Monday, September 21, 2015

Apple and Ad blockers

Great article about the controversy over ad-blocking and monetization of online content:

"Indirect models for making money, especially advertising, reduce the drag on network effects that would come from trying to charge each individual user a price that matched their particular level of value for a particular piece of content. (...) The real resolution to this fight may come from another set of innovations — although whether they arrive in time is far from clear. "


  1. Interesting article. I think the Verge article that this references is right on point though - support for ad blockers in iOS 9 is all about hurting Google moreso than anything to do with the user.

    The article does say that 'another set of innovations' might save the day. In my personal experience ads bother me for three reasons:

    1) Irrelevant ad content
    2) Blocking or disrupting content
    3) 'slowing down' the content load times

    The article suggest that more targeted ads will be a 'deal' rather than a burden, which is plausible but only addresses annoyance #1.

    I think a simpler solution is for web designers to get better about #2, how ads are displayed. I think it is telling that the most popular ad-blocker does not in fact block ALL ad content, but just ads that 'block the page itself, are too distracting or automatically animated'. Simple unobtrusive ads are not blocked. Better attention to how ads are displayed and presented could dramatically reduce the demand for ad blockers.

    #3 I think will resolve itself if ads become less obtrusive, and as speeds generally increase regardless

  2. In addition to what Aizaz suggested, I would add that ads have to be native going forward with very little tracking. Facebook and Instagram are successful precisely because they get this.