Will Ad Blockers Kill Advertising?

Internet advertising is a key player in any integrated marketing communications campaign. Sometimes emerging media, such as the rising tide of ad blocker apps, have a negative impact in the marketing world.

Content isn’t free without advertising.
Hence, YouTube just launched YouTube Red, a $9.99-per-month subscription service that removes advertising. Clearly, it’s an effort to counter the growing adblock trend. And it’s just the beginning.


Will ad blockers take down the Google Goliath?
The majority of revenue generated at Google is tied to display advertising. As a higher education marketer, we dedicate a large percentage of our media spend to display advertising within our integrated marketing campaigns. Of course, all this hoopla about ad blockers is concerning. But at the same time, this industry never stays the same for very long. That’s partially why I love working in it.

Apple is taking a bite out of Google.
Apparently, ad blockers have been around for years. We all know pop-up blockers are nothing new. But it seems ad blockers have become much more sophisticated and now these little ad-zappers are starting to pick up speed in the popularity race.

We all have Apple to thank for that.

Shortly after the launch of iOS9, ad blocking software climbed to the top of the app charts. Now, according to this article in the NY Times, nearly 200 million people worldwide regularly block ads. Ad blockers will cost publishers nearly $22 billion in revenue in 2015.

The benefits of ad blockers:
-Your web browser runs faster with an ad blocker installed.
-You save more bandwidth because you’re not downloading ads.
-You will be less annoyed while surfing the Web.
-You will enjoy greater privacy on the Web and not be tracked.

The benefits of the web with advertising:
-You will not have to pay for content.
-You will be entertained, educated, and informed.
-You will not have to pay for the content that entertains, educates, and informs.

Consumers are fed up.
As marketers, we know today’s consumers are in control. We are consumers ourselves. We get it. We’re all fed up with data-stealing-cyber-stalking-retargeting Internet advertising. But is it ethical for consumers to presume that they can view quality content without advertising? The term “starving artist” is nothing new and that’s exactly what some of the YouTube stars will become if they don’t buy into the new business model.

Consumers aren’t the only ones who love ad blockers.
Ad blockers are the best thing to ever happen to native advertising and content marketing, which are not the same thing. (But that’s a different blog post.) Considering the way things are changing around the web, inbound marketing strategies seem more important than ever before.

Change is in the air…again.
The thing about emerging media is that it’s always changing. The key is to embrace that change happens. Ad blockers will not kill advertising. They’re just the latest media to evolve it.

PS. While crafting this post, I was rudely served no less than five display ads that added zero value to my web experience.

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