During this past week on the very same day Apple released its mandatory news app for iOS 9 it also made available ad blocking technology for Safari. What’s going on here?
Ad blocking extensions for desktop browsers have been around for quite some time and their use is growing fast. Some blame YouTube for this rush to block ads with the number of YouTube video advertisers up more than 40% in 2014.
In September of 2014 Adobe and PageFair conducted a study that said approximately 144 million people were using ad blocking tools around the world. The report also said that ad blocking grew nearly 70% between June 2013 and June 2014.
So clearly there is a demand for ad blocking. The technology works by either preventing networks from serving up ads or hiding the ads after they have been delivered.
And now it’s available for the Safari browser on Apple devices with the release of iOS 9. Apple created hooks into the browser to allow third parties to create ad blocking apps.
The apps have surged to the top of Apple’s paid iPhone app chart which keeps tabs on app downloads. By Friday morning, ad-blocking apps accounted for three of the top five paid apps, and four of the top 20.
Some of the reasons driving the surge of ad blocking apps on mobile does make sense.
Ad blocking keeps companies from tracking your browsing behavior, reduces page load times and cuts down on data usage which could save consumers money. Some people have had enough of this “mobile spyware.”
While it is true some publishers have taken advantage of the mobile platforms, completely blocking the ads that pay for the content we consume is definitely a disruption that will require creative solutions – like using Apple News – or creating your own dedicated app which may be a challenge for smaller publishers.
These new ad blocking features for mobile Safari don’t effect third party apps such as The New York Times or any of the social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
And if your company pays for online ads through various publishing sites, it’s time to think about a content marketing plan of your own to educate, solve problems and work with your publishers for deeper content such as guest interviews on industry insights.
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