Bye, Bye Mobile Ads


I think you’re all familiar with the little, sneaky ads that appear when you’re surfing the web on your smartphone or tablet. They also appear in apps. Most of the time, you click on them unintentionally. Then, they direct you to their website, which is pretty annoying. Why can’t we just turn them off? Well, Apple has come up with a solution. Yesterday, Apple has launched the new version of iOS, the operating system of iPhones and iPads (iOS 9). This allows users to download apps, which block all mobile ads. But what does this mean for companies that use mobile advertisements?

Mobile advertising is growing faster than all other digital advertising formats (Hoezel, 2015). Mobile ads appear on mobile devices in Google search results, on content websites, in apps and video. They are used to put the business in front of people as they use their smartphones and tablets throughout the day. Websites that publish these mobile ads, generate revenue from it.

Because ad-blocking offers iOS users benefits, they’re very likely to choose to block ads once they’re aware of the option. This will not only hurt publishers that will have less profit, but it will also break the marketing tools that websites use to measure and communicate with their visitors, such as Google Analytics. These tools could be blocked from working and this means that it will be harder to measure site traffic, learn about people who are visiting, and preform A/B testing to find out if changes to a site perform well (Bolluyt, 2015).

So, the main question is: are ad-blockers as good as they sound? I think that, on one hand, an ad-blocker is a great thing to have. It will probably make web surfing on a mobile device a lot more convenient. Because there won’t be any ads that can direct you to another page, by clicking on them unintentionally. But on the other hand, I think it’s bad, because companies will not receive as much information as they do now, through mobile ads and cookies, for example. This can make it a lot harder, or almost impossible, for them to target people, or to improve their business by using this information.

What do you think?

“Why Ad-Blocking in iOS 9 Benefits Only Apple” by Jess Bolluyt

“Apple maakt de adblocker mainstream, en dat is een groot probleem” by Alexander Klöpping

“Mobile advertising is exploding and will grow much faster than all other digital ad categories” by Mark Hoelzel

“Mobile ads” by Think with Google


3 thoughts on “Bye, Bye Mobile Ads

  1. Most of the services and websites offered by the web (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, google maps etc) do not ask the user to pay any money for their use. Why? Because they rely on advertisement. We all think most of the advertising are annoying because, as you said, it happens very often to click on them unintentionally and they direct you to their websites, which is not what we want. But the question now is: are we willing to pay for this now free services (e.g. Facebook) and get the digital advertisements out of our online life? I think the answer for most of us will be no. Why? Because we all like free goodies, right? Also, the web will look more like a business and it will not be any longer a place where you can have free and open access to its content. I think advertisers should be encouraged to provide less intruding and more relevant ads so that the users will no longer look for ways to hide them, but will eventually find these ads useful. So, to reply better to your question, I believe ad-blockers are not the solution to the problem of annoying ads.

  2. I was about to write an article on this, but then I saw that you had already covered it! Great post. I actually just downloaded an ad-blocking app on my iPhone, and I have had ad-blocking software on my computer browser for the past two years. Ad-blockers are very convenient to have for the users, but they definitely will negatively impact businesses if they don’t come up with another way to advertise their products or services. I agree with the previous comment, that free apps and web sites are only free because they rely on advertising. I fear that sites such as Facebook and Twitter will stop offering free services if people (like me) continue to download ad-blocking software. I think a good way to stop people from downloading ad-blockers would be for businesses to start having shorter advertisements before videos and less annoying ads that are easy for the user of a mobile device to click on them.

  3. Really interesting blog post! I do think that it’s a shame for companies because they now get less insight on their ads and less people see them… However, in one of the first lectures we had, Miss Ting told us about how high the “accidental click” rate was for ads, which are counted by the companies. This is technically false information for the companies, because most people accidentally click on them and don’t even both looking at them, but they only try to get rid of the ad as soon as possible. So even though there are many drawbacks to these new apps that get rid of ads, there is also some positivity as their new statistics will be more accurate.

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