Adblock Plus Hints At A New Plus For Publishers, Stops Short Of Revealing It

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- OMMA SXSW kicked off on a divisive note here Friday with a major publisher advocating a stronger gatekeeping role against consumers who have installed ad blockers, and a major ad-blocking software developer suggesting publishers just need to let go and respect users’ experiences.

The session began with Forbes Media Chief Product Officer Lewis DVorkin illustrating the publisher’s aggressive development of an anti-ad-blocking wall and some of the lessons learned from it to date.

Initially, Forbes put up an “Ad Block Detected” notice when browsers showed up with ad blockers installed. The only way to access Forbes’ content, he said, required turning ad blockers off.

DVorkin said Forbes continues to test and iterate its strategy, including a more passive approach that simply asked users to complete a survey in order to access Forbes’ content even with their ad blockers turned on. Not surprisingly, Forbes surveyed them on the reasons why they were blocking ads in the first place.

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Ben Williams, head of operations at Adblock Plus, countered that it's because of those reasons that publishers need to lean into and not enter into an arms race with consumers by creating new walls to block the ad-blocker users.

Williams said the industry needs to coalesce around what those criteria are, and that industry players on all sides need to “abide” by those rules.

He also said Adblock Plus continues to iterate and develop, and he implied it is close to unveiling a new business model that will enable publishers to make more revenues, not less.

“Perhaps there’s another way to fund publishing, but I won’t say anything more,” he said, getting close to, but not actually tipping his hand.

“We’ve been working on other things,” is all he would say -- alluding, “I think there are other ways you can monetize.”

1 comment about "Adblock Plus Hints At A New Plus For Publishers, Stops Short Of Revealing It".
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  1. Michael Schmidlen from Of Eleven Media, LLC, March 14, 2016 at noon

    There's already a viable method for Publishers and Advertisers to monetize their digital content and not annoy the hell out of their readers by using intrusive ads, it's called Ad Einstein and it's part of Of Eleven Media's browser-based digital publishing platform Mag Titan.  It was developed by Publishers FOR Publishers.

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