The Killer App - Mobile Ad blockers can now block ads within apps

O'Reilly at BI dubs recent events the Mobile Ad-block-alypse (ha!), as there are now even more options for blocking ads in your phone. "Been Choice", available for iPhone only at the moment, not only blocks ads within Facebooks own app, but also lets you earn rewards if you decide to let some ads through. A very interesting concept, that returns control to the user. With the flick of a switch users are now in control of their data-usage, and personal information. The "Earn" mode is only available in the US at the moment, but if you choose this option, you'll get ads and rewards too.

With more cellular networks, like Caribbean phone carrier Digicel, putting ad blocking into their service - to strangle the data MB used on their networks - mobile ad blocking is a big deal™.
We've moved from desktop to devices more and more in recent years (as I predicted in this interview 2009, in Swedish). Digicel are taking a stand against the Googlemonopoly, Yahoo and Facebook who don't own or operate infrastructure (yet). It's brilliant.

“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all — but they put no money in,” Digicel Group Chairman Denis O’Brien said in a statement. “Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves. That’s unacceptable, and we, as a network operator, are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population.”

Ad Blocking has been growing steadily on desktop for years, now to the point that publishers are taking notice. Some choose to educate their readers on how ad banners support a website, like Ars Technica did 5 years ago and Techdirt did just last week with the added twist that they give readers the option to turn off ads straight on their site instead of using their own Ad Blocker. Ars Technica told Digiday that their education-experiment was a success:

.“Our ad block rate dropped 8 percent and to this day, has stayed down below 30 percent. So many of our readers remember that story.”

It was Google who introduced search engine ads and PPC (pay per click) in 2004, before that all banner ads were CPM (cost per thousand impressions). This change had a significant impact on the banner ad market and the publications supported by it.

Readers aren't blocking ads out of spite, or even ignorance as to how the ads support the sites they read and services they use, people are blocking ads due to privacy reasons, bandwidth waste and the security concerns as banners hijacks cause. Nobody wants their computer turned into a malware zombie, or their device to leak their credit card information from one app to another. Ad blockers are increasingly being helpfully installed by default, leaving us with an online world without ads, like a digital São Paulo.

Ad age imagines a world without ads, and how much our consumer news & entertainment would actually costs us, if there were no ads to subside them. Their ad-math suggests that The New York Times would cost $300+ minimum for a year of digital. TV wold cost 50% more, yet have a lot fewer channels. Facebook might be $12 a year - very reasonable, while BuzzFeed would cease to exists. It's not just publishers that should be worried as platforms are racing to the front in this digital land grab of who gets to keep the ad money. We should all be worried.

Marketers are expected to spend $189 billion on advertising in the U.S. this year and $592 billion worldwide, according to eMarketer. Picture the human cost within just the ad industry alone if that spending went away -- all the creative-directors-turned-Uber-drivers, for starters.And the Geico Gecko having to panhandle to support his cricket and mealworm habit. (Did you know 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance? No, you didn't know that, and no one else knows either.) And Flo from Progressive having to wait tables at IHOP -- until she loses that job too when IHOP revenue plummets as consumers collectively begin to forget the very existence of Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity Pancakes.
Not to mention a drab, gloomy Times Square devoid of giant Coke bottles and hulking M&Ms, prowled only by half-naked painted ladies and creepy Elmos.

Now, that's downright depressing.

AnonymousCoward's picture
kidsleepy's picture

Some people may block ads because of privacy or malware, or out of some stick-it-to-the-man sense but I suspect more than a few are blocking the ads because the ads are by and large uninteresting retail garbage with BUY NOW and CLICK HERE emblazoned like giant neon lights across the bottom.

They are aesthetically horrible and intrusive.

Dabitch's picture

It certainly doesn't help to have two autoplay youtube embed video ads on a page where there's both an article, and a clip, and an unrelated clip at the bottom of the article, aaaargh why do sites do this?

Dabitch's picture

Many ad blocker alternatives for iPhone now are gaining popularity, and are staying up unlike the former Apple app stores number 1 ad blocker which was pulled by the creator because "Just doesn’t feel good"

The iPhone app PURIFY is currently 50% off, it cleans out ads from your phone's safari and makes it load "lightning fast".