Compiled by PageFair and Adobe, the 2015 Ad Blocking report tells us that around 22 percent of New Zealand Internet users have installed Ad Blocking software.
Nearly 200 million users worldwide are impacting on advertising revenues by an estimated $22 billion USD ($32b NZD). To put this into perspective, New Zealand’s largest revenue producer (Fonterra) has an annual turnover of around $19b NZD.
Internationally, some publications have started striking back by restricting their online content to those who are not using ad blockers. While this is a bold move, we’ve yet to see what impact it might have on usage of ad blocking software.
The popular UK financial reporting website City AM has around 1.2 million viewers each month and has just started trialling this strategy, limiting it to people using Firefox browsers. If results prove promising, plans are to hide content from all visitors using ad blockers.
Germany’s largest online publication Bild has also just started blocking the blockers, giving them the option to switch their software off or pay a small monthly fee to view the site (with only some ads).
Advertising revenue makes up over 90% of Google’s revenue and the company clearly wants to work with all parties to mitigate the risk of ad blocking software. This includes improving web page loading times for people on smartphones and tablets, so that they will be less inclined to worry about the accompanying ads. A counter to Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) aims to simplify the structure of mobile web pages and place the data needed to deliver them closer to users. The intention is to achieve almost “instant” delivery of articles to anywhere in the world.
Why should you care?
Can we expect to have free access to all information published on the web? Would we expect free-to-air TV to stop showing adverts and survive?
Locally National Business Review has shown that people are prepared to pay for quality content, and charges a monthly subscription fee for online viewing. For quality content on other sites, having to put up with the accompanying advertising seems a small price to pay.
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