The global state of ad blocking
Ad blocking remains a clear and present danger to the digital advertising ecosystem. But digital media’s key players all have very different agendas when it comes to the practice.
Here’s a look at the latest in ad blocking, with data and insights compiled from various sources:
• In the past month, Google and Apple have both announced that future versions of Chrome and Safari, their respective web browsers, are going to have certain kinds of advertisements automatically blocked.
• Those moves, in turn, have unnerved many publishers, who say they welcome a move toward good user experience, but privately worry about losing control of their monetization.
• Several parallel attempts to create more user-friendly advertising standards have sprung up, including the Coalition for Better Ads and Adblock Plus’s Acceptable Ads Committee. But these are moving slowly and many publishers think the whitelist committee is simply cosmetic.
• At the beginning of June, Google announced it would allow publishers to ask readers with ad-blockers to make micropayments in exchange for seeing their sites’ content.
The key numbers:
• 615 million, or how many devices have ad-blocking software on them, worldwide. That’s up 30 percent year over year, according to PageFair.
• 90 percent: The overwhelming majority of the mobile devices equipped with an ad blocker – all 380 million of them – are located in Asia, where limited, expensive bandwidth plays just as big a role in the adblocking wars as user experience.
• 1 percent: For a time, publishers could take solace in the fact that very few any mobile devices in the U.S. had adblocking apps installed, according to eMarketer research. With Safari and Chrome both poised to begin blocking ads on mobile, this number is going to change a lot in the coming year.
• 17 percent, 22 percent, 27 percent: Adblocking might be surging in Asia, but in many advanced digital media markets, it’s either stabilized or declining. These three numbers represent the adblocking rates in Canada, the UK and Germany.
• $75 billion. That’s how much money ad-blocking is projected to cost publishers by 2020, if it does nothing to curb user adoption, according to research published last year by Ovum. Even if everything goes well for publishers, ad-blocking is still expected to cost upwards of $16 billion.
The publishers’ view:
“Since putting up the hard wall, we’ve been a bit surprised by how aggressive ad blockers are in attempting to circumvent [it],” Atlantic president Bob Cohn told Digiday+ subscribers.
In theory, adblocking is the sort of existential threat that should be able to unite an every member of an industry ecosystem. But the early returns suggest that publishers as well as platforms are looking for a solution that benefits them most.
“The responsibility for guarding consumer experience should really lie with a third-party that has no monetary bias,” said James Collier, the chief revenue officer of Rainbow.
‘We’re netting out with higher revenue’: Publishers reaping the benefits of Snapchat’s strong second half
With CPMs up as much as 20% year over year in the fourth quarter, many Discover publishers are bullish on the upstart platform for next year.
How Cosmo is building brand affinity with younger audiences through its focus on commerce
Cosmopolitan's focus on e-commerce through a line of branded wines and its own shopping holiday has led to a 254% increase in product sales.
‘Go to market faster’: The Washington Post’s Arc goes outside the tent for payment and data integrations
Subscriber revenue has become more of a priority to the Washington Post's Arc clients since it launched its subscription tools last year.
SponsoredPublishers will lead the charge as cookie-less advertising becomes the norm
Steve Wing, managing director, EMEA, Magnite As the advertising industry moves closer to a cookieless world — one in which browserless environments including connected TV (CTV) and mobile in-app are an increasingly large part of ad budgets — publishers will have an increasingly important role in developing the future of identity. Segment creation and identity […]
‘Profitability in the back half of next year’: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger
A special Digiday podcast episode features Interviews with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan.
‘People have had permission to experiment’: Pandemic expedites rethink on 9-to-5 work structures
Starting out as a short-term fix to weather the coronavirus storm, employers are seeing work hours outside the traditional 9-to-5 week as a new normal.