Ads Against the World of Adblocking

Adblock Plus wrote a blog piece on their site a couple weeks ago stating that The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) barred Adblock Plus from attending their annual advertising conference. And although the IAB have allowed a similar company, Ghostly, to attend its conference, IAB’s sentiments about the browser extensions’ main function were made obviously clear.

Ad-blocking is not a new concept at all, but it has been gaining more and more popularity in recent years. As stated in a report released by PageFair, usage of Ad-blockers went up 41% last year. It is also estimated that about 198 millions people worldwide use an ad-blocking service today.

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So, with all these people blocking ads, advertising agencies and the people that host ads on their websites for revenue are the ones rightfully outraged. Last year, globally, about 21.8 billion dollars in revenue was lost due to programs like Adblock Plus.

Johnny Ryan, head of ecosystem at PageFair, told E-Commerce Times that publishers could partly be at fault because they allow annoying ads that slow their viewers’ machines and, sometimes, provide malicious viruses. Publishers also do not seem to care how the ads can sometimes clutter the screen distastefully and completely ruin one’s user experience.

But Adblock Plus has tried to find a middle ground for advertisers and publishers. The browser extension does have an option, Acceptable Ads, for the users that don’t mind viewing ads, as long as they are not intrusive or annoying. However, for companies to become an “acceptable ad,” they have to pay Adblock to become whitelisted. And while companies like Microsoft and Apple have paid the price, a lot of companies think it is counterproductive and refuse.

Very recently though, Brendan Eich (creator of Javascript) announced that he has created a browser, Brave, that will block ads, but still potentially make money for publishers. To do this, he says the browser will allow good ads through and place ads of their own (ads that would benefit both the site’s users and publishers) in a few standard-sized places. For their own ads, Eich says that they would then pay the publishers 55% of the profits, with publishers receiving more (70%) if the browser is successful.

So will Eich’s Brave be something companies consider against this battle against ad-blockers? Or will they dismiss it like they did for Adblock Plus’ Acceptable Ads?