Ad blocking update – Publishers and tech giants work together to take on ad blockers

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Ad blocking update – Publishers and tech giants work together to take on ad blockers

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Ad blocking update – Publishers and tech giants work together to take on ad blockers
Digital publishers are using a variety of strategies to counter the impact of ad blockers from requesting users to turn off ad blockers or whitelisting websites to blocking access to content.
Publishers have also found unlikely allies in Google and Facebook that are making it harder for third party ad blockers to block ads on their platforms.
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 consumers understand 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 rise of ad blockers has disrupted their business model. However, this not only affects publishers but also affects the large online tech platforms and they are not taking this threat lightly. In our previous report, we discussed Google’s response to ad blockers through an in-built ad blocker within the Chrome browser – See our report - Ad blocking – Google and publishers strike back.
In this report, we look at the state of ad blocking in Australia, publisher strategies – what’s worked, how are the tech giants responding and risk of regulatory action around user privacy on the broader online advertising ecosystem.


Key takeaways


Digital advertising in Australia

Current state of ad blocking in Australia

  • Publishers are fighting back…
  • Platforms
  • Publishers use technology against ad blockers

Tech giants and ad blocking

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Apple
  • The ACCC digital platform inquiry is a greater threat than ad blockers
  • But focus on privacy and regulatory action are a threat to publishers as well


List of charts/tables

Figure 1. Australian advertising revenues by segment (A$bn)

Figure 2. Respondents paid for online news between 2016 and 2018 (%)

Figure 3. Respondents using ad blocking technology on their personal devices (%)

Figure 4. Types of payments for online news for those paying for digital news (%)

Figure 5. Use of news aggregator apps in Australia (%)

Figure 6. Total Australian online advertising expenditure ($bn)

Figure 7. Share of digital display advertising revenue in Australia (%)