Fixing the ad-blocking crisis is proving more difficult than previously thought, especially for the gaming industry that serves free games with targeted ads on publisher sites.
This year Arkadium plans to employ the recommendations made by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) for how publishers should fight ad blocking, which means to detect the ad blocking software in the browser and then educate the user on the value of the content in exchange for looking at the ads.
Dynamically serving targeted browser-based games to site visitors similar to the way it's done with advertisements likely isn’t feasible, mainly because gamers are set in their ways.
Jess Rovello, CEO of Arkadium, said, "We will never see the volume of revenue from asking users on desktop to pay outright for a game in the way we do by adding a 15- or 30-second video before the game experience."
Since consumers have been trained to think everything on the Internet is free, only about 1% to 2% of users will pay to gain another life in the game or get to the next level in the game through micro-transactions, she said. In fact a very small percentage will pay for anything at all.
"There is not a clean experience for micro-transactions, and you're still entering PayPal information on desktop or mobile," Rovello said. "It's not seamless and one-click, like it is through the app process in Android or iOS stores."
Arkadium supports games, polls, quizzes, puzzles and more that serve in desktop and mobile browsers, running display and pre-roll video advertising in an effort to increase user loyalty and page views.
Of the 300 million ads and 50 million pieces of content served last month on The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and USA Today, among others, a little less than one in 10 people in the U.S. and one in four in the U.K. used ad-blocking software when trying to view games and content supported by Arkadium.
Rovello said publishers cripple their Web site traffic by putting up a subscription paywall before site visitors can access the content, though a very low percentage of users will pay for the subscription. The culture of the Internet has, and likely always will be, free, she said.