Banner Ads Trends and Native Advertising

There’s much debate over just what “native advertising” means. Talk to enough publishers, however, you’ll find agreement on one thing: it isn’t banner ads.

15 Alarming Stats About Banner Ads article tells the story of current state of banner ads. The banner ad is now 18 years old. It has become a symbol of all that’s wrong with online advertising: it stands out as an intruder on webpages; and it is mostly ignored by readers.

Here are some facts picked from 15 Alarming Stats About Banner Ads article:
1. Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)
4. Click-through rates are .1 percent. (DoubleClick)
5. The 468 x 60 banner has a .04 percent click rate. (DoubleClick)
6. An estimated 31 percent of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)
8. 8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)
9. Up to 50 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
10. Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)

And yet banner continues to be a bulwark of the online advertising system. Many publishers would like to change that.

Native advertising is hot right now, even if nobody seems to know exactly what it is. Native advertising appears to mean different things to different people.

One definition: “a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.” This Infographic Explains What Native Advertising Is and Summary of Native Advertising and Native Monetization 2011 – 2013 articles give a more detailed view.

You could summarize: Native advertising is the politically correct term for advertorial. Or rather, it’s an upgrade, the digital version of an old practice dating back to the era of typewriters and lead printing presses.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joshua Brustein / Bloomberg Business:
    Wired to start offering ad-free version of its website for $3.99 a month from Feb 16, will block visitors using ad blockers

    Wired Is Launching an Ad-Free Website to Appease Ad Blockers

    Readers can pay $3.99 for a four-week subscription to a version of its site without advertising.

    More than 1 in 5 people who visit Wired Magazine’s website use ad-blocking software. Starting in the next few weeks, the magazine will give those readers a choice: stop blocking ads, pay to look at a version of the site that is unsullied by advertisements, or go away. It’s the kind of move that was widely predicted last fall after Apple allowed ad-blocking in the new version of its mobile software, but most publishers have shied away from it so far.

    Wired plans to charge $3.99 for four weeks of ad-free access to its website. In many places where ads appear, the site will simply feature more articles, said Mark McClusky, the magazine’s head of product and business development. The portion of his readership that uses ad blockers are likely to be receptive to a discussion about their responsibility to support the businesses they rely on for information online, McClusky said.

    The magazine’s editors are explaining the move in a note to readers:

    “At WIRED, we believe that change is good. Over the past 23 years, we’ve pushed the boundaries of media, from our print magazine to launching the first publishing website. We even invented the banner ad. We’re going to continue to experiment to find new ways to bring you the stories you love and to build a healthy business that supports the storytelling. We hope you’ll join us on this journey. We’d really appreciate it.”

    This idea didn’t originate with Wired. Many publishers have been flirting with a subscribe-or-see-ads model. Google has even offered a way for websites to accept donations in exchange for ad-free experiences, although it hasn’t gotten much uptake. So far, though, the fear of alienating readers has outweighed the fear of losing revenue to ad blockers.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Google will stop running Flash display ads on January 2, 2017

    Google today announced that the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are completely ditching Flash for HTML5 next year. More specifically, advertisers will no longer be able to upload display ads built in Flash into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, starting on June 30, 2016, and won’t be able to run display ads in the Flash format on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick, starting on January 2, 2017.

    Flash has been on its way out for years. Not only is the tool a security nightmare, with new vulnerabilities popping up regularly, the market has been slowly but surely moving away from plugins in favor of HTML5.

    Google has played a big part in helping to kill Flash. In January 2015, YouTube ditched Flash for HTML5 video by default, and, in February, the company began automatically converting Flash ads to HTML5.

    Today’s announcement is thus just the latest nail in the coffin. Google says this latest move aims “to enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices” and encourages marketers to update their Flash display ads to HTML5 before the aforementioned dates. Video ads build in Flash, however, “will not be impacted at this time,” Google noted.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
    How Facebook and Google dominate digital advertising, and why other tech companies struggle

    The Reality of Missing Out

    When it comes to ad-supported services, pundits everywhere are fond of the adage “If you’re not the customer you’re the product”. It’s interesting, though, how quickly that adage is forgotten when it comes to evaluating the viability of said services.

    Twitter is a perfect example. In response to my piece How Facebook Squashed Twitter I got a whole host of responses along the lines of this from John Gruber:

    I have argued for years that the fundamental problem is that Twitter is compared to Facebook, and it shouldn’t be. Facebook appeals to billions of people. “Most people”, it’s fair to say. Twitter appeals to hundreds of millions of people. That’s amazing, and there’s tremendous value in that — but it’s no Facebook. Cramming extra features into Twitter will never make it as popular as Facebook — it will only dilute what it is that makes Twitter as popular and useful as it is.

    A Brief History of Analog Advertising

    Newspapers are the oldest tool in the advertiser’s chest, and were for many years the only one. This wasn’t a problem because newspapers had the magical ability to expand or contract based on how much advertising was sold for a particular day; from a business perspective, editorial has always been filler.

    For the first half of the 20th century, U.S. aggregate newspaper revenue growth roughly tracked GDP, which is what you would expect given that advertising has always been around 1.2% of economic activity for as long as such things have been tracked. In the second half of the century, though, the rate of growth for newspapers slowed just a bit, thanks to the advent of first radio and then television.

    Both radio and television advertising had distinct advantages relative to newspaper advertising, both in terms of storytelling and especially their effectiveness in capturing potential consumers’ attention. Still, while newspapers were no longer capturing all of the advertising dollars, they still grew nicely because both radio and television had three important limitations:

    Because both radio and television were programmed temporally, there was limited advertising inventory; thus, as you would expect in any situation where supply is scarce, prices were significantly higher
    It was much more expensive to produce an effective radio or television advertising slot relative to a newspaper ad
    It was difficult to measure the return-on-investment of radio and television advertising; newspapers weren’t that much better, although things like coupons could be tracked more closely

    Ultimately, advertisers (known as “brand managers” in the consumer-packaged goods industry, which pioneered these techniques) developed strategies that leveraged all three mediums, plus on-the-spot promotions at retailers, to move customers “down the funnel”

    TV and radio were particularly effective at building awareness — making customers aware that your product existed — and also at building brand affinity — the subconscious preference for your product over a competing product at the moment of purchase. Newspapers, meanwhile, were useful when it came to “consideration”: helping consumers decide to buy the product they were now aware of (coupons were very useful here).

    Digital Advertising 1.0

    The first wave of digital advertising took square aim at the bottom of the funnel: the fact that computers log everything made it easy to demonstrate when an advertisement led directly to a purchase (or a click), and no company benefitted more than Google. Search ads were so effective because consumers were entering the purchase funnel already at the bottom: they already wanted

    There were two big problems with brand advertising on the Internet: first, there simply weren’t any good ad units. Banner ads were pale imitations of print ads, which themselves were inferior to more immersive media like radio and especially TV. Secondly, given the more speculative nature of brand advertising, it was much more cost effective to spread your bets over the maximum number of customers; in other words, it remained a better idea to spend your money on an immersive TV commercial that could be broadly targeted based on programming to a whole bunch of potential consumers at a single moment as opposed to spending much more time — which is money! — creating a whole bunch of banner ads that could be more finely targeted.

    Today, though, that is beginning to change.

    Digital Advertising 2.0

    Facebook helped Shop Direct move customers through every part of the funnel: from awareness through Instagram video ads to consideration through retargeting and finally to conversion with dynamic product ads on Facebook (and, in the not too distant future, a direct customer relationship to build loyalty via Messenger).

    Google is promising something similar: awareness via properties like YouTube, consideration via DoubleClick, and conversion via AdSense.

    Here’s the kicker, though, and the big difference from the era of analog advertising: the Facebook and Google platforms turn TV and radio’s disadvantages on their head:

    Facebook and Google have the most inventory and are still growing in terms of both users and ad-load; there is no temporal limitation that works to the benefit of other properties (and Facebook in particular is ramping up efforts to advertise using Facebook data on non-Facebook properties)
    It is cheaper to produce ads for only Facebook and Google instead of making something custom for every potential advertising platform
    Facebook and Google have the best tracking, extending not only to digital purchases but increasingly to off-line purchases as well

    The Implications of Winner-Takes-All

    I have been arguing for a while that in the aggregate the tech sector is fine, and the state of advertising-based services is a perfect example of what I mean: taken as a basket the six companies in this article (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Yelp) are up 19% over the last year, even though the latter four companies are down a collective 53%; the fact that Google and Facebook are up a combined 31% more than makes up for it.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook Officially Launches Canvas Ads That Load Full-Screen Rich Media Pages In-App

    Instant Articles, meet Instant Ads. Facebook wants to give advertisers an immersive way to reach people without making them leave the social network. So today it officially launched its ad Canvas for all advertisers. When users click a Facebook News Feed ad connected to Canvas, it opens a full-screen, rich media page inside of Facebook rather than forcing users to wait for a mobile website to load.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to “fix” Wired’s Ad Blocker Blocker…

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adblockers are “akin to a modern day protection racket,” says UK culture minister
    Ad blocking poses “similar threat” to online media as piracy, and gov’t may intervene.

    Ad blocking poses a “similar threat” to today’s online media as illegal file-sharing or pirate sites did to the music and film industry 10 years ago, the UK’s culture secretary John Whittingdale warned on Wednesday.

    He also said that many see the practice by adblocking companies of offering to white list advertisers as “akin to a modern day protection racket.” Whittingdale was speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, where he delivered the opening keynote.

    He pointed out that “in the 12 months to June last year, there was a 48 percent growth in ad-blocker use in the USA and 82 percent growth in the UK,” and that mobile phone manufacturers and network companies are starting to integrate ad blockers into their services as standard. Ars has reported how the mobile carrier Three has already done so, with others considering whether to follow suit. A further sign of the times is that one new browser, Brave, places adblocking at the heart of its business model.

    Whittingdale went on: “I am not suggesting that we should ban ad-blockers but I do share the concern about their impact. And I plan to host a round table with representatives from all sides of the argument to discuss this in the coming weeks.”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bloomberg Business:
    How Snapchat brings celebrities millions of views and offers advertisers a young audience

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Experimenting With Local Business Cards In Search Results
    Test feature allows local businesses to promote specific content, which can be shared directly from the “card carousel.”

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lara O’Reilly / Business Insider:
    Facebook pulls plans to build a demand-side platform into its ad serving and measurement platform Atlas because of too many bots and bad quality ads in testing

    Facebook has pulled a big ad tech project because there were too many bots and bad quality ads

    Facebook has confirmed it has pulled its plans to build a demand-side platform (DSP) into its ad server and measurement platform Atlas.

    Facebook began testing out a buying platform within Atlas last year, allowing a small set of marketers to use the social network’s “people-based” targeting capabilities to bid on advertising on other sites and apps, programmatically — or in other words, in real-time, using automated software.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Krystian Kolondra / Opera Desktop:
    Opera introduces native ad-blocking feature to its browser, claims it is about 45% faster than Chrome with AdBlock Plus extension

    Introducing native ad-blocking feature for faster browsing

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amar Toor / The Verge:
    AdBlock replaces ads with messages from anti-censorship activists through Saturday, in partnership with Amnesty International — Snowden, Pussy Riot, and Ai Weiwei launch AdBlock campaign to protest censorship

    Snowden, Pussy Riot, and Ai Weiwei launch AdBlock campaign to protest censorship
    Activists partner with Amnesty International to raise awareness around surveillance and privacy

    Ai Weiwei, Edward Snowden, and Pussy Riot have partnered with AdBlock and Amnesty International on an online campaign to protest censorship. The campaign will launch at 4PM ET today and will only be visible to AdBlock users, with messages from the activists displayed where advertisements would normally be placed.

    The global campaign will run throughout the day on March 12th, which is the World Day against Cyber Censorship.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kif Leswing / Business Insider:
    Apple News introduces ad format for sponsored posts, in line with articles, with Apple keeping 30% of revenue

    Apple News will soon get ‘native’ ads that look like articles

    Apple has introduced a new ad format for sponsored posts that will appear in users’ news feeds alongside articl

    According to the new native-banner format, sponsored ads will “display directly in the content feeds, in line with News articles,” and can link to an article in the News app. The advertising format is available for the iPhone and iPad versions of Apple News.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
    Google’s new Analytics 360 Suite for enterprise marketers directly challenges Adobe’s Marketing Cloud

    Google announces Analytics 360 Suite for enterprise marketers

    Google is launching a new product for enterprise marketers today that will directly challenge Adobe’s Marketing Cloud and similar services.

    The Google Analytics 360 Suite will combine Google Analytics Premium (now called Google Analytics 360) and Adometry (which it acquired in 2014 and which is now called Attribution 360), with an enterprise-class version of Google’s Tag Manger and three new products (Audience Center 360, Data Studio 360 and Optimize 360) into a single solution for marketers.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amy X. Wang / Quartz:
    Click fraud moves into music streaming, draining money from companies and artists, and it’s almost impossible to detect

    Music streaming has a nearly undetectable fraud problem

    Right now, Spotify, Tidal, and Rhapsody are all battling multi-million-dollar lawsuits alleging copyright issues and improper royalty payments—with one seeking as much as $150 million in damages.

    But amid all the high-profile tumult, music streaming is facing a much more quiet, insidious problem: Click fraud.

    Click fraud—the use of automated digital bots to “click” on payment-generating links and steal money by pretending to be consumers—has long been a problem in the online advertising industry. Websites stand to lose as much as $7.2 billion from fraudulent traffic in 2016, according to a study this January from the Association of National Advertisers.

    This is now also a growing problem for the music industry, amid a rapid transition to online streaming services as the primary mode of distributing music and source of royalty payments. In the US alone, the streaming industry is projected to reach roughly $2 billion by 2019. The ascent of services like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Tidal—along with their per-stream payment models—has created an alluring target for fraudsters who need only a few auto-generated dance tunes and a modicum of coding expertise to fashion bots that basically snatch money out of thin air.

    What’s most alarming, experts say, is the industry’s refusal to acknowledge the size of the issue. “It’s something that will probably increase. Whether that results in thousands of misappropriated dollars or millions, I don’t know,”

    And it doesn’t only hurt companies like Spotify. Because of the way streaming services pay musicians, fraudulent “streams” of fake artists actually take away money from real artists—so big chunks of your monthly subscription fees may not be going to your favorite bands, but totally anonymous strangers who write code, not music.

    How do you cheat streaming?

    It’s actually remarkably easy.

    Streaming services pay royalties on a per-stream basis, pooling customers’ regular payments ($10 a month per user for Spotify, for example) and divvying that up among musicians depending on their relative popularity. The more streams an artist gets, the more money he or she is paid. So if someone sets up an “artist” account with Spotify and uploads a few fake tracks, then creates a bot to stream those tracks on repeat—that’s a regular profit. And one that doesn’t have to be split with labels, producers, or any of the other players involved in a legitimate music deal.

    Engineer William Bedell came out with a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a click fraud scheme last year. It was “mesmerizing to watch the plays rack up,” wrote Bedell, who says he made more than $32 a day from fake streams with minimal effort.

    I Built a Botnet that Could Destroy Spotify with Fake Listens

    Did you know you can leave a muted Spotify playlist on repeat all night and generate roughly 72 cents for your favorite band? Or that you could previously leave a browser tab of Eternify open all day and net the band $2.30?

    Better yet, did you know you can program a botnet on your old laptop to generate $30 a day in fake Spotify listens?

    Automated streaming is a lucrative heist involving robots emulating humans, but I did not encounter many Turing tests during my dry run. There wasn’t even a CAPTCHA or email verification when creating accounts. The barriers to entry are clearly minimal.

    Here is Spotify’s basic business model: The site takes the total revenue from ad sales, which totaled $117 million in 2014, and pockets 30 percent. The remaining 70 percent of the ad money is shared between rights holders, based on the number of plays they receive.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adobe has figured out a clever way to track people as they switch between devices

    Adobe announced Tuesday it is launching a “cross-device co-op” that will offer marketers a better view of who their customers are as they switch from their laptops to their mobiles and over to their tablets.

    One of the major advantages Google and Facebook have over other companies in the digital advertising and marketing space is their ability for cross-device tracking, thanks to those companies’ huge audience of logged-in users.

    Many other companies — particularly ones like Adobe that don’t have popular consumer products — have to rely on dropping cookies, IP addresses, and using probabilistic (rather than deterministic) methods to make sure they are targeting ads to the right people.

    There’s also the issue of counting the same user twice when it comes to measurement as they switch across different devices.

    Adobe wants to solve this problem for its Marketing Cloud customers with a “co-operative” that it expects will link up to 1.2 billion different devices.

    Marketers will give Adobe access to “cryptographically hashed login IDs and HTTP header,” which it says will fully-hide a consumer’s personal identity. Adobe sorts this data into clusters to build out a graph of device links.

    A retailer that sees a user that isn’t logged in, who visits their site on both desktop and mobile, could use device information from a travel site in the co-operative — which does has the logged-in data — to link those two devices together to one person.

    In return, that airline will also get similar data back from other participants in the scheme.

    Whillock added that the benefit of the co-op versus existing cross-device products from Facebook and Google is that it avoids their “walled gardens

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google responds to Facebook threat, releases Analytics 360 Suite for easier customer tracking

    Google released a new version of its Google Analytics product this morning, adding new features and bringing in existing offerings that previously worked separately. Marketers can use the suite to track and respond to their customers more seamlessly than ever before. Above all, it’s a response to the growing threat by Facebook.

    The move is also significant because Facebook continues to grow in mobile, now threatening Google’s longtime dominance in display advertising. Google has chugged along with many of its analytics products for years, but has never pulled them together to offer a powerful suite for marketers.

    Introducing the Google Analytics 360 Suite

    The Google Analytics 360 Suite has launched, and we hope you’re are as excited as we are about everything it offers. Today we’d like to dive a little deeper into what the Analytics 360 Suite means for the Analytics 360 product specifically.
    For those who missed it, Analytics 360 is the new name for Google Analytics Premium, and it’s now part of the larger Google Analytics 360 Suite. There are no immediate changes that will impact your use of the product, but a new look and feel consistent with the Google Analytics 360 Suite user experience will roll out in the coming months.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports
    That’s why you’re seeing loads of massage parlour ads

    Two reports by privacy campaigners into mobile and Wi-Fi services’ location tracking activities have revealed practices of questionable legality and security.

    The studies found that “at best, companies are fulfilling the minimal legal requirements, and at worst could breaking the law and breaching our right to privacy.”

    The collection and exploitation of traffic and location data is detailed in two reports which are published today. The Open Rights Group (ORG) has provided a 44-page inquiry titled “Cashing in on your mobile?” (PDF), which reports on “how phone companies are exploiting their customers’ data.”

    Pairing up, the advocacy groups have launched Opt Me Out Of Location “to encourage the British public to demand that mobile and Wi-Fi service providers are explicit about what they are asking their customers to opt into and provide clear choices for opting out.”

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lara O’Reilly / Business Insider:
    Google claims YouTube ads generate better return on investment than TV in 77% of cases after analysis of 56 campaigns across eight countries — Google attacks TV, saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment most of the time — Google is once again directly targeting TV advertising budgets …

    Google attacks TV, saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment most of the time

    Google is once again directly targeting TV advertising budgets by saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment than TV commercials most of the time.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Get Used to It: Ad Blocking Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon

    Ad blocking is the nemesis of the news and ad industries. But, despite growing efforts by publishers to combat the practice, it’s probably not going away any time soon.

    Market research group eMarketer today estimated that 27 percent of internet users in the UK—more than 14 million people— will be using ad blockers by the end of next year. That’s up from this year’s estimate of 20.5 percent and nearly double the estimate for last year (14 percent).

    “There’s no doubting that ad blocking is now a very real issue for advertisers,” eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher said. “Next year, over a quarter of the people they’re trying to reach will be willfully making themselves unreachable.”

    The prediction mirrors other reports that ad blocker usage is growing. Last year, Adobe and Pagefair released a report that found that nearly 200 million people around the world use some form of ad blocker, costing publishers $22 billion in lost ad revenue in 2015.

    At the same time, some publishers at least are trying to show their audiences that they’re sensitive to concerns over tracking and the frustration and irritation of intrusive ads.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anti-Encryption Social Media Campaign Backfires Spectacularly

    As even the most deft social media ninja will tell you, social media campaigns are hard. But it really seems like the New York Police Department should have seen this one coming.

    A coalition led by the NYPD and Manhattan’s top prosecutor launched a campaign to “highlight the impact encryption is having on public safety and victims of crime” on Monday. The campaign took off with a press conference on the steps of Manhattan’s City Hall, along with a hashtag, #UnlockJustice, designed to garner social media support.

    “Americans have a right to privacy, but crime victims and surviving family members have rights, too–namely, the right to have cases solved with the strongest evidence available,” Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.

    But the hashtag launched along the campaign fell flat, and soon backfired. Several people, including tech and security experts, hijacked the hashtag to criticize the coalition’s campaign.

    “Governments are trying to get engaged with the internet while not understanding how the internet works,” Amie Stepanovich, the policy manager at Access Now, a digital rights group, told me.

    “Seriously, whoever in the NYPD and the Manhattan DA’s office greenlighted this needs to get a different job,”

    This is not the first time something like this happens.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mike Shields / Wall Street Journal:
    YouTube capturing only a sliver of TV ad spending, with higher CPMs and content quality among the major concerns for advertisers

    YouTube’s Quest for TV Advertising Dollars

    While the Google platform has had the most success siphoning off some TV ad spending, its challenges offer a cautionary tale for Facebook, Twitter

    Cord-cutting is on the rise, ratings for many networks are in decline, Web video consumption is surging and there’s a new crop of stars on digital media. Surely, marketers are chasing this migration of mostly young viewers by diverting huge chunks of their television advertising budgets to digital video.

    But, for the most part, that’s not happening.

    Facebook and Snapchat get all the buzz these days with their billions of daily video views, but there’s really just one game in town when it comes to winning over any TV marketing money to the Web—YouTube.

    YouTube has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of advertisers shifting spending from TV to chase viewers who have migrated to online video, but even the Google platform is siphoning away only a small fraction of marketers’ media budgets.

    “Web-only properties are still making a case for a seat at that [TV budget] table versus sitting at the kids table,” said Adam Shlachter, president of VM1 at ad buying agency Zenith Media. “I don’t think it will change drastically this year.”

    Overall spending on TV advertising is forecast to rise 0.5% to $63 billion this year, excluding the Olympics and political spending, according to the research and ad buying firm Magna Global.

    Meanwhile, Web video advertising is expected to rise 28% to $9.8 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer, still a fraction of the money spent on TV.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ad-blocker blocking websites face legal peril at hands of privacy bods
    Publisher’s software could break EU cookie laws

    Websites that detect ad-blockers to stop their users from reading webpages could be illegal under European law.

    Alexander Hanff, a privacy campaigner and programmer, says he has received a letter from the European Commission confirming that browser-side web scripts that pick out advert blockers access people’s personal data (ie: the plugin stored on their computer). Thus, just like you need to give permission to EU websites to access and store your cookies, ad-blocker detectors must ask for permission before probing your browser.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How One Startup Is Blocking Ad Blockers

    People like free stuff, like consuming online articles and videos without looking at the annoying pop-up ads. And now there are plenty of ad blocking tools that avoid online ads, banners, and videos. But they pose a great threat to publishers that depend on ad revenues for survival.

    “The incredible growth of ad blocking has reached the tipping point where sites will no longer be able to operate,” Justin Bunnell, CEO of AdSupply Inc. states on the company’s website.

    “If ad blocking continues unchecked, it will eliminate the advertising revenue websites need to survive. It is like expecting a movie theater to stay in business when 30 percent of their audience does not pay for a ticket.”

    Launched in December 2015, BlockIQ is a software that bypasses ad blockers and enables publishers to recover lost revenue.

    There are different apps and browser extensions that prevent advertising from displaying on websites, resulting in lost revenue for the website operator. They remove elements from the website HTML and block connections to ad servers.

    Ad blockers globally are growing at a rate of 41 percent annually, according to the PageFair and Adobe 2015 Ad Blocking Report. Roughly 200 million people use ad blocking applications. And the cost of blocking ads is over $21 billion in 2015, which is 14 percent of the global ad spend. This cost will double in 2016, according to the estimates.

    “Ad block is a threat to the very existence of the world wide web,” AdSupply says on its website.

    On an average site, 20 percent of ads are blocked. On gaming and technology sites the ad blocking can go up to 40 percent. Ad block applications have been the no.1 sellers in the IPhone App Store, according to AdSupply.

    Companies including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft pay huge fees to AdBlockPlus to get their ads whitelisted, according to media reports.

    Mobile video will represent 72 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2019, up from 55 percent in 2014, according to Cisco Systems.

    “Everything is moving towards video and it is moving fast on all devices. When you go to websites like ESPN, everything is video,” said John Strong, Chairman and CEO of Adaptive Medias Inc.

    “Video is effective, interesting, and gets attention. So advertisers definitely like it more than a simple display. This does not mean display advertising is going away, but video is moving so quickly that it is getting a larger online content pie.”

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucia Moses / Digiday:
    Sources: To combat ad-blockers, Google said to be exploring an ‘acceptable’ ads policy — Google is reportedly jumping deeper into the ad blocking issue by exploring an acceptable ads policy, publisher and industry sources say. — Google, together with Facebook, controlled 64 percent of the digital ad market last year.

    Google said to be exploring an ‘acceptable’ ads policy

    Google is reportedly jumping deeper into the ad blocking issue by exploring an acceptable ads policy, publisher and industry sources say.

    Google, together with Facebook, controlled 64 percent of the digital ad market last year. With that clout, Google could have an outsized impact on the kinds of ad formats that become the industry standard.

    Intrusive and slow-loading ads have been blamed for the rise in readers adopting ad blocking software. Google is heavily invested in keeping the web safe for advertising; the vast majority of Google’s business runs on advertising, and it reportedly pays large sums to make sure ads get around the ad blockers and appear on its sites.

    Google, with its tech chops and its control over digital ad delivery, is positioned to do what individual publishers and their associations can’t do on their own

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    Till Faida, CEO of Eyeo, maker of AdBlock Plus, says it’s close to 1B downloads and is installed on over 100M active devices

    AdBlock Plus closes in on a billion downloads

    Ad blocking software’s usage on the web, and now mobile, has forced the media and publishing industry to look to new revenue models. And one of the most notable players in ad blocking is German firm Eyeo, the makers of AdBlock Plus, whose software is dominating the space and still growing. In fact, Eyeo’s co-founder and CEO Till Faida told the audience at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 this morning that his company’s software is now closing in on close to a billion downloads and is installed on more than 100 million active devices.

    Those numbers represent significant growth in ad blocking, given that at the beginning of the year the company was touting 500 million downloads and 50 million active users.

    Most users don’t really hate ads, the founder explained. They hate really intrusive ads that mar their web experience.

    That’s why the company launched its “Acceptable Ads” program, which offers a whitelist of ads that play nicely. This program targets the web’s larger entities

    of the 100 top U.S. websites, 40 have acceptable ads on their pages.

    As Faida noted, “ad blocking is controversial,” but he added that “disruptive technology has to be controversial.”

    “We’re in this mess because the IAB has failed to create an advertising ecosystem that is sustainable and healthy,” said Faida. “What we’re all about is empowering our users to have control over their browsing experience.”

    To that end, Faida is coming up with other solutions to address publishers’ needs to monetize their audience beyond its Acceptable Ads program.

    “What has been missing so far is a payment system on the web that works everywhere and is frictionless,” says Faida. He believes the AdBlock Plus user base is best prepared to pay publishers in this manner, because they’re the kind of power users who want to have more control over their web experience — even if the majority are fine with ads.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Copyright © 2014 The Nielsen Company

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adblock Plus is now installed on over 100m devices

    Leading online adblocker, aptly named Adblock Plus has announced that it is actively utilised on over 100m web browsing devices across desktop, mobile and tablet.

    Adblocking is not going away anytime soon, whether viewed as a deathblow to the current online revenue generating model, or just another industry challenge resulting in a better consumer experience, and AdBlock Plus is one of the leaders in the industry.

    The company does not block all ads, instead it issues a whitelist letting some work through its firewall – for a fee.

    As a result of the rise of adblocking usage, earlier today (Monday 9 May) some of the advertising industry’s largest stakeholders including World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), magazine trade body FIPP, the NAA, Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) all gathered for talks organised by PageFair, to find a work around to combat the rise of blockers.

    Cross-industry manifesto to ad blocker pandemic on its way

    The advertising industry’s largest stakeholders, including those representing the world’s biggest advertisers and media owners, as well as consumer advocate groups are in talks to establish a consensus on how best to serve ads to consumers using ad blockers.

    The talks have been facilitated by PageFair – described by many as an anti-ad blocker – plus digital publisher trade body Digital Content Next. Representatives of all sides have been asked to share their view on how best to resolve the questions raised by the surge in ad blocking use.

    Other parties, such as media agencies have also contributed to the discussions, which ultimately came down to one question: ‘what is the best way to use online ad serving technologies that cannot be circumvented by ad blockers?’

    PageFair’s Dr. Johnny Ryan, told The Drum the series of roundtables (three in total) have been taking place since late last year, with the anti-ad blocker pitching the idea to publishers as “revenue recovery”.

    “Now that the consumer has done away with the status quo, we have to ask ourselves [as an industry] how can we make the web a more sustainable environment for publishers?,” he said. “Encryption alone does not solve it.”

    Ryan explained that PageFair has a means of serving ads that cannot be encumbered by ad blocking extensions downloaded from the web (although he did not elaborate further as to how).

    Despite this technological ability having been on offer for some time, the question has always remained: why serve an ad to someone that has elected to download an ad blocker?

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest
    More mobile operators to incorporate the software

    Analyst firm Juniper Research has stared into its crystal ball and predicted that digital publishers stand to lose over $27bn (£18bn) by 2020 due to ad-blocking.

    Developer activity is set to increase over the next five years making ad-blockers more sophisticated and difficult to overcome, according to the research.

    The research reckoned that smaller publishers are most at risk from the rapid adoption of ad-blocking software as they often solely rely on revenues from advertising to continue operating.

    While ad-blocking is limited to browsing activities at present, publishers are likely to face the additional threat of in-app ad-blockers in the future, it said.

    Pressure will also increase from network operators, it said, noting that Hutchison’s Three is already set to roll out ad-blocking at a network level to all of its customers.

    Research author Sam Barker added: “Adoption is being driven by consumer concerns over mobile data usage and privacy. They are also incentivised to adopt the technology in order to reduce page load times.”

    Currently Adblock Plus is the most widely used filtering software.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Towards a responsible online advertising

    Accenture’s study shows that as many as four out of ten could pay to get rid of disruptive online advertising. Advertising or commercial cooperation in general is, however, a variety of online media lifeline. Instead, the ban on the use of Browser add-ons media should strive for responsible online advertising.

    Accenture survey of 28 000 consumers from different countries were involved. 61 percent of those surveyed felt the blocking of advertising methods. Young percentage was even higher.

    However, there is no free lunch. Media reaction so far has been, for example, to transfer the content behind the paywall. This can be considered as a reactive activity, the need to be proactive approach.

    What would then be responsible advertising?

    Responsibility includes in addition to the valuation of the reader, of course, security. Self-respecting media need to know, and to guarantee their website they offer bits of security, whether they are in any form.


  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphone Surveillance Tech Used To Target Anti-Abortion Ads At Pregnant Women

    Rewire reports: “Last year, an enterprising advertising executive based in Boston, Massachusetts, had an idea: Instead of using his sophisticated mobile surveillance techniques to figure out which consumers might be interested in buying shoes, cars, or any of the other products typically advertised online, what if he used the same technology to figure out which women were potentially contemplating abortion, and send them ads on behalf of anti-choice organizations?”

    Google has been reportedly tracking users on around 80 percent of all ‘Top 1 Million’ domains. Facebook is doing something similar.

    Anti-Choice Groups Use Smartphone Surveillance to Target ‘Abortion-Minded Women’ During Clinic Visits

    Women who have visited almost any abortion clinic in the United States have seen anti-choice protesters outside, wielding placards and chanting abuse. A Boston advertiser’s technology, when deployed by anti-choice groups, allows those groups to send propaganda directly to a woman’s phone while she is in a clinic waiting room.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Greg Sterling / Marketing Land:
    Facebook expands Audience Network reach beyond just its users — to everyone — All people on Audience Network mobile sites and apps can now be targeted using familiar Facebook parameters. — Two years ago Facebook launched the Facebook Audience Network as part of an effort to expand …

    Facebook expands Audience Network reach beyond just its users — to everyone

    All people on Audience Network mobile sites and apps can now be targeted using familiar Facebook parameters.

    Two years ago, Facebook launched the Facebook Audience Network as part of an effort to expand the reach of Facebook ads outside of the boundaries of Facebook itself. Facebook users could then be targeted on third-party mobile apps and, as of earlier this year, mobile websites in the network.

    Audience Network targeting was limited to Facebook users, however. While that’s a massive audience, it’s still not everyone. Today, the company is announcing that it has expanded targeting available on the Audience Network to all users, whether or not they’re on Facebook.

    All users of Audience Network sites or apps can now be reached using Custom Audiences, lookalike audiences and so on. Much of the inventory in the Audience Network is shifting to native; and according to reports the performance of Audience Network inventory has been very strong.

    The company said that it will use multiple signals to infer non-Facebook user audience segments.

    By offering higher-quality ads and more user control, Facebook hopes to address some of the frustrations that mobile users have been expressing explicitly and implicitly in the form of ad blocking.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ricardo Bilton / Nieman Lab:
    36% of smartphone users in Asia-Pacific region use browsers that automatically block ads; global mobile adblocking userbase hits 419M, up 90% YoY, says PageFair

    Asia is leading the adoption of mobile adblocking; North America is dodging the bullet (for now, at least)

    The rise of mobile adblocking may not be burning publishers in the U.S. so far, but the story is very different in Asia.

    Countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan are leading the adoption of mobile adblocking with roughly 36 percent of smartphone users in the Asia-Pacific region using browsers that automatically block ads, according to the latest report from PageFair.

    China and Indonesia are countries where mobile data is expensive, and where mobile networks and devices tend to be slower

    the most popular adblocking browser is Alibaba’s UC Browser, which has seen wide adoption in many of the countries with the highest mobile adblocking penetration.

    The overall mobile adblocking userbase, now at 419 million people (or 22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users), represents 90 percent increase from January of last yea

    It’s worth noting, as it always is when a new PageFair report drops, that the company makes money by helping publishers circumvent adblockers. It, in other words, has something of a vested interest in making the adblocking problem seem larger, not smaller.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christopher Heine / Adweek:
    IBM Watson Is Now Offering AI-Powered Digital Ads That Answer Consumers’ Questions

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Juliana Reyes / Backchannel:
    Profile of 50onRed, a company that bills itself as a digital advertising firm, but makes money from ad injections — 50onRed is a fixture in Philly’s tech scene. But there’s something the leadership didn’t talk about, even with some of its own staff. — The company seemed like the perfect place for Tyler.

    The Perks Are Great. Just Don’t Ask Us What We Do.

    50onRed is a fixture in Philly’s tech scene. But there’s something the leadership didn’t talk about, even with some of its own staff.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Facebook now offers a Store Locator ad unit and tracks in-store visits and purchases through GPS, Wi-Fi, and a partnership with Square, with no user opt out — Facebook has found the Holy Grail of advertising in a set of new partnerships with point-of-sale systems like Square and Marketo …

    Facebook taps GPS, Square to track your in-store visits and purchases

    Facebook has found the Holy Grail of advertising in a set of new partnerships with point-of-sale systems like Square and Marketo that will prove who bought what after seeing Facebook’s ads. Even if you don’t buy something, Facebook will also now know you visited a store based on a new feature that matches GPS, beacons, WiFi, radio signals, and cell towers with brick-and-mortar coordinates.

    This data could get advertisers to spend a lot more on Facebook because it will be able to demonstrate exactly how ad views led to in-store purchases and foot traffic. Ninety percent of sales still happen in physical retail stores, not online. Facebook is pushing to evolve the industry past flimsy metrics like ad views and clicks, towards measuring when ads actually inspired purchases anywhere.

    The Offline Conversions API could help Facebook compete with Google for ad dollars. Google has had store visit metrics for AdWords since 2014 and recently launched ads that show maps of nearby locations.

    Though Facebook aggregates and anonymizes the data to protect privacy, the fact that there’s no specific opt-out option is a bit unsettling.

    To fuel ad buys seeking foot traffic. Facebook also has a new Store Locator ad unit. It can show a business’ nearby brick-and-mortar locations at the end of an ad carousel and let people “Get Directions”.

    The location data will roll out as a new Store Visits metric in Facebook’s ad performance dashboard over the next few months.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Marty Swant / Advertising & Branding:
    YouTube debuts new tools for SMBs to make video ads, including Director, a free app with a number of templates and editing tools — YouTube wants to turn video ads on its platform into a DIY possibility for small- and medium-sized businesses. — Today, Google is launching three ways …

    YouTube Is Introducing New Ways to Help Small Businesses Make Better Video Ads Including a free app with music and editing tools

    YouTube wants to turn video ads on its platform into a DIY possibility for small- and medium-sized businesses.

    Today, Google is launching three ways for SMBs to create video ads for YouTube that are—at least for the most part—free. With a new app called YouTube Director, the video juggernaut is helping businesses with little or no marketing budget create commercials on their own. The app includes a number of templates, music and editing tools and is free to use.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Mobile Today Is Like TV Six Decades Ago

    All of the growth in advertising right now is targeted at that little screen people carry with them everywhere.

    In the early 1950s, television was popular, but unsophisticated.

    But either despite its gimmicky shortcomings or because of them, advertisers loved the little box. Revenue from ads increased more than 60 percent a year for the first five years of the decade, so that by 1955, television accounted for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. media advertising.

    This year, mobile media accounts for the exact same share, nearly 20 percent of total U.S. media spending. So, in a very real way, mobile is today where television was exactly six decades ago.

    For more than a century, media organizations working in newspapers, magazines, television, and radio have relied on advertising to report and publish the news.

    The news created an audience of readers, the advertiser paid to piggyback off that audience

    That’s precisely why anybody in the news business should be more than a little alarmed

    In a sentence, digital is eating legacy media, mobile is eating digital, and two companies, Facebook and Google, are eating mobile

    1. U.S. advertising is declining as a share of GDP. Total national ad spending, as a percentage of the economy, has fallen by a third since 2000

    2. The entire net growth is U.S. advertising is digital. Between 2011 non-digital advertising fell from $126 billion to $123 billion. During the same period, digital advertising doubled from $32 billion to $60 billion.

    3. The entire net growth in digital advertising is happening in mobile. Since 2011, desktop advertising has fallen by about 10 percent, according to Pew. Meanwhile mobile advertising has grown by a factor of 30, reaching about $32 billion in 2015.

    4. Two companies, Facebook and Google, control half of net mobile ad revenue.
    At the same time that access to news media is getting democratized—the internet is theoretically an all-access platform for broadcasting ideas—the business of media advertising seems to be concentrating.
    Now two tech companies own half the digital market for ads. The New York Times was never “newspapers.” NBC was never “television.” But Facebook and Google are “the internet.”

    What does this mean for the future of news? To acknowledge this shift toward mobile is not to embrace a doom-and-gloom mindset. It is happening, full stop, and people can choose for themselves to be optimists or pessimists about the economic future of the news.

    For newspapers, magazines, and websites, there are several paths forward. First, billionaires can rescue media organizations from the stormy seas of the mobile Internet and fund journalism that the ad market won’t support. Second, companies like Facebook may determine that it is in their own interest to preserve some news and entertainment publishers, and they will directly pay media companies, the same way cable companies pay carriage to television channels. Third, more media companies could ask readers to pay directly for the news and shift their business back to subscriptions. Fourth, companies forced to find sources of revenue beyond digital advertising could find new ways to move their brands into higher-margin (hopefully) businesses, like events (e.g. the New Yorker Festival) and marketing (e.g. BuzzFeed’s digital-media ad team). Fifth, some news publishers, particularly those with massive scale, could eventually figure out a sturdy advertising model based on sponsored posts, banners, and video to support their work independently.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ad Blockers Imperil Internet Video Revenue

    According to Parks Associates, U.S. broadband households watch an average of 3.8 hours of Internet video on TV screens each week, accounting for 20% of all video viewed on this device. The research house says consumers might increasingly use ad-blocking solutions while streaming video if the digital advertising methods disrupt their viewing experience. Parks Associates’ digital media analysts advise service providers and media companies that the best defense against ad blockers is to develop digital advertising models that are integrated and nondisruptive to the viewing experience.

    “Many content creators rely on advertising revenue to monetize video, especially as newly launched digital services seek revenue. As digital video viewership increases on all screens, use of ad-blocking technologies is a concern for content owners and distributors,” said Glenn Hower, Parks research analyst. “Ad blockers have their roots in web publishing, often to prevent full-page overlays or popups that would disrupt the experience. As Internet video viewership on the television screen increases, advertisers are seeking to leverage prime living room real estate in this new media model. Content and OTT providers and advertisers need to ensure their methods do not interfere with the viewing experience, which would otherwise drive viewers to ad-blocking technologies.”

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Said to Face Ads Complaint in EU Antitrust Clampdown

    The European Union is taking steps that could lead to a third antitrust complaint against Google, this time over its lucrative advertising services, according to three people familiar with the EU investigation.

    The investigation targeting advertising could affect Google’s revenue stream more than either of the other two probes. Google’s AdWords, which displays promotions alongside query results and web content, has been a key driver in helping Alphabet Inc.’s Google grow its sales. Most of Google’s $74.5 billion 2015 revenue came from advertising.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FTC to Crack Down on Paid Celebrity Posts That Aren’t Clear Ads

    The agency says brands and the social media stars who promote their products need to be more transparent about sponsored content

    Snapchat star DJ Khaled raves about Ciroc vodka. Fashion lifestyle blogger Cara Loren Van Brocklin posts a selfie with PCA Skin sunscreen. Internet personality iJustine posts Instagrams from an Intel event. Missing from their messages: any indication about whether they’ve been paid.

    This uptick in celebrities peddling brand messages on their personal accounts, light on explicit disclosure, has not gone unnoticed by the U.S. government. The Federal Trade Commission is planning to get tougher: Users need to be clear when they’re getting paid to promote something, and hashtags like #ad, #sp, #sponsored –common forms of identification– are not always enough. The agency will be putting the onus on the advertisers to make sure they comply, according to Michael Ostheimer, a deputy in the FTC’s Ad Practices Division. It’s a move that could make the posts seem less authentic, reducing their impact.

    Companies have been pouring marketing dollars into social media endorsements, paying everyone from a Hollywood celebrity to a mom who regularly Instagrams her baby snuggling with a puppy. Reaching consumers, especially 20-somethings, is increasingly difficult because of television’s waning marketing power.

    Personal endorsements are as old as advertising itself, and there’s always been abuse. So when the FTC highlights influencer marketing as having a disclosure problem

    “If consumers don’t read the words, then there is no effective disclosure,” Ostheimer said.

    Hashtags like #sp and #spon may not be fully understood, especially if they’re buried at the bottom of a post

    Some advertisers say influencer posts don’t deserve such careful disclosure, because they are not the same thing as a traditional ad.

    The FTC has been getting the word out with online webinars and guides, speeches and engaging trade associations. “We’re not calling up each individual ad agency,”

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    How Snapchat grew its ad business by persuading companies to try untested and experimental ad formats

    Snapchat Used to Spook Advertisers. Not Anymore.

    When Snapchat’s chief executive, Evan Spiegel, took the stage in June 2015 at a marketing conference in Cannes, France, to champion advertising on the ephemeral messaging service, advertisers were wary.

    Yet by this June, when the conference was held again in Cannes, Snapchat had become one of the most buzzed-about marketing platforms. It is convincing companies that its ads — which let users adorn pictures and videos with all manner of images and branding — create a more interactive experience than Facebook and YouTube ads, which most users watch passively.

    “Advertisers want to be associated with the trendiest, newest thing, and this year, that’s Snapchat,” said Chad Stoller

    How Snapchat got its ad business on track is a case study of a fast-growing start-up overcoming growing pains and persuading companies to try untested ways to reach consumers.

    In the last 15 months, Snapchat has moved to respond. It introduced new ad formats. It dangled its attractive user base — the service now claims 150 million daily users, including nearly half the country’s population from ages 18 to 34 — to lure advertisers. Most important, Snapchat has persuaded brands like Tiffany & Company, Kraft Foods and Burger King that its ads let them interact playfully with this young audience.

    Now Snapchat faces the challenge of keeping up its nascent ad business

    Snapchat also began introducing less expensive ad products, some of which start at just $5. This summer, the company let third parties sell ad space on Snapchat, which makes it easier to get more ads onto the app.

    At this year’s Super Bowl, for instance, Gatorade bought a Snapchat lens that let people pour a virtual cooler of the sports drink on themselves in the app.

    “Consumers want something more than a passive experience,” said Diana Hong-Elsey, Tiffany’s vice president for global digital marketing. “When you know content will disappear, you want to interact with it in that moment.”

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mike Isaac / New York Times:
    Facebook aims to bypass ad blockers on desktop by changing signifiers used to detect ads, will roll out improved ad preferences tool to opt out of targeted ads — SAN FRANCISCO — Digital ads pop up online so frequently and ubiquitously that many people are using software to block them.

    Facebook Blocks Ad Blockers, but It Strives to Make Ads More Relevant

    Digital ads pop up online so frequently and ubiquitously that many people are using software to block them.

    But if you try to stop ads from showing up on Facebook’s desktop website, you will now be out of luck: The social network has found a way to block the ad blockers.

    On Tuesday, Facebook flipped a switch across its desktop website that essentially renders all ad blockers — the programs that prevent websites from displaying ads on the page when a user visits the site — useless. The change allows the Silicon Valley company to serve ads on its desktop site even to people who have ad-blocking software installed and running.

    “Disruptive ads are an industry problem, and the rise of ad blockers is a strong signal that people just don’t want to see them,” Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, said in an interview. “But ad blockers are a really bad solution to that.”

    Ad blockers have become a threat to publishers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which are facing declining advertising revenue. About 200 million people worldwide use ad-blocking software on their desktop computers, according to estimates from PageFair, an anti-ad-blocking start-up. An additional 420 million use ad blockers on their smartphones, the company said.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Facebook rolls out new code to nullify adblock workaround introduced by Adblock Plus — Adblock Plus launched a workaround to Facebook’s ad block bypass today that ham-handedly removes posts from friends and Pages, not just ads, according to a statement provided by Facebook to TechCrunch.

    Facebook rolls out code to nullify Adblock Plus’ workaround again

    Adblock Plus launched a workaround to Facebook’s ad block bypass today that ham-handedly removes posts from friends and Pages, not just ads, according to a statement provided by Facebook to TechCrunch.

    That “plan to address the issue” is coming quick. A source close to Facebook tells me that today, possibly within hours, the company will push an update to its site’s code that will nullify Adblock Plus’ workaround. Apparently it took two days for Adblock Plus to come up with the workaround, and only a fraction of that time for Facebook to disable it.

    On Tuesday, Facebook announced it had blended the HTML of its ads on the web into its content so they’d still appear to users with ad blocking software. The company argued that by providing users with more opt-outs of ad targeting, it was addressing a top concern of ad block users, executing on its mission to connect people to businesses as well as each other, and that it’s wrong to avoid compensating websites for their ad-supported services.

    Within hours, the leading blocker software company Adblock Plus quickly vowed to crowdsource a workaround from its community.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Land:
    Google plans to lower search rankings of publishers’ mobile pages that use intrusive interstitial ads starting January 10 — Google has announced that it will begin cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” on January 10, 2017, because this type of ad “can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

    Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January

    Google will reinforce its emphasis on the mobile search experience with a new penalty affecting “intrusive interstitials” on mobile web pages.

    Google has announced that it will begin cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” on January 10, 2017, because this type of ad “can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

    Google will be potentially penalizing — i.e., lowering the rankings — of these web pages. Google said “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

    Google explained which types of interstitials are going to be problematic, including:

    Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
    Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
    Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    Ad-blocking browser Brave launches Bitcoin-based Payments, a system to automatically and privately reward favorite websites

    Ad-blocking browser Brave launches payments, so you can support sites with cash, not ad clicks

    The ad-blocking web browser Brave, co-founded by Mozilla’s former CEO Brendan Eich, is today rolling out its grand experiment “Brave Payments,” which will encourage web users to reward their favorite sites by automatically and anonymously sending them Bitcoin-based micropayments. The idea here is fairly radical — online publishers have always relied on ad revenue to fund their sites, but Brave believes they would be happy to go ad-free if people were willing to fund them directly.

    The question is, of course, will web users actually want to pay for content that has historically been free?

    It’s true that online advertisements have seemingly gotten worse over the years, but with the shift to mobile, their ability to negatively impact the web experience has increased.

    Where before, web surfers suffered with pop-up ads, flashy banners, interstitials and pop-overs, software like the popular AdBlock Plus has helped mitigate many of these issues.

    But on mobile, advertisements often make it difficult to read the content — even obscuring an article’s text as you scroll. Plus, along with the tracking pixels and scripts, publishers’ sites have begun to eat away at users’ bandwidth, which costs money.

    That said, technology companies like Facebook and Google have been spearheading solutions to this problem, as with Facebook’s fast-loading “Instant Articles” that strip out the extraneous content, and Google’s “Accelerated Mobile Web” project, which does much of the same for sites around the web. AMP also has the support of numerous publishers, analytics providers, adtech firms and tech companies, including LinkedIn, Medium, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter and others.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jack Marshall / Wall Street Journal:
    Facebook plans to limit ad placement for advertisers whose sites load too slowly or are not optimized for mobile

    Facebook Pushes Advertisers to Speed Up Their Mobile Sites
    Social network will limit where and when ads appear if they point to slow-loading sites

    Facebook wants advertisers to speed up their mobile websites and plans to limit where and when ads appear across its service if they point users to slow-loading sites.

    Advertisers might soon find their ads aren’t delivered to mobile users with slow internet connections, for example, if their websites load slowly when users tap on those ads.

    “Our goal is to give people the best ad experience possible on mobile. By considering website performance and a person’s network connection, we can improve that experience and help drive the outcomes advertisers are looking for,” a Facebook spokesman said.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nic Fildes / Financial Times:
    EU’s net neutrality implementation guidelines ban network-wide ad-blocking by telecoms

    Blow to telecoms companies as EU outlaws network-wide ad blocking

    Plans by European mobile phone companies to block advertisements across their networks have been dealt a heavy blow after new EU telecoms rules outlawed the process.

    Yet guidelines published by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications on Tuesday advised local telecoms regulators that while consumers should be allowed to install “ad blocking” apps on their phones, network-level blocking should be prohibited.

    The guidelines will now be passed on to local regulators, including Ofcom in the UK, to apply.

    “European citizens have a right to protect themselves from being tracked, profiled and targeted by AdTech. Lobbying efforts by the advertising industry were successful in obfuscating these fundamental rights,” said Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer of Shine.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jack Marshall / Wall Street Journal:
    Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, launches an ad exchange to help marketers display “acceptable ads” to users; Google and AppNexus are partners — Eyeo, the company behind the popular online ad blocking software Adblock Plus, said Tuesday it’s launching an online advertising service …

    Adblock Plus is Launching an Ad Exchange
    ‘Acceptable Ads Platform’ will let advertisers reach users of ad blockers, with help from Google and AppNexus

    Eyeo GmbH, the company behind the popular online ad blocking software Adblock Plus, said on Tuesday it is launching an online advertising service to help marketers place “acceptable” ads before users with ad blocking technology turned on.

    Eyeo is joining with ad tech firm ComboTag to create an automated ad marketplace, often referred to as an ad exchange, the companies said. Publishers can sign up for the marketplace, called the “Acceptable Ads Platform,” and use it to sell and place ad space on their webpages.

    “Acceptable ads” are allowed to pass through Adblock Plus’s filters by default, provided they aren’t too intrusive or disruptive to users, it said.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lara O’Reilly / Business Insider:
    Google, IAB, and others form The Coalition for Better Ads to set, monitor and regulate online ad standards

    Google and 16 other companies have formed a coalition that wants to police ads on the web

    Google has helped form a coalition group comprising advertising trade associations, advertisers, publishers, and agency groups that aims to rid the web of bad ads.

    The Coalition was formed as a direct response to the rise of ad blocking, and will act as a kind of regulator for internet ads.

    The group has been put together to create global standards for online advertising, which will be deployed using technology created by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau)’s Tech Lab. The technology will essentially score ads based on a number of criteria — such as page load time, the number of tracking pixels, and the type of creative — with only ads that meet a certain threshold making it through to the web page of participating companies.

    On a website announcing the Coalition, the group says it will develop the criteria based on consumer research, which will look into the kind of online ads people love and hate. The first iteration of the scoring system is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year, which the scoring software will likely take until 2017 to be released to the market.

    Speaking to Business Insider, Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, said one of the incentives for advertising companies to join the coalition or create ads meeting its standards will be his trade organization’s members. The WFA represents marketers at major brands, who are responsible for around 90% of global advertising spend.

    Interestingly, the coalition does not yet include any consumer groups.

  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucia Moses / Digiday:
    The Guardian, Wired, are turning to crowdsourcing to identify bad ads on their sites, encouraging staff, readers, to report them, in bid to defeat ad-blocking

    To combat ad blocking, publishers ask staff and users to fight bad ads

    Once or twice a week, Jen Soch, evp of commercial delivery for The Guardian, gets an email from a colleague alerting her to a problem ad on the site. It could be from anyone from a reporter all the way up to the North American CEO, Eamonn Store. They come by way of a special email address that the Guardian created a few months ago inviting the staff to report any ad they think might be slowing down the site. “The CEO and editor, they use it as frequently as the others,” Soch said.

    Publishers are trying all sorts of things to combat the rising scourge of ad blocking, from blocking people from the site if they have an ad blocker turned on to working with advertisers to make sure ads don’t load too slowly or are interruptive, common reasons people say they ad block. But despite publishers’ best efforts, some offending ads make it through, usually through programmatic pipes.

    Some publishers, like the Guardian, are democratizing the process of catching those ads.

    Wired is another publisher that has encouraged users to help weed out bad ads.

    The efforts are symbolic over how publishers frequently lack full control over the experience they give users, thanks in part to the complex ad delivery system that often allows bad ads to slip through safeguards.


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