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Industry Roundup: Blocking the Ad Blockers


The Internet was abuzz this week with news and opinions on the issue of ad blocking. Digital publishers are plagued by growing prominence of ad blocking software — more readers are visiting their sites and consuming their content without being subjected to the plethora of banner and box ads scattered across site pages.

From paying ad blockers to automatically whitelist publications to completely shutting out readers using the technology, digital publishers are employing a variety of tactics to keep their ads in play.

With all the hububb surrounding this growing issue, here are the articles from around the web that highlighted some potential solutions:

The New York Times Begins Testing Ad Blocking Approaches

AdAge takes an in-depth look at The New York Times’ experimental approaches. This industry leader looks to be trying out a few different strategies to see what sticks, from encouraging digital readers to turn off ad blocking software, offering instructions on how to whitelist the publication, or barring them from accessing articles altogether.

How WIRED is Going to Handle Ad Blocking

The renowned tech publication revealed that 20% of their daily traffic uses ad blocking software — a fairly significant portion of their overall digital readership. As such, they’ve written up a dedicated post where they weigh in with their view on the issue and offer insights on how they plan to battle the blockers.

Europe’s Top Publishers on What They’re Doing about Ad Blocking

Digiday chatted with the business leaders at five top publications across Europe and examined their varied opinions on ad blocking. While some are sussing out the best approach to tackle the issue, at least one is simply sticking its head in the sand to ignore the problem completely.

IAB Creates Guide for Publishers to Combat Ad Blocking

As numerous publications wring their hands over the best solution to ad blocking software, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has taken some action to help. The IAB has compiled a guide with a handful of strategies to cope with the mounting problem.

In Conclusion

All these articles on ad blocking lead back to one theme: improving the user experience without forsaking ad revenues. Readers often find the traditional banner and display ads disruptive to the engagement experience (hence the ad blocking technology), but publishers require those impressions to sell ad stock. One solution could be to create ads that aren’t as jarring to the user (which makes the case for native advertising). Publishers could also change tactics from measuring “moment-based” metrics like pageviews, clicks, and impressions to attention time analytics that focus on engagement. In a world of decreasing attention spans, attention time is very finite and valuable — it’s a scarcity worth commoditizing, especially from an ad perspective.

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