Ads Want an Invitation to the Block Party

April 5, 2016  |  Jeremy Whitt

Thinking Big

The battle to block ad-blocking is a real thing, and it’s also really fun to say.

Consumers are quite familiar with browser extensions that block online banner and video ads. AdBlock Plus reports over 50 million installs for their base product, and there are other products that work to block pre-roll and YouTube ads as well.

It’s great for consumers, right?

It sure seems like it. Why be pestered by ads that clutter your screen, potentially slow downloads, and take valuable time away from your unapproved video watching at work? The extensions also claim to block malware and tracking that can be a bi-product from fraud in the ad space. But what about the unintended consequences from blocking ads? If ads allow you to view the content for free, what happens when fewer and fewer ads are served? Revenue for the websites falls, which is also tied to advertisers getting smarter about what they are paying for. Eventually, somebody has to pay for that content.

Publishers and marketers both have skin in the game.

Publishers want to monetize their ad space. Marketers want to reach audiences and also only pay when the ads are displayed. That’s why defeating ad blockers has become necessary to achieve their goals. In fact, two media companies have recently merged with exactly that in mind. This specific merger combines a powerful anti-ad-blocker (BlockIQ) with a service that allows publishers and content creators to monetize videos, particularly on mobile. In turn, it creates an inventory source for marketers and publishers that is more assured to have ads that are seen and are thus available for monetization.

Is this the start of a trend or just one of many solutions to the problem?

It’s not yet conclusive if anti-ad-blockers will win out because there’s potential for ad-blockers to develop a new solution down the road that puts us back at square one. Some publishers are blocking content if they notice an ad-blocker on a device while others are leaning towards more pay-walls for their content — assuring a source of publisher revenue. There are plusses and minuses for publishers and marketers in both scenarios, as it’s likely to limit inventory in some way.

BVK keeps a keen eye on all factors that can influence the message delivery for our clients. While we can’t control the factors above, we focus on using the right partners who can make sure we get quality inventory and only pay for when our ads are served.


is a VP, Group Media Director at BVK

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