When asked what he thought of the "tugging" of publishers trying to bypass advertising blockers, Williams replied, "It does not really serve the consumer."

He added that "instead of" embarking on a technological arms race, (publishers) should consider the fact that so many people block advertisements and should make better advertisements. " He believes, for the most part, that's what's going on. Some publishers think that fighting the flood of ad blockers is their best option, but Williams thinks this might be a very bad way to treat their users.

Asked about the problem with the apps and how they prevent the blocking of ads, he said that there was really nothing to do about it. Adblock Plus had an app that allowed users to block these ads, but was removed from the Play Store in 2011.

Williams believes that many people still use browsers to access sites and that the future of blocking mobile ads is with blocking browsers. When Twitter announced that it would use Safari for anyone who would follow a link from the iOS versions of its application, this was a huge advantage for one of the 328 million Twitter users who may have ad blockers.

I asked Williams what he thought of Google advertising its own "blocking advertising" features on Chrome and what it would look like. He replied: "What Google has announced so far seems to me to be more of a pop-up blocker." He believes that the ad blocking community will always want to block things like YouTube video ads.

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Williams guesses but does not know if these features will be included in the Chrome update. "It all depends on the implementation," he said. My personal guess is that YouTube video ads will not be at fault in the off position – does anyone think they would?

Williams' point of view on the future of ad blocking is that it will not go anywhere anytime soon. He thinks that recent changes in Apple and Twitter with the help of Safari will only make blocking ads easier. When one wonders where things are going on mobile devices, Williams tells us to "look to the East", saying that people in China, Indonesia and India are blocking ads on their mobile devices at higher rates. higher than on a computer.

A recent survey by Adblock Plus revealed why US users do not use mobile ad blockers as they are in the East. Williams said the overwhelming response was that they "just did not know that it exists." If this survey is correct, I think one sure bet is that we will see a wave of blocking of mobile advertising in the United States in the near future.

At first glance, Williams believes that the best way for publishers to approach their ad blocking audience is to "send them a specialized experience that can also be profitable". He believes that a "frictionless payment system" could work well for those who understand that they need to support the content they consume.

Prospects of the Media and Agency

It's no secret how businesses like Google, Facebook and other major media depend on advertising revenue. In 2015, advertising generated nearly 90% of Google's total business. Facebook makes 84% ​​of its mobile advertising revenue. When you talk about billions, even a small bump can make the giants rise and take them into account.

One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a definitive pattern in all the recent moves of the big players. We have seen the IAB set up its acronym-rich strategy in an effort to slow an outbreak of blocking mobile ads by decreasing the demand for it. Google has pushed the "contributor" service with other movements that seem to be telegraphing a reaction to blocking advertisements such as:

I could talk about each one of them, but this article is already starting to be longer than "Les Miserables". Each of these movements seems to have a component that is supposed to deal with blocking advertisements in one way or another.

I corresponded with Dennis Buchheim, SVP and General Manager of IAB Tech Lab, about the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). Buchheim reports that his overall effort is focused on education and advice on the user experience, as well as guidelines for "better ads" – the goal of which is to slow down motivation to block ads.

Buchheim believes that "the installation of ad blocking technology is often motivated by consumers who are dealing with advertising experiences from other parties who are not interested in adopting these lines guidelines. "

But what should a publisher do? "The IAB has created ABC's blocking IAB advertisements to guide its efforts." The introduction describes the risks and benefits of a wide range of tactics, including: including subscription models and micropayment models that can be used, "he said.

The impact on other marketing channels is not clear. Does the more difficult advertising landscape increase spending on SEO, e-mail, social networks, etc.? Although he does not know if there has been a real impact so far, "probably other channels that can demonstrate their efficiency would ensure increased expenses, if the inventory of 39, digital ads decreased significantly because of the blockage. "

"Before this happens, it is likely that the price of digital ads will increase as the volume decreases," he added.

What about agencies?

If the blocking of commercials reaches the same fury here in North America and Europe as in the East, I can see many paid media representatives say, "Brother, can you spare a penny? " It's pretty hard to know all the moves of Google and the IAB will slow down the adoption of blocking mobile ads. For my part, I believe that it will eventually be on the majority of mobile devices.

I contacted Andrew Goodman, founder of Page Zero Media, for an agency to take over. His thoughts: "As device-specific computing gives way to futuristic concepts of home and mobile, the Internet of Things, voice search, facial recognition, artificial intelligence and the Automatic learning, the whole concept of interruption of advertising can be shaken.

In the future, Goodman considers companies like Apple and Microsoft as potentially advantageous since they "can strongly rely on business models that offer a function to consumers, rather that rely heavily on advertising to complete the functions.

Goodman sees "many current models and advertising agencies as convicted within five years, unless they find new things to do."

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Closing Thoughts

I do not think blocking ads can go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, I predict that despite all the steps that the IAB and its members have taken to slow down the demand for ad blockers, mobile blocking will ultimately be as prevalent in the United States as in the US. East.

Efforts to slow down the epidemic will delay the rate at which it will be adopted. However, as more and more US sites attempt to monetize their mobile content, blocking mobile devices will inevitably lose the war. For many users, it is a win-win scenario. They will see better and less boring commercials overall thanks to the efforts of the ABC – with or without a blocker at stake.

Not to sound too unfriendly, but I do not bang a violin to play "My heart bleeds for Google and Facebook." Even though it might put a damper in their wallet, I predict that they will always come out of it all okay. I will play this violin for the many publishers who deserve and need these advertising dollars.

When it comes to Google's "ad blocker", I do not think even Vegas would have a chance to know if it will block YouTube's video ads or not. Once upon a time, pop-ups were a big problem, and you could download a pop-up blocker plugin to prevent them – until most browsers included it by default. In this example, you have solved the problem and eliminated a step for the end user.

I have the impression that the announcement to incorporate the blocker in Chrome is a game to keep the un-lit in the dark a little longer. In this way, they can say, "Hey, yeah, I'm blocking ads" when in fact they do not even know what a real blocker does. I do not think it will have the prescribed effect that they believe that it will do it very long.

I would love people to start considering ad blockers as an effective tool of protest. Hate false news? Block ads completely on this post! You do not have to cause stench and hope that advertisers pull their commercials; you have the power with the click of a button to create the same effect.

Do not forget to make sure that you whitelist the publications you think you deserve; many are in desperate need of it.

As for the pubs that build walls for ad blockers, I see that as a dressing that peels off easily. I can see an interesting future if, in fact, many large sources of information are subscribed only by subscription. I can almost see a Napster or BitTorrent for emerging news so people can consume news without paying for it. The walls generally prevent people from walking, but do not encourage them to walk a few kilometers to find another entrance.

I believe that the decrease in paid advertising puts increased importance on areas such as social, research, email and so on. Getting your content in front of a user will take more skills than the offer, the tools or the resources to continue auctioning. I do not know many people who consider an organic Google result as a term – and which, in my opinion, is what the future of the paid media, overall, should look like: as harmless as & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; An answer that Alexa would give to the applicant. Having a true, number one position for an important sentence really can not be more valuable in a future without sponsored ads easily, can it do it?

I would like to hear your thoughts about where you think it will all end. Make sure to check out my video distribution of the article:

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.