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Apple deals publishers and advertisers a major blow with approval of in-app ad blocker


By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

October 6, 2015 | 3 min read

Publishers and advertisers struggles with ad blockers have been dealt a significant blow with the news that Apple has for the first time approved an app that will block in-app ads.

The Been Choice app sharpens the threat to the publishing and ad industries that spawned from Apple's decision to let users block ads in their mobile browsers.

The new app takes things one perilous step further with the the ability to block advertisements which appear within apps; it even blocks ads from Apple’s own News app.

It will further harm the publishing industry which generates a huge amount of its revenue from advertisements and will rock the marketing industry which is expected to spend almost $69bn on mobile ads this year, according to eMarketer.

Co-founder of Been Choice, David Yoon, said he created the company to give consumers “a choice about who gets their data, how it gets used, and who benefits from its value”. He added that the app offers users “a clear choice” about whether they want to block ads or share in the value created by their data.

Owners of the apps are likely to be furious given that Been Choice will leave them helpless to stop their revenue being put in jeopardy.

Ciaran O’Kane, chief executive of digital media analysis company, Exchange Wire, warned that the approval of the app was taking things “into dangerous territory”. He added that “if app developers can’t make money, there’s going to be a kick back.”

Last month Marco Arment, the creator of ad blocking browser app Peace, pulled his number one ranked app from the Apple’s App store citing a crisis of crisis of conscience over the lost revenue for those who don’t deserve it.

Been Choice will generate its revenue by giving users the option to sell their data through the app. The company is offering $20 a month to users who consent to being shown ads and allow Been Choice to collect information about how they use their devices.

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