One of Europe’s largest publishers, Axel Springer, has stepped up its efforts to protect online advertising revenues by banning readers who use ad blockers from accessing its Bild tabloid website.
Bild, Europe’s top-selling tabloid, will now ask visitors to turn off their ad blocker or pay a monthly subscription fee of €2.99 which then allows browsing with limited ads.
In a statement released today Bild.de said “whoever does not switch off the ad blocker or does not pay cannot see any content on Bild.de, as of now”.
Following the prominance of ad block software Axel Springer changed the website of Bild to a "freemium" model around two years ago, with some content remaining free while items such as exclusive interviews, stories and photos were locked out by the pay wall.
The German publisher, whose other publications include Die Weltnewspaper, generated more than 1.5 billion euros from advertising last year and its current approach to ad blockers represents the first time a major German publisher has taken a stance against them.
Tensions between German publishers and ad blocking software heightened recently, when just last month Axel Springer lost a court case against German software firm Eyeo, which makes the Adblock Plus browser. The publisher of German newspapers Handelsblatt and Die Zeit lost a similar case in a Hamburg court.