Ad Blocking company Adblock was blocked from attending ad industry talkfest!
Adblock says it has been uninvited from an advertising industry conference. The online ad blocking creator was blocked from attending the Annual Leadership bash in California by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. If you think about it, it’s not that farfetched… Adblock is the bad guy around a group of online advertisers.
Adblock, blocks online advertising for its users, Members of the $50B online advertising ecosystem were not happy to meet with Adblock. Ad blocking is becoming a huge topic just look here, here and here.
Will banning Adblock make the problem of online advertising go away? Not likely! Over 400,000,000 downloads of Adblock Plus are not going to “go away.” People blocking adds are not just blocking advertising and getting free content (many online business models are built on content creators that get paid thanks to advertising revenues…), they are also really trying to block malvertising. This means that by blocking ads consumers get a major security benefit since it reduces their exposure to ransomware and other malware. Even the biggest advertisers have not taken a strong position to protect us from the malvertising threat.
In December 2015 Forbes online magazine started to block the ad-blockers…
Forbes started blocking access to its site to some users of ad blocking software. Visitors using desktop browser ad blocking are greeted with a polite but firm message on the “welcome screen” an ad page pops up prior to getting to the site.
Once the customers disable ad blocking, they are promised the “ad-light experience” for 30 days. Forbes said the effort was one of a series of tests it is undertaking to see if it can convince ad blocking software users to whitelist the site.
The ad-light experience promises that ads do not include auto play video or animation.
Major publishers are trying out several ways to deal with the rise of ad blocking. Some ignore, but others like The Atlantic are requesting users to turn off their ad blockers and some like Yahoo experimenting with blocking some ad blocking visitors on the email servers.
Forbes has been very successful getting traffic. November 2015 they had 43M unique visitors and that is up from 38M in October 2015.
The Forbes approach is interesting because it offers a different experience for users of ad blockers, but it also creates a conflicting message because they reward people who install ad blockers with a better user experience. Forbes claim that the users have already decided to install ad blockers and the web experience they expect. So Forbes flexibility opens up a new direction – not to be all or nothing.
To sum up, Advertising won’t be going away anytime soon. Ads are a fundamental part of the web ecosystem and have allowed for the massive growth in content and destinations. They are the reason Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and countless other services exist.
There are only two methods to compensate content producers: pay directly or get free content in exchange for ads. While there is constant innovation in micropayments and subscriptions, the truth is that most people, have shown they just aren’t willing to pay for the typical content that’s delivered on the web. Articles are worth fractional cents, and there is too much friction with micropayments, especially for content that’s consumed only once.
Online advertising still remains the fastest, most passive, most anonymous (compared to direct payment methods) and most universally accessible way to subsidize and view content.
At the same time, Ad blocking is definitely growing, for good reasons:
- Publishers that chase short-term revenue at the expense of content quality
- Advertisers that create forced engagement.
- Ad networks with slow, heavy ads that disrupt the user experience
In my opinion, Advertising is a great model, but what is fundamentally wrong today is the implementation. It’s not advertising itself, but how it’s done that’s causing this current backlash.