Ad blocking: our view
Ad blocking is an issue that as an industry we need to tackle as a unified front. Often, when a consumer installs an ad blocker they give a clear sign that they are not happy with the situation as it is but very likely they also don’t understand what this means for them or our industry.
Publishers are at the front door of this issue and have a direct relationship with their users and need to play an important role in tackling this. They can do this by communicating to their users that great content comes at a cost and it is advertising that has paid for this content.
This is about choice. The user should be asked to choose how they want to pay for the quality content they consume going forward:
a. Whitelisting/viewing the ads
b. Paying a subscription fee to view the content ad-free
c. If the user doesn’t want to do either of the above, they should no longer have access to the content
Publishers are at the front door of this issue and have a direct relationship with their users
Technology providers should support publishers in this process by enhancing the ad viewing experience. A positive user experience will always be the key starting point. We can and always will make sure that the loading times on ads are as fast as possible and that the ads are of a high quality. It’s important that we constantly innovate when it comes to new ad formats, and continue to have a dialogue with publishers to make sure the ads they serve are relevant to the user and that the user experience is a positive one.
The higher quality and relevance of the ads, the less of a problem this will be. Advertisers must produce high quality, relevant advertising that attracts rather than deters the user. It’s important to note that the issue of subsidising content with the growth of digital is not new – we have seen the same issue in the music industry for example. Consumers of content across all industries need to choose how they wish to pay, but understand that content shouldn’t come for free.
Working together, we can ensure the user gets the experience they want, the publishers get the revenue they need, and the advertisers reach their target audience in a relevant and eye-catching way.