Remain Calm in the Ad Blocking Arms Race

Ad Blocking Arms Race

With the ad blocking arms race gaining momentum more rapidly than ever, knowing how to respond can be difficult. Each day it seems there are new threats of algorithm changes volleyed, more ad blockers being released, and increasingly panicked reactions from publishers. The September 13th announcement from Adblock Plus was no exception to this trend.

In case you missed the announcement, here’s the TL;DR version: Adblock Plus will now begin SERVING ads, in addition to blocking them. The idea is for the company to block all original ads for users, and replace them with Adblock Plus “acceptable ads.” The new ad tech platform will begin charging publishers and bloggers fees to participate in the program. Though the cost of the service has not yet been released, it seems likely that AdBlock will be taking a share of publishers’ ad revenue as well.

In short: Publishers must pay AdBlock Plus for the opportunity to serve ads to their own audiences, on their own websites.

AdBlock Plus justifies the new addition with their inclusion of an embedded ad feedback mechanism. This way, viewers can provide their opinions on the ads they didn’t want to see in the first place. AdBlock Plus is launching more than a new platform; they are launching a new business model. For consumers, AdBlock Plus appears as an ad blocking solution. For publishers, Adblock Plus is to become an ad platform which openly enforces an unavoidable type of “pay to play.”

With ad blocking implementation and production on the rise, it seems that many users and corporations alike have forgotten how the “free web” functions. Publishers are struggling; as ad blocking increases, so do losses in revenue. Suddenly, funding the production of the free content that readers regularly consume isn’t so easy. Advertisements are a chief source of revenue for many sites, including some of our favorite social media platforms. This ad revenue is a large part of what keeps the vast majority of the internet free.

As occurrences like this multiply, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay focused. The tendency to combat near-constant changes in ad blockers becomes exhausting, and quickly. Instead, publishers must  prioritize building strong audience relationships that will not be at risk of obstruction each time someone ups the ante in this arms race. With a secured, direct, line for audience communication, nothing can stand in your way. No amount of ad blockers, algorithm changes, or updates can overtake your direct relationship. Publishers: Do not panic when faced with ad-blocking advances; invest energy in your audience development strategy instead.

Download PostUp’s Ad Blocking Playbook to create a marketing strategy that will keep you out of the line of fire, once and for all.

Ad Blocking Playbook