Advertising blockers: A digital marketing challenge produced by a new business trend
The growing industry of ad-blocking is an example that shows us that the market for goods and services on the Internet is governed by the law of the jungle: the pecking order. Advertisers need income and invent more and more invasive methods of advertising to Internet users consume more goods and services; and on the other hand, the creators of ad-blocking software tools needed revenue and provide services to tired to close and close popups in Internet users (incidentally, these companies how to promote their software?)
What’s ad-blocking? It’s simply a way to remove or alter the advertising included in websites or smartphone apps: images, flash animations, videos that play automatically (almost always scaring users) and, above all, the so hated pop-ups. Although all browsers, such as Mozilla or Chrome, allow their users to reduce the amount of advertising when visiting certain sites, this form of digital marketing is very difficult to eradicate because it reinvents itself every day.
Ad-blocking programs work since the middle of the last decade as plugins. By using them, internet users save time by closing unnecessary windows. They also help users to avoid seeking the X icon to close windows (which often are hidden so that users click accidentally in the ad) and accelerates the download time of the pages they visit, making navigation agiler and, therefore, more pleasant.
The ad-blocking technology is also a way to reduce a waste of resources; not just energy and smartphone data, but Wi-Fi bandwidth at home. Thanks to these tools, many viruses are also avoided, so it is no longer necessary to format the hard drive that frequently. The privacy of users is also one of the reasons why the business of ad-blockings is so popular: the customized advertising on Google and/or Facebook is removed and users don’t feel so watched by the Big Brother.
This situation may be understood by advertisers as an opportunity to reinvent their work. People hate some forms of advertising (eg interruptions in YouTube videos), but they feel comfortable with others (eg, creative commercials that make them laugh.) The question is: how efficient are the aggressive ways of advertising like pop-ups or spam?
Some applications, like Spotify, have another way of seeing things. Using the application is free, but users must stand ads that interrupt their playlists all the time. If they pay, they stop listening to the ads, and several users pay for this reason. What Spotify does is making a profit from both types of users, so they don’t stop making money: they earn from advertising and they earn from subscriptions. But not all businesses work the same. For many YouTubers, blocking the advertising on their channels means less income.
On the other hand, some companies, like Netflix, have developed strategies to combat ad-blocking. This company launched a clever advertising campaign, specifically intended for users who watch and follow the series Black Mirror and block ads with tools like AdBlock. Other people can not see it. “Hello, user AdBlocker: You can’t see the ad, but the ad can see you. What about the other side of your black mirror?”
The campaign Netflix draws attention because it reflects the importance of advertising in this type of platforms with quality content as Black Mirror, so, by blocking ads, there will be gradually a lack of economic incentives to continue generating productions of such a nature.
The ad-blocking industry is a problem not only for many online free services that get their income from advertising, but for many users who benefit from them and just can’t afford them. Most newspapers and media are free to all users, and some people in the third world, for example, have no means for paying for the subscriptions (even though they are not expensive for first world users.) If users don’t see any ads, advertisers will not invest in ad-free websites and the media will have to find another way to be profitable, which is not exactly an easy task.
The situation with smartphones is even more complicated: ads make websites slower and, therefore, the data rate is spent faster. Adblock Plus, the first blocker in the market and the most used at the moment, launched a browser for Android and iOS with an advertising blocker incorporated. This creation has become an eternal struggle between Apple and Google, because Google is the largest provider of Internet ads. This is the basic source of Google’s income: users search on the engine, and meanwhile, they’re watching advertising. When users find what they want, they go to another website, where the advertising services of Google also receive their cut.
Only the future will tell what how this situation is going to end: one of the two sides will end up giving for sure.
Recommended: Thank Goodness For Ad Blockers?