Targeted ad blocking is on the rise, and the future looks increasingly bleak for those looking to make money on the web. Can a balanced medium be found for publishers and advertisers alike? Or is the digital content model we are naturally accustomed to doomed?

“Let’s face it, online ads can be annoying. Whilst we know that nothing comes for free, and that many websites, particularly social media platforms, rely on advertising revenue to provide their services, even then, sometimes those ads can just be too much. Throw in concerns about ad targeting and invasion of privacy and you can see why companies which provide ad blocking software are getting bigger over time.

“How big, exactly? A new report by PageFair and Adobe found that the use of ad blocking software will cost publishers a massive £17 billion in 2015, and that usage has grown by 41% in the last 12 months alone. That’s a major concern, and something all advertisers need to be aware of – and even more concerning, ad blockers are now turning their focus to the mobile UX as well.”

To read the full article, visit Social Media Today.

“Around 198 million users used ad blocking software across the globe in Q2, PageFair reported. That’s up 40% from 141 million users in June 2014. This unprecendented growth in ad blocking software “has the potential to challenge the viability of the web as a platform for the distribution of free ad-supported content,” PageFair explained.

“Ad-blocking software has yet to become commonplace common on mobile devices, but that might be about to change,” PageFair fears.

To read the full article, visit Investor’s Business Daily.

“With the release of iOS9 this autumn, Apple will allow users to natively block content on Safari for the first time – a change which could be a “game changer” for the industry.

Safari represents 52% of the mobile browsing market (and 14% of total web browsing). With support for ad block apps in iOS9, it is expected that ad blocking on Safari will eventually trend towards the levels currently seen in the mobile version of Firefox (16%).”

Whilst Apple will not block ads in iOS9 by default, the new element blockers will allow users to install extensions that do so, much like they can on Safari for Mac. In addition to ads, these mobile blockers could be used to prevent tracking scripts from running – another significant blow to marketers.”

To read the full article, visit AppleInsider.

“Ad blocking may well be on the rise, but that’s a rational response to the decline of advertising into a hellish landscape of crap and gimmicks.

“There’s no question that many publishers both large and small are caught in a Catch-22 situation: they rely on advertising for their financial well-being, but in order to cater to advertisers who want to see large numbers, many feel they have to pump out as much shallow click-bait as they possibly can. That in turn makes their sites even more reliant on advertising, because no one in their right mind would actually pay to subscribe to a site that publishes that kind of content.

“Publishers may argue that they are being forced by advertisers to engage in all of these click-farm tactics, but who made them sign those deals in the first place? In the end, readers likely won’t shed a tear as they turn on their ad blocking software or click away to another site that doesn’t treat them so shabbily. And whose fault is that? You have to dance with the one who brought you.”

To read the full article, visit Fortune.

“With 200 million extension downloads and counting, ad blockers are quickly growing in popularity. In my experience from working at an advertising technology company, the reasons are clear: they are easy to install and immediately effective, they make the web look cleaner and load faster, and they prevent advertisers from tracking user activity online.

“What many people don’t realise, however, is the impact ad blockers have on the future of the web. The software prevents websites from generating ad revenue, which is often their main source of income. Placing ads next to content helps websites recover the sizeable fixed costs of creating content.

“Ultimately, users will decide whether advertising remains a viable business model for digital content. Unlike print and television, the web affords users the power to democratically shape the future. But to move beyond the current impasse with ad blocking, it is important that consumers understand the impact that it has on the publishing ecosystem. Websites should do more to educate their users about the consequences of using ad blockers and help them make an informed choice.”

To read the full article, visit Harvard Business Review.

“I’ve never been tempted to run ad blocking software before – I make most of my living from ads, as do many of my friends and colleagues, and I’ve always wanted to support the media I consume. But in the last few years, possibly due to the dominance of low-quality ad networks and the increased share of mobile browsing, ad quality and tolerability have plummeted, and annoyance, abuse, misdirection, and tracking have skyrocketed.

“Publishers don’t have an easy job trying to stay in business, but that simply doesn’t justify the rampant abuse, privacy invasion, sleaziness, and creepiness that many of them are forcing upon their readers, regardless of whether the publishers feel they had much choice in the matter.

“Don’t forget, web publishers actually had things pretty nice for a while. Monetisation was as simple as dropping a <script> tag from an ad service into your template. Want to add stats and analytics? Just drop in another <script> tag from another service. The bizdev people made a deal to integrate another analytics service for another few pennies? Go ahead, drop in yet another <script> tag. Those days are over. It won’t be easy for many to move on, and not everyone will make it.

“In a few years, after the dust has settled, we’re all going to look back at today’s web’s excesses and abuses as an almost unbelievable embarrassment. Hopefully, the worst is behind us. And it’s time to stop demonizing people who use tools to bring that sanity to their web browsers today.”

To read the full article, visit Marco.org.

Have you installed an ad blocking extension on your browser? Do you feel guilty? Or are you doing so in order to express your opinion to publishers across the web?

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