“People block ads because they can, and if they can block more ads they will.”
Last week, Apple began allowing ad blocking apps through its new mobile operating system, iOS 9. However, within a couple of days, the number 1 ad blocking app was pulled from the App Store after only 36 hours at the top. The app called Peace was an all or nothing ad blocker that blocked all ads indiscriminately.
Peace’s creator removed the app, citing concerns over the ethical implications of ad blocking. On his own blog he stated, “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.” It didn’t feel good “being the arbiter of what’s blocked.” Apple is now offering refunds to anyone who downloaded the app.
A recent Fortune article contends, “Publishers only have themselves to blame for the ad-blocking apocalypse.”
Users are frustrated with the pace at which mobile web pages load. Blocking ads on mobile is particularly beneficial, as it reduces data consumption. However, blocking ads deprives publishers of ad revenue. It also prevents advertisers from spreading their important messages.
The impact of ad blocking to publishers has some asking if ad blocking is the new piracy.
An estimated $22 billion in revenue will be lost to publishers this year as a result of ad blocking software. Because of the manner in which it prevents copyright owners from being compensated for distribution of their protected works on the web, comparisons to online piracy are being drawn.
Some types of ads are unaffected by the new mobile ad blockers.
Native ads and in-app ads are unaffected by the new ad blockers, which only block web-based ads on mobile devices. For that reason, the popularity of ad blocking apps will likely lead to an increase of ads in these alternative formats.
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