Navigating the Block: Innovative Solutions in the Publisher’s Toolbox

Publishers are starting to find more solutions to mitigate ad blocker effects, with different companies adopting alternative ad blocker countermeasures. The divide in selected strategies comes from factors such as reliance on ad revenue and audience demographics.

Ad blockers saw their greatest jump in user figures in 2015, jumping from an estimated 346 million in 2014 to 561 million in 2015. The spike brought awareness to the power ad blockers have over ad revenue, however, has a truly effective strategy against ad blockers been brought to the floor?

Paywalls

When a reader visits a publisher who has deployed a paywall, they will be asked to donate to the publisher in order to access content. Paying to access content was brought to platforms in response to a continuous rise in ad blockers, despite publishers making readers aware of the effects ad blockers cause.

Advertising paywall against ad blockers

Some publishers use paywalls as a way of guaranteeing revenue, unlike ad revenue which is variable. However, competitors who do not adopt this approach can capitalize on successful high-traffic articles, possibly leading to more ad revenue from one-time visitors, compared to a small loyal reader base.

For paywalls to be effective, a strategy could involve making content free until a presence has been built. Once a vast quantity of loyal readers are identified, a paywall could be optimised to gather as many donations or subscriptions as possible.

Whitelisting

Ironically ad blocker usage benefits publishers who engage in whitelisting, but only to an extent. An online reader who has an ad blocker installed will be met with a message asking the user to whitelist the publisher’s website, allowing ads from certain domains through.

Whitelisting can provide a better user experience, making the page faster and more streamlined with fewer ads. Essentially, users who have an extreme dislike for ads will have a more enjoyable time on the website.

On the other hand, this method needs only works for ad blockers that are owned or partnered with whitelist companies. Therefore, a large proportion of ad blocker users will not whitelist the publisher domain, as they could be utilising the vast market of ad blockers available. It could be useful to know what specific ad blockers your visitors are using before relying on whitelisting, helping to give an estimate on the take-up of allowing ads through.

Whitelisting does not guarantee ad revenue. While it provides users with a choice of whether they want to see ads, remember that ads provide no monetary value to users, making them unlikely to whitelist.

Pop Up Messages

In many opinions this is a more user optional version of whitelisting and paywalls. The publisher will display a message to the ad blocker user, with the message presenting a request for ad blockers to be turned off. Usually, at the bottom of this message there will be a button that will allow users to continue without disabling their ad blocker. This can improve user experience, allowing users with the most choice out of all the ad blocker defence methods.

Similar to whitelisting, it does not guarantee ad revenue. These messages can be optimised, but once again users are unlikely to agree to something that does not provide any monetary value to themselves.

Ad Reinsertion

For ad reinsertion technology to deem action is needed, first it must use ad blocker detection software. The main concept of ad reinsertion is to bypass any ad blocking attempt, displaying the original or alternative content. A lot of companies that provide this solution keep their process secretive, as it could lead to competitors or clients developing the technology themselves.

Although visitors may not want to see ads, ad reinsertion may provide a more personalised and engaging advertising experience, as the ads are tailored to their interests and preferences.

This whole process provides an overwhelming chance of monetisation being successful, meaning ad revenue can be collected from all users. Some Publishers see this as a fair exchange for their content provided.

Why Are Publishers Trying To Counter Ad Blockers?

Publisher ad blocker countermeasure

Advertising revenue plays a pivotal role for publishers across various media platforms. It serves as the lifeblood that fuels the creation of content for a wide audience. Publishers invest significant time, resources, and creativity in producing high-quality material. This financial support enables publishers to continue delivering diverse and engaging content, ranging from news articles to entertainment, without relying solely on direct payments from their audience.

Ad blockers also impact analytics by hindering the collection of crucial user data on websites. These tools selectively block tracking codes and scripts, preventing the accurate measurement of various metrics such as page views, user engagement, and conversion rates. As a result, analytics reports may show lower traffic numbers, incomplete demographic information, and distorted insights into user behaviour. Additionally, ad blockers interfere with the tracking of ad impressions, making it challenging for website owners and marketers to assess the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

B2 Stealth

Our ad reinsertion technology enables publishers to display their ads to any ad blocker user, ensuring an effective ad revenue recovery process. Not only will publishers be able to increase their impressions, but original content will be displayed instead of finding alternative content to fill the ad space.

Please contact the B2 team at info@b2.ai if you wish to learn more.

B2.ai's ad reinsertion technology. A diagram showing ad blocker countermeasures through B2 stealth