Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Paradox of Ad Blocking

Launch of IOS 9 and its support for ad blocking apps on Safari has brought the issue of ad blockers to the forefront among advertisers, publishers, tech companies and of course, mobile and internet users.  

At the first glance, as a frequent reader and user of internet, I am very happy to see ad blocking service becoming available in more places. I cannot wait but install those ad blocking apps on my iPhone to keep me away from irritating ads. But after seeing the news that Marco Arment, CEO of "Peace" (the most popular ad blocking app after launch of IOS 9), decided to pull off the program on iTunes and articles like " Ad blocking: Internet apocalypse or overblown issue"on Marketing Week and "The Paradox of Apple News and iOS 9 Ad Blocking" on, I began to doubt that whether ad-blocking is a really beneficial thing to us end users or readers. 

As Marco wrote on his blog “Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides. Even though I’m ‘winning,’ I’ve enjoyed none of it. That’s why I’m withdrawing from the market.”

Yes, we feel bothered when ads slowing down our browsers. It sometimes make people feel creepy knowing that they are being tracked by every click. However, those ads and trackers do help publishers provide free and high-quality content.Data collected from these media help brands understanding the market and after all benefit us customers by providing better customized products and services. 

Looking from another perspective, ad blocking increase competition and put pressure on advertisers and brands to provide higher quality ads that customers would like to see. The more expensive ads require more consideration to generate comparable ROI.  "Junk" Ads will be cleared out of the market, leaving us a more enjoyable virtual world. 

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