Why publishers really need to do something about adblocking

(c)iStock.com/kai zhang

The free internet is at risk. This may sound alarmist, but it isn't. If publishers worldwide don't take more aggressive action against ad blockers, a recent research report from Adobe states they will lose $35bn (£26bn) by 2020.

eMarketer recently forecast that approximately one in four US internet users—70 million people—will install an ad blocker on a desktop or smartphone by the end of 2016, and that US adblocking usage in 2016 will increase by double digits.

And by 2017, one-in-three US internet users are expected to do so. Millennials are fueling this ad blocking trend, and are the most likely of any generation in the US to block digital ads.

We believe that the new tech is one step in the right direction of stemming the adblocker tide

This runaway ad-blocking train affects the entire advertising ecosystem, especially with publisher revenue, potentially putting free-to-the-consumer media (whose revenue is derived solely from advertising) out of business and cause subscriber prices for paywall sites to skyrocket.

Major media sites, including The New York Times, have already begun campaigns against ad blockers, giving readers the option to disable their ad blocker for paid subscriptions. Other major news media sites are expected to follow suit, targeting software such Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin, both free to download and highly effective.

New tech

Our company, MGID, introduced proprietary anti-ad blocking technology in mid-June that circumvents ad blocking and makes sure our native advertising content that is supplied to its client publishers gets through.

Native advertising allows many web publishers to generate badly needed revenue without diluting their sites’ editorial content. Native ads, sometimes called sponsored content recommendations, typically appear in blocks beneath page content. Publishers get paid when readers click on native advertising links.

The new tech we've released notices when an ad blocker is in use and immediately swings into action to protect MGID-provided content and links.

All MGID publisher clients have access to this software at no additional cost. In addition, MGID’s new offering does not require new coding, does not slow site performance and can seamlessly be combined with other anti-ad blocking technologies.

We believe that the new tech is one step in the right direction of stemming the adblocker tide. 

DEAL concept

The proprietary technology is based on the DEAL concept, a recommended approach developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) for publishers to connect with ad-blocking consumers through a step-by-step process.

The IAB recently addressed the problems ad blocking creates and explored the framework for potential industry standard solutions at its ad blocking and user experience summit.

Three levels

The first level, called Notice, presents a dialog window asking users to disable their ad blocker in order to display free content. Users can then exit the dialog and continue navigation, or exit and disable ad blocking.

The publisher has control over the dialog frequency, once per page or every 60 seconds, which is the default setting.

The second level, Access Denial, dims site content upon detecting ad blocking and displays a dialog window prompting users to disable their ad blocker in order to restore content visibility. The dialog window appears once per page until the user disables the ad-blocking software.

The third and most aggressive level, ad reinsertion, bypasses the consumer’s ad blocker, delivering an uninterrupted user experience, with MGID’s advertising reinserted in its original placements.

A dialog box advising users of the bypass and suppressed ad-blocking technology is displayed. This solution works automatically with Google Chrome, while publisher-side setup is required for other browsers. Our ad reinsertion method preserves 100% of the publisher revenue.

Although, our testing suggests the first level of blocking, Notice, will convince up to 40% of users to turn off ad blocking. 

Our chief executive Sergey Denisenko sums up the company philosophy on ad blocking and the technology quite nicely.

“We strive to deliver better value for advertisers and increased revenue for publishers, while maintaining the highest quality visitor experience. Publishers should have the discretion of choosing when it comes to ad-blocking solutions including subscription, request to disable, exchange, denial of service and ad reinsertion products. 

"Ultimately, the consumer will show us the most effective means to strike a balance between maintaining publisher revenue, advertising results and consumer experience," he says.

And I agree. Do you?

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Theo
19 Jul 2016, 6:06 p.m.

This would be more convincing if you could provide links to sites using this technology. I've run into numerous of these services that claim to be able to circumvent ad blockers only for it to prove trivial to configure the ad blocker to block them anyway.

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kevin obrien
21 Jul 2016, 4:30 a.m.

with all that money they have made , but still cant keep the end users safe pure greed , adtech and virus tech are now classed as the same

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