Advertising is responsible for most of the free stuff you come across on the Internet. When you come across an interesting article on Forbes or any other digital media website, there is a possibility that some companies may have paid for it. However, you want quick access to the article that interests you without using excessive data in the process. To avoid ads and access the interesting article, you opt for an ad blocker so your browser could load as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, you got what you wanted, but the publisher or blogger couldn’t get you to see the product or service of the advertiser—obviously the advertiser is unhappy.
Did you know that in 2015, ad blocking cost publishers nearly $22 billion? According to Pagefair, more and more people are embracing ad blockers, while publishers and advertisers are counting their losses. A report published on Pagefair showed that there are now 198 million active adblock users around the world.
If you are a blogger or a publisher, chances are that you are worried about the Pagefair report and probably at a crossroad. Advertisers are worried too because ad blockers are gaining more users—it’s probably the only way to stop “annoying ads.”
Readers are right to question some of the ads they find when they visit your blog, but advertisement is the spine of virtually every free stuff you read online. While a few feel it’s cool to help publishers out by enabling ads on their browsers, some 80 percent of Internet users polled by Adobe said they weren’t prepared to pay even a small fee to get rid of ads.
Well, not all ads are blocked—but still doesn’t paint a cheery picture of how publishers want things to be. Ad blockers are designed to build a wall between an ad on your website and the reader’s browser.
Yet more worries for publishers and bloggers
Added to existing issues bloggers and publishers have to deal with is the new Opera browser that features an ad blocker. The built-in ad blocker feature is available for both desktop and mobile version of the browser.
Adblock Plus, which is by far the most popular ad blocker software—with more than 60 million active users was sued in Germany by publishers. The publishers’ argument was hinged on the premise that Adblock Plus users shouldn’t be able to block ads on their websites. Judgement was delivered in favor of Adblock Plus—further compounding the worries of publishers.
It would interest you to know that Adblock Plus has a “Whitelist” where names of acceptable ads of publishers and bloggers are “whitelisted.” According to cjr.org, 700 publishers have already been whitelisted. Eyeo is the German company that owns Adblock Plus, and charges large for-profit publishers a cut of ad revenues to be on the list.
Eyeo’s decision to charge publishers and bloggers to be on the “whitelist” is highly suspicious, and brings to question its primary motive. It is a policy that puts smaller publishers and bloggers in a fix because it forces their hands. According to a recent report published by the Financial Times, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon were among those paying Eyeo for acceptable ads to appear to users of Adblock Plus.
The Carrot & Stick approach
If the courts won’t stop ad blockers and you don’t see the sense in paying to appear on Adblock Plus “Whitelist,” then the Carrot and Stick approach might just work for you.
This approach is first persuasive before it acts tough on a visitor to your blog. It is the same approach being adopted by Forbes and some other websites. A visitor that has an ad blocker installed on his browser is advised to turn it off if he wants to continue to access an article. This is repeated as often as the visitor remains adamant until access is denied.
After first attempt to get you to turn off your ad blocker in order to access the website, Forbes changes gear by asking you to log in to the website in order to “continue.”
Convincing or persuading a reader to turn off his ad blocker to access an interesting article might just be the way out. Paying to be “Whitelisted” by Adblock Plus isn’t the right way to get around a ‘big’ issue like this—after all, there are several other ad blockers out there.
Got something on your mind to say or add to this story? Share it in the comments section.