AdBlockers have now been around for a few years. Browser add-ons such as AdBlock, AdBlock Plus, Adguard, AdRemovers, to name a few, are among the names the Advertising Industry hears on a daily basis.
For those unfamiliar with Adblockers, these add-on fundamentally interfere between a user’s web browser & ad servers such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. This means that ads are automatically “blocked” or “removed” from web searches pages, social media platforms, popular streaming sites etc.
A recent report from Adobe & PageFair indicated that 77 million of European internet users had an ad-blocking software active in Q2 2015. 12 million for the UK with a 82% growth from 2014. Essentially, billions of dollars in revenue are “blocked” each months. This loss is estimated to a “little” $22 billion in 2015.
- Last October, Apple shook the market with the launch the new IOS 9 featuring their usual web browser Safari with added build in adblocker.
Not every new technology has the ability to disrupt an industry. Ad-blockers definitely are upsetting both advertisers & agencies to great levels.
Are Adblockers marking the end of the internet as we know it?
As Advertiser & Consumer, I see both sides of the story.
- On the one hand visitors want to have the best user experience. Flawless & intuitive interactions without any background noise. To this day, this remains extremely rare, users are bombarded by more or less targeted ads which make users feel like surrounded by a group of angry drummers. This is especially bad on mobile devices.
- On the other Advertisers want to get the most out of monetisation.
So Adblockers came to the rescue of those who felt lost & bewildered under this mountain of ads crawling on webpages, reducing loading speed (sometimes drastically) & damaging their experience (think mobile sites & apps).
It is only a few months ago that some Adblockers started monetising their systems allowing some “non intrusive advertising”, giving the opportunity to advertisers to pay to avoid being blocked. Opportunity taken quickly take by Google, Microsoft & Facebook. Even though selected by default, this “non intrusive advertising” setting can be turned off.
Where shall we go from here?
Is there a solution to improving user experience while keeping this model of monetisation?
Publishers, advertisers & networks all need to feel concerned about the rise of AdBlockers. All parts of the industry need to work together and work towards Sustainable Advertising already discussed in our previous article. Digital advertisers have to find the right balance between User Experience & Monetisation. I believe it is fair to say the Advertising market is over populated, many advertisers compete for the top positions on top sites & want to literally flood the web with ads. No one likes being bombarded with content, especially if too generic & irrelevant. We should favour quality over quantity.
If sites sold less space, or if platforms regulated themselves, results would certainly be more encouraging for both consumers & advertisers. The industry needs to be more clever in its acquisition strategies, using the latest marketing techniques and specific audiences such as Google Customer match or Facebook Pixels, in order to improve its relevance, user experience & performance. After all, a better user experience is beneficial for all.
If you would like to know more about what you can do towards Sustainable Advertising, we can design a strategy to match your values & needs.