When is an ad blocker not an ad blocker? When it fails to block all the ads! According to the Financial Times, German based start-up Adblock Plus will be letting some ads through its blocking software, with some of the web’s biggest advertisers free and clear in exchange for a hefty price.
Ads from Google, Microsoft and Amazon will be ‘white listed’ by Adblock thanks to some confidential deals uncovered by the FT. Adblock is adopting a similar model to Eyeo in order to only let through what it calls ‘approved ads’. Although they may spin this as being a beneficial service, which indeed it is to many, it is purely a revenue stream.
Block Adverts Revenue
How much revenue is generated by this remains to be seen, however one digital media company claims Eyeo charges “a fee equivalent to 30 per cent of the additional ad revenues that it would make from being unblocked”. With the online advertising industry worth in excess of $120bn a year it’s little wonder Google, Microsoft and Amazon have made these types of deals.
Ad blocking is the biggest threat to online marketing, use of which has increased 70% in the last year according to PageFair and Adobe, leading some German media groups to already seeking damages from Eyeo. Claiming exceptional loss of revenue, something that maybe followed by several French media outlets should it prove successful.
However, Eyeo welcomes everyone to be able to advertise by being “transparent with us about being an ad” and “do not disrupt or distort the page content we’re trying to read”. Google and Amazon where tight lipped when pressed by the financial Times, however Microsoft were quite happy to release a statement over the whitelisting of Bing ads:
“Microsoft will always give consumers choice when it comes to advertisements. We are committed to working with partners who share our vision for relevant, impactful brand interaction and respect the integrity of consumer choice.”
So who chooses exactly what adverts are acceptable? According to PageFair, users show willingness for some unobtrusive adverts, while strongly rejecting any pop ups, whether they be adverts or newsletter sign up obstructions. With several site like Facebook showing controversial adverts according to the tech community, are ad blockers and white lists a better way to vet them?