The End For Ad-Supported Websites?

According to a new series from Adotas: “Online Advertising, Life After Mobile Ad Blocking,” iOS 9 was recently released and the tools for developers to create ad-blocking software are incorporated into the operating system. This gives mobile users the tools they need to block ads as easily as desktop browser users do when using AdBlock Plus and other such apps.

The number of ad-block users is already troubling, says the report. In the U.S. it’s estimated at 16% of Internet users; in Europe it’s much higher. Now that mobile is becoming an ad-block zone, the numbers will skyrocket, opines the report.

Writing in Venture Beat, Dylan Tweney points out that it’s becoming clear that readers are finally getting fed up:

  • Fed up with incessant banner ads, obnoxious pop-ups, and videos that automatically start playing when you load a page
  • Fed up with fullscreen takeovers that force you to find, and click, a tiny “x” before you can read the article you actually came for
  • Fed up with cookies and widgets that track their every move online, allowing advertisers to target them with increasing precision mobile

Did you look at an underwear website a few weeks ago? asks Tweney. As a consequence, “… you’re going to be seeing ads for underwear every time you visit Facebook, or any of dozens of other sites, thanks to retargeting software that lets the underwear maker target ads to you based on the fact that you expressed a fleeting interest in their product…”

Online publishers and marketers and ad networks are hoping native advertising is next, says the report.But users know advertisers are trying to fool them and resent it.

As an alternative, says the report, some sites can try to create another revenue stream. But that does nothing for the ad network industry or folks trying to get the word out about a product. Others can offer only the most high-value ads to a premium audience. But that eliminates most websites and ads. And some sites can set up paywalls that get folks to fork over some nominal fee for access to content. That’s never been widely successful, concludes the report.

For more information from Adotas, please visit here.


5 comments about "The End For Ad-Supported Websites?".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, September 30, 2015 at 8:17 a.m.

    When discussing the "end of ad-supported websites", I think it's important to differentiate between "banner ads, obnoxious pop-ups, and videos that automatically start playing when you load a page" and cleanly and honestly presented ads. 

    When driving down a highway, normal billboards aren't a problem. But if they are bright flashing neon, gaudy, and bounced onto the roadway, blocking your view, people would certainly complain. That's the difference. Ads don't neccesarily bother people, but intrusive ads do. A clever whispered message beats a loud obnoxious yell every time.

  2. Juli Schatz from Image Grille, September 30, 2015 at 9:25 a.m.

    Well knock me down with a feather! Did any one else besides EVERY breathing human being not see this coming, or expect that eventually there would be a web platform or app that blocked ads? Advertising was NEVER going to catch on online, because it's always been too easy to block/opt out of/ignore/ or otherwise blow off. I can't believe it's taken this long for sopmeone to figure it out; did a study really have to be done? With all the studies and evidence pointing to the fact that 99.9999999% USERS DO NOT WANT TO SEE OR BE BOTHERED WITH, NOR READ, 99.999999% OF ADS - why would marketers continue to try to use websites as advertising media?

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 30, 2015 at 9:25 a.m.

    The whole idea of "targeting" a marketing "prospect" by barraging him with an endless stream of ads for a product that has been searched for or bought online has got to be producing ever diminishing returns. It has long been accepted by TV advertisers that their ad campaigns wear out if exposed too often or for too long. So they create pools of ads--same spiel but different settings and casts---to try to minimize wear out. Even so, they try to avoid over exposing their targets, limiting their frequency of exposure to reasonable amounts over typical four week periods.

    It seems that online "targeting" is geared to a direct response "tonnage" not a branding mentality and this has got to change. New procedures,  with some carefully orchestrated limits on how often a targeted user is sent repetitive ads not only for one brand but for all of the brands in the same product/service category, seem indicated.

  4. Adam Tuttle from _, September 30, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

    The vast majority of creators dont make a living creating. Its a labor of love for most. Only the best of the best make it to the top and only a fraction of those find riches. Why should the web be any different? Instead of rewarding quality, we rewarded quanity and made it as easy as possible for anyone with a computer and little knowledge to make money with a website.  

    The Chicken Little's are screaming loudly but the reality is that most of the sites, people and businesses that made money from ads online weren’t due that reward. What I hope happens is that the pendulum swings back and instead of rewarding quantity, we herald and reward quality.

    People will willingling pay for great work. This isnt the end of the free web but a massive cleansing of the junk, the noise and the unnecessary. Those who cannot meet the wants and desires of the market will go elsewhere and the scammers, the fraudsters, the scourge, will find their next scam. They always do.

  5. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, October 13, 2015 at 4:07 p.m.

    when advertisers stop grinding and pay a fair price to reach a prime prospect the NASCAR look to sites will disappear...stop grinding start succeeding. 

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