With the release of the latest iteration of its iOS operating system, Apple is now allowing ad-blocking software in the App Store.
As if the next version of Apple’s iOS (iOS 9) isn’t enough to set tongues to wagging, maybe the loudest squawks are about a new ability for users to employ ad blockers.
As of Thursday, the day after the iOS 9 launch, the top paid iOS app was the new ad-blocker Peace, a $2.99 download from Instapaper founder Marco Arment.
Any move that Apple makes is certain to cause ripples across the interconnected tech world, and the company’s moves to block mobile ads is certainly going to have some serious fallout for advertisers.
Online advertising is growing at about 17% a year and last year it almost got to $50 billion, but average “cost per mille” (CPM) rates have long been either stagnant, or heading in the other direction. Rather than complain about Apple allowing ad-blocking tools that squeeze Google’s mobile revenue, Google could provide a highly valuable, nearly unique tool to prevent harm.
If some or all of your app’s content is also available on your website, you can use web markup to give users access to your content in search results. Still, it would be good to have a plan. While many ad-blocking apps are now basically cudgels that obstruct all ads, he said he expected there would later be “customizable, free ad blockers with a feature that offers a whitelist for some ads”. It’s a massive achievement that should be the highlight of my professional career…Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have. Ad blocking was significantly more common among these ages groups than among older users.
Feed readers were never widely popular, though – they remain the domain of news junkies and other power users. Will ad blockers really shake the digital ad economy’s foundations? Apple uses a closed hardware and software ecosystem to lock in users, so booting Google out of that walled garden makes ideal business sense. Native ads, advertorials and branded content are all formats that have been buzzwords for quite some time for anyone involved in website copywriting or content production. Feed reader users click through to the news site (and thus trigger ad impressions) only for a fraction of all headlines. In private, there is an awareness ad blocking could be more serious.
As Nilay Patel from the Verge has recently pointed out, adblocking might not be a big deal now, but if the upward trend of adoption on every platform continues, things will become hard for sites that rely primarily on ad revenue.
And embrace ad-blocking software for the innovation spark that it is. People are willing to spend a lot of time with an app that treats them like valued customers rather just another pair of eyeballs for products they don’t want or need.
Content Blockers will also work on the soon to be released iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, as well as the iPad Pro.
But Arment certainly understands why web readers like ad blockers, and sees that ad blocking as a kind of war.
Others in the online ad industry say they see the explosion of ad blocking as an opportunity to fix a broken system of intrusive, data-heavy ads that slow down the browsing experience.
Earlier, the alarm used to automatically stop once the song ended, even if you didn’t hear it. Now, you’ll hear it over and over – though that might just encourage you to stay in bed.