The Impact Of Ad Blocking Plugins

Apple’s IOS9 update has introduced an Ad blocking feature that blocks annoying ads from apps and their mobile browser with a promise to limit intrusive and unwanted advertising .

Apple has allowed one of the largest ad blocking companies Adblock Plus, to put its Adblock Browser in its app store. It has since been one of the most popular apps in the apple store. Apple has also announced they will include more programs with the same functionality of blocking ads into the app store. A decision that is sure to infuriate some publishers and advertisers further, who are claiming that ad blocking is cutting into their revenue and destroying their business.

AdBlock Plus, claims that it’s been installed on people’s browsers more than 400 million times and that it counts “close to 50 to 60 million active users,” said Ben Williams, communications and operations director at Eyeo, the company that makes AdBlock Plus.

The  damage of ad-blocking plugins is set to cost online publishers £13.96 billion in 2015 alone,198 million people around the world use ad blocking software, with the number growing 41 percent over the last year according to a study by PageFair. That’s as a result of the use of ad-blocking growing exponentially in the West, with the US alone seeing a 48 percent rise in the total number of ad block users to 45 million active monthly users.

Ben Williams said part of the reason why users feel compelled to download ad blockers is because digital advertising can cause a horrific user experience. Popups and glitches prevent people from getting to the articles they want with media outlets deluging their readers with tons of ads. He believes that with more people using ad blockers, it will force the advertising and publishing industry to work together to overcome these problems.

“Our mission is not to destroy ads—it is to encourage better ads,” he said. “That’s why we developed standards for better ads with our users and give companies who uphold them the chance to let their non-intrusive ads through. This is our vision: a compromise whereby we encourage better ads and eventually eliminate the bad ones.”

Many online publishers have been accused of employing ‘clickbait’ headlines to lure consumers and these stories have been deliberately angled to generate many comments which adds to the click-based ad sell. The  sole purpose of this is so publishers can sell advertising based on the number of clicks, or views.

It is common knowledge that not all non-subscription publications depend on a revenue solely from advertising. But the way their articles are  being ‘monetized’ online is not only underhand, it is also damaging their business by debasing and degrading what all the sites depend on—the quality of their content.