Listen to Howard Stern discover ad-blocking software for the first time

“I hate ads on the Internet.”

That’s Howard Stern speaking for us all. During his SiriusXM morning show yesterday, the alleged King of All Media was discussing how websites make money, complaining that the only ads he sees online are the pre-roll ads on YouTube, much to his annoyance.

“You gotta get AdBlock, man,” a caller chimed in, alerting Stern of AdBlock Plus.

It was a whole new world for Stern and his crew, who weren’t aware that the advertising industry’s least favorite invention even exists. “Man, I’m sitting through all these ads and you’re telling me there’s a way to avoid them?” Stern joked. “I should be so fucking on top of it.”

With Stern discussing ad-blocking software, he’s potentially exposing a whole new audience to the software that didn’t know it existed. In a post on Medium, Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer said Stern just pushed adblocking into the “mainstream.”

Stern’s discussion prompted Schafer to examine the consequences that it has on brands and agencies that rely on making and selling ads. A recent report shows that the software is costing publishers $22 billion in revenue this year.

He wrote:

It remains to be seen what happens to the ad business as an effect of ad blocking. Is it the ad industry’s Napster? Is it our VHS?

I don’t think we’ll be able to convince people that ads are what makes the world go ‘round, in the same way we couldn’t convince people that piracy is bad. What we need to do is find a better way.

While admitting that he’s an “alarmist,” because after all this was just a three-minute casual chat on a platform that doesn’t release specific listenership ratings, Schafer wrote, “Nobody was ever unprepared by preparing for the worst.”

Listen to the full segment, recorded by Schafer, here:

https://digiday.com/?p=132918

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