A report from the frontline of Ad blocking

Readers hate ads, but publishers and marketers need them to make money. It’s the way it has always been, but recently, new software has given consumers the tools they need for ad-blocking. For a time, very few people had ad-blocking apps installed on their phone, so publishers could easily reap the benefits of mobile advertising. But now, Apple and Google has introduced downloadable software that prevents ads showing up on webpages. Here we explore the latest in ad blocking and the ways publishers are looking for solutions to the threat.

Ad-blocking software allows users to surf the net without running into pop-up ads and banners, as it strips the webpages of all advertisement. It can make the browsing experience more efficient and cleaner, giving you more privacy as ads won’t follow you around the web. Back in 2010, the number of people using ad-blocking software was 21 million globally. However, this year, it’s predicted the number will reach 236 million.

Ad-blockers are impacting the industry, as top publishers such as Conde Nast, The Gaudian and Dennis, are losing £2 million a year in ad revenue. Publishers will have to learn to monetize and market in different ways, because platforms can’t simply rely on ads for exposure, as the number of people using ad blockers grow. However, some publishers are fighting back against ad blocking with a data-driven approach.

Dennis have tested a variety of messages across many of its brands, aimed at persuading ad blocker uses to view ads. They found that as long as the messages were placed in the middle of the article, they had a 70% engagement rate. What also emerged, is that ad blocker users responded even more when presented with a range of options in the message. So, this is an interesting model that publishers can look to uphold in order to be strong when ads really start to decline. Other sites have included messages to explain how ads help fund their content.

With sixty percent of ad blocking now occurring on mobile, it’s time that publishers and advertisers form new relationships and work together to find new ways of bringing in revenue to their businesses. In addition to running less intrusive ads, publishers should go the extra mile and try to add extra value to their products and services.

Digital media is moving at an ever-increasing pace and whether you’re a publisher or a marketer, ad blocking will affect your business. The threat of ad blocking is strong, so companies will need to adapt to the changes to continue running successful marketing campaigns.

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