Business Internet

Ad blockers and the loss of revenue

Writing for Venture Beat, Gerhard Stiene wonders whether ad blocking is theft. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it theft, but it sure one cause of loss of revenue.

Having run a blog for seven years, I’ve always been aware of ad blockers but never realized they were so popular. Considering the savviness of iDB readers, I would even think much more than 27.6% of our readership uses them, which of course is not good news for us since we rely almost exclusively on ad revenue to make a living.

Online advertising is huge. It hit $141.2 billion worldwide in 2014. This is great news for online content creators, and it should be great news for content consumers. As your favorite websites make more money, they can continue to produce more of the articles and videos that you love. Now for the bad news: According to a 2014 study conducted by PageFair, “27.6 percent of U.S. Internet users surveyed said they use ad-blocking software.” This is a problem for content creators.

Yet it seems that with the world going mobile, ad blockers should be the least of my worries. Services like Readability, Pocket, and Instapaper are the new ad blockers. Of course, they provide a better experience for readers, but they prevent us from generating ad revenue.

I won’t lose sleep over it, but it’s something to be aware of, and an additional motivation to try to think outside the box when it comes to monetization.

I personally don’t use ad blockers for two reasons. One, I like to see what kind of ads websites serve me, as well as learn about new formats. Two, I think it’s wrong to take money away from sites that provide me information for free.