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?