The first thing anyone does after downloading Chrome browser is to add AD Block/Plus extension. (Heck, even I did it), and why not? I consider myself as a heavy consumer of online content. I subscribed 40 odd channels on YouTube; get notifications from various blogs like verge, weird and constantly discover new websites every day and of course – Wikipedia Tunnelling (you just dig on random stuff).
Network operator Three (UK)has confirmed it will begin blocking adverts on mobile websites and in apps from next month.
And while going through all these websites, I counter tons of advertisements and pop-up ads. Like I said, I do use Ad Block extension and I love it. Watching 30 Seconds advertisements, skippable ads, and unintentional pop ups just before I watch the new movie trailer, or a vlog, are getting indignantly annoying.
But, do you know that the Internet and especially YouTube survive through advertisements?
We in this freeloader community, love advertisement-free content/websites. But, the websites that publically oppose Ad revenue like Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Netflix don’t earn money from ads.
And if you think removing monetization on YouTube will not be THAT big deal, then check out Casey Neistat’s twitter post on how much he earns through ZERO monetization.
So, what is ad blocking?
Ad blocking (Browser Extensions) removes advertising from web pages, including banner ads, text ads, sponsored links, sponsored stories and video pre-roll ads. The most popular extension is Adblock Plus, which became available in 2002, and is now the most downloaded browser extension of all time.
These ads free youtube services may help to enhance your web browsing experience, but destroys the whole business model upon which Internet industry was built upon. Last year, PageFair published a report on ad block adoption rates that showed the magnitude of the issue, here are a few findings from the report:
- Ad blocking estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015.
- There are now 198 million active AdBlock users around the world.
- Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months.
- US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in one year up to June 2015.
- UK ad blocking grew by 82% to reach 12 million users in 12 months up to June 2015.
Ad Blockers love to advertise themselves as guardians of the Internet with the tagline “You won’t know what you’re glad you’re missing.” The AD Blocking ecosystem now runs on Pay to Play Strategy. Just like how AdWords work, in the same way, how much an advertiser is willing to pay for an ad will depend on how much they stand to gain from the ad. Increase the benefit per billable event, and you increase how much the marketer is willing to pay for the billable event. These ads come under ACCEPTABLE ADS (which have their own terms and conditions listed below)
- Acceptable Ads are not annoying.
- Acceptable Ads do not disrupt or distort the page content we’re trying to read.
- Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad.
- Acceptable Ads are effective without shouting at us.
- Acceptable Ads are appropriate to the site that we are on.
More than 700 companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Taboola have paid to have their ads whitelisted as part of an Acceptable Ads Program by Adblock plus.
But the main question arises is “how can a single private entity decide what is acceptable or not for an entire sector”?
“The challenge with Google coming up with their own acceptable ads initiative is that I don’t believe they would be able to enforce it on the wider web,” said Dean Murphy, creator of popular iOS 9 ad-blocking app Crystal. Regardless of what happens, there will still be “a place for ad blocking,” he said.
So, if I use Adblock, does YouTube generate revenue for that instance too?
Adblock Plus blocks certain ads but not all of them. The pre-roll video ads are not affected by ad blocking. Google has put in some counter-measures to make they can sneak through the ad blockers. Whereas, HTML ads that popping up while you are viewing clips are still blocked, however. But, when an ad is blocked, it does not serve, which means the user cannot click or view it. Since an ad request is not sent by the browser, an impression is not generated. Thus, the ads free youtube browser environment will be fatal for many YouTubers.
Websites going against Adblock
Many websites have opted to oppose ad block services by asking users to switch off the extension. Pubnation.com researched on top 50 websites and this is what they found according to their analysis
Also, they concluded 5 ways marketers these popular websites ask their users to act against the AdBlock software. These are,
Aim to be Universally Whitelisted – Reuters.com
Get your advertisements “Whitelisted” – Just like we discussed above
Require Users to Take a Valuable Action to Read the Content – WashingtonPost.com
Show the Content and Ask for Support – Atlantic.com
Self-host Commission-based Ads – RetailMeNot.com
They earn commissions for referrals to online retailers, even with Adblock installed.
Ask Users to Pay – Guardian.com
The Guardian asks users to become paying supporters with a subtle bar at the bottom.
About 60% of publishers expect to use “ad block circumvention” in the next year and a half, according to the Sourcepoint survey; but their weapons aren’t too powerful.
To conclude, having spam advertisements, adware Virus is a good practice, but when these adware starts paying up to be in Whitelisted (which they are), there is NO guarantee that this Ad-blocking or ads free youtube business would eventually help internet community. But a number of users NOT using an ad blocker is so big that the amount of ad block users barely makes a dent. But, for the advertisers, $22 billion is some number they need to consider.