Until recently, ad blocking software was prevalent on computers, but not on smartphones and tablets. But with the recent updates to Apple’s iOS 9, mobile users are now able to install apps that prevent mobile ads from cluttering their news stories while browsing the web. While this may elicit excitement among individuals, publishers are not as pleased. It signals a much more difficult time approaching, where efforts must be focused on promoting ads in spite of ad blocking software limiting user views.
Ad-Blocking on iOS Makes Waves
The internet is financed through digital advertising profit. When the internet first became a news platform, publishers began to fret about the future of journalism. After all, most of the revenue they accrued was a result of print ads placed in newspapers and magazines. Now? The same panic is happening again, albeit a slightly different fear. Instead of moving content to another platform to which advertisers and publishers must adjust, tech companies are leveraging the technology itself to limit the profits publishers can gain. Sure, it might be inconvenient to have to skip over ads while you read an article, but the lack of advertisements could make the entire article disappear, or so publishers may fear.
How Will Ad-Blocking Affect Mobile Advertisement Profits?
If profits are going to tank, it will be because publishers did not take action soon enough to prevent a decrease in advertisement viewership. The first course that is most likely to take place is that advertisers will quickly embark on a mission to block ad-blockers themselves. At the very least, they may place an impassioned plea on their website, asking viewers to remove ad-blocking software just for them, because they like viewing their content so much.
As the blocking of ad-blocking progresses, the tech world will respond with even better ad-blocking, and so the competition will go. What is the future of digital advertising on mobile platforms? For the publishing industry’s sake, many hope it isn’t over altogether. At the same time, things may get sticky when it comes to tech companies controlling the flow of advertising. For example, this opens the doors for specific advertisers to pay ad-blocking software companies to allow their ads to pop up while blocking others. There may be a level of deception added to the industry as well. This threatens the democracy and freedom of the internet and potentially may create the need for lawmaking intervention.
Another important note – ad-blocking does not only affect publishers. It also affects the mobile app developers that offer their products on the iOS store for free, gaining all profits from advertisements within apps. Will Apple continue to endorse and allow an ad-blocking software that stunts their own profits to flourish? Perhaps mobile ad-blocking will be eliminated altogether for this reason.
Ultimately, publishers are going to have to come up with creative solutions to replace lost revenue, whether that means altering their advertising methods once again or partnering with the tech companies and social media networks to make advertising work for them once again. Digital advertisement will sustain online journalism, one way or the other, the only question that remains is which way – and publishers are now looking for that answer.