Ad blockers have had a huge impact on the online advertising landscape in the past few years. This impact will grow larger as the popularity of ad blockers reaches a critical mass on desktop as well as mobile.
While publishers have tried multiple strategies, Google’s ad blocking move while counter-intuitive at first glance, could prove to be just the right approach to combat the rise of ad blockers.
The majority of websites across the internet today are built around the ad-supported revenue model. Ads, like all other free-to-use media platforms, enable consumers’ access to free content. Traditionally, monetising any form of content has included an implicit understanding between the user and publisher that involves the user getting access to free content in return for viewing ads. This means that there is an implicit understanding between users and publishers that there is a price to pay to gain access to the content they want, whether it’s a one-off direct payment, a subscription, or a requirement to view sponsor messages through ads. For digital publishers and broadcasters who choose advertising as their preferred source of revenues, the rapid take-up of ad blocking threatens to disrupt the entire online advertising ecosystem. In particular, ad blocking increases the risk to publisher revenues and therefore the source of funding for content published or the services provided. In this report, we analyse the state of ad blocking in Australia, the launch of Google’s ad blocker in Chrome and its implications for publishers.