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What’s the Impact and Alternative to Ad Blocking?

To experience the Internet without advertising interrupting you every few moments sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s not. By blocking a significant amount of ads, consumers are forcing publishers to take drastic actions. And when iOS 9 allowing Safari mobile browser extensions on iPhone, ad blocking extensions took off hit the market for mobile users – a high ad growth medium.

One estimate suggests that Google lost $1.86 billion in US revenue to ad-blocking in 2014. Publishers already lose an estimated 9% of ad revenue to ad blocking.

This infographic from Signal, The Rise of Ad Blockers, provides three ways to try and retain your ad revenue:

  1. Ad Relevance – working with ad networks that do not incorporate accurate data can produce irrelevant ads that drive consumers away and encourage them to utilize ad blockers.
  2. Personalization – integrate all your channels to ensure prospects and customers are properly identified and accurately fed ads of value.
  3. Native Advertising – Signal recommends publishers incorporating native advertising to increase revenues.

While the first two options are great advice for any publisher, the option to run native advertising makes me cringe. The beautiful thing about ads is they’re unmistakeable. Native advertising; on the other hand, is easily mistaken for content. Publishers must do something if they’re to survive, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for consumers to be pushing them into this corner.

Almost 200 million people are now regularly using ad-blocking software, a 41% growth globally in the last year.

ad blocking

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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