In the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Francisco, Apple launched its latest operating system, the iOS 9. At the same time, Safari engineer, Ricky Mondello had also announced on twitter that the iOS will offer ad-blocks, a new feature that blocks mobile banner ads.
This means developers will create extensions, blocking all pop-ups, images, cookies and other content alike. These extensions are downloadable in any Apple device, deterring ads from popping within Safari. Since its announcement, online publishers have become worried considering that their primary source of profit is coming from mobile users.
Many digital professionals from around the world have responded to this announcement.
“I think publishers should be worried,” said Jack Matthews, former chief executive of Australia Fairfax Digital in The Sydney Morning Herald. He pointed out that it will most likely be another step in the wrong direction to sites that have relied on only advertising revenue to remain in the competition.
Ben Williams, Adblock Plus head of operations, said that there is still very little known about how these extensions work and how powerful their block lists are.
According to PC magazine, probably only Apple’s iAds won’t get screwed by the blocking of mobile banner ads. “That’s because Apple doesn’t do ads for the browser—it does them in iOS apps. Those ads will never, ever be blockable. With the closed system that is iOS, any app that would try 1) wouldn’t work because they wouldn’t be targetable with JSON files or via protocols like HTTP, and 2) if it did work, Apple would ban it.”
What are publishers doing?
There are some strategies made by publishers to decrease the revenue affected by ad-blocking. Paywalls, for instance, is an alternative that charge readers who want access to the editorial pages. Native advertising is also a good option where content and marketing work hand-in-hand. However, these are just second to profit-making techniques and will need more strategic planning for better advertising.