Hundreds of publishers are using counter-blocking ad blocking software, but only a few are admitting to it. As Ad Blocker Plus reveals a workaround to Facebook's anti ad-blocking technology, The Drum takes a look at the media outlets who have been vocal in the fight against ad-blocking.
Last year, German publisher Axel Springer counter blocked ad blockers from its news website, Bild. Through the use of the anti-ad blocker, the news outlet forbids people from gaining access to their site asking viewers to ‘disable ad blocker now’ along with a message explaining to their readers why advertising is important.
“Our 500 reporters report for you from around the world. To enable this, we have to rely on advertising revenue," It reads. "Excluding revenue from the sale of advertising space, we cannot finance the work of our journalists.”
City AM, the free London newspaper website, combats ad blockers in a completely different manner. While trying to access the site, it continuously attempts to load without the option to select an article and if the user is able to load an article they can the screen will either go completely white or the text is blurred to an unreadable state. At no point does the site offer the cause being your use of an ad blocker.
Business magazine Forbes, blocks people from entering the site with its hold screen asking people to turn their ad blocker off. The website gives the reader options to be able to enter the site either offering them to sign up to the site to support them or view it ad light.
The Guardian does not prevent anybody from viewing its news or being on its website, however it does provide a simple thin pink banner at the bottom of each page to anybody who is seen to be using an ad blocker offering an alternative way for readers to help the companies revenue. It said: “Perhaps you’ll support us in another way? Become a Supporter for less than £1 per week.”
Online technology and business news source Wired, uses its ad-block differently by giving the illusion that you are free to roam around the site without any comeuppance.
However after clicking 'no' an article and scrolling to read more, the reader will be faced with an ad blocker message similar to that of Forbes’ home page announcement. Reading in a similar style to the Guardian it said: “We get it: Ads aren’t what you’re here for. But ads help us keep the lights on. So, add us to your ad blocker’s white list or pay $1 per week for an ad-free version of Wired.”
Time magazine has taken yet another route to ask readers to turn off their ad blocker by supplying another link to show what the site would look like without the ads on the page. The news outlet writes: “No ads. We get it. Consider what TIME might look like without them…” followed by a hyperlink which takes the reader to a blank page – showcasing the need for ads to produce revenue as an online company.
News site The Atlantic, has added the small touch of a block resembling an ad asking readers to unblock their ad blockers. The site simply tells the reader: “For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.” With the options to unblock the ad blocking software or learn more.
The catch-up TV website for channel 4 allows you to browse the site and decide which programme you wish to watch. Once the user has selected their show of choice, you are then presented with the message of a humorous tone explaining, again, that ads are how the company generate revenue ending with: "You can see where we're going here..."
Another TV catch up site, however rather than taking the comedic route, ITV is instead very matter of fact when instructing it viewers on how to watch a show. The pop up message presented, once again, select play notes: "We know you may not want to watch the ads, but they help to keep our service free." Before continuing to explain how you can catch up without ad blocker.
With the number of media outlets using an anti ad blocking rising, there is a lot of debate within the industry after Ad Blocker Plus managed to debunk Facebook's software within 48 hours. According to a report from eMarketer, 24 per cent of desktop and laptop users will have downloaded an ad blocking tool in the UK by the end of next year.
However according to Stack, those who are using the new software are suffering with Wired's daily page views dropping 4.85 per cent between February and April this year and Bild dropping 3.54 per cent, questioning whether it is worth it at all.