Just as swiftly as companies are developing adblock software, anti-adblock solutions are quickly becoming the industry norm. According to a recent Adobe study, online publishers have estimated losses in excess of $40 billion per year due to adblockers, and that number keeps growing.
Anti-adblock tools and strategies can help publishers block adblock and recapture lost income immediately, while building a more sustainable relationship between content production and visitor experience. Using a combination of anti-adblock techniques, some publishers have garnered a greater-than-100% return on lost adblock revenue.
Is Adblocking Still a Problem for Publishers?
Adblock refers to software solutions that block ads from either downloading or appearing. Blocking these ads increasingly hurts web publishers ability to fund quality content that fuels the internet globally. In this sense, the massive adoption of adblockers has been framed as a threat to the "free internet", which is largely ad supported content. As of 2020, tens of billions of dollars in lost ad revenue has been attributed to adblock technology use.
Users with adblock never see blocked ads and the pubilsher loses all ad revenue that may have been generated by that visitor. Even worse, some ads may be downloaded and paid for but never seen, or the resources may be used even if the ad isn't delivered. Adblocking browser extensions can also block tracking scripts such as Google Analytics.
Some adblockers will block ads completely, others will block tracking tokens (which allow for targeted advertising), and still others will only block ads that are very obnoxious. More aggressive adblockers may even block content and impair site functionality. Our recommendation is for publishers to install an adblocker to see first-hand what the user experience looks like on their site.
On a macro level, ads are typically the primary source of income for the sites that provide free content to the world. Premium sites like Wall Street Journal, and ecommerce sites like Zappos, both have other revenue models that don't rely primarily on ads. However, Adblocking is hurting primary sources of free content, such as local news media sites and 1,000's of independent and small content providers, by blocking the resources they need to continue producing quality content and responsible journalism. The damage in lost ad revenue has been estimated at over $78 billion in 2020, according to this Forbes article, and similarly large estimates have been shared by Adobe, Statistica, and others.
More stats and analysis covered in our Ultimate Adblock Revenue Recovery Guide for Publishers.
What is Anti-Adblock?
Anti-adblock refers to technology that can help web publishers detect, measure, prevent, and mitigate revenue losses due to adblockers. Anti-adblocking makes it possible for publishers to detect when a website visitor is using an adblocker and encourage them to turn it off or engage in a win-win value exchange. Through anti-adblocking, publishers can:
- Detect when a site visitor is using an adblocker
- Measure adblock block rates and impact to revenue via intuitive dashboards
- Engage adblock users, asking them to whitelist the site or agree to ad reinsertion
- Ask adblock users to re-engage with a set of vetted, less annoying ads
- Block adblocker access to site content based on written terms and conditions
- Provide users alternative means to support the website, via donations or paid subscriptions.
- Invite users to engage in a win-win value-exchange, such as email newsletter signup or social follow in exchange for content access.
The best anti ad blocking approach is often a combination of the above tactics providing visitor choice and publisher sustainability. Either way, anti adblocking is the technique and technology of detecting adblock use, measurnig it's impact, and either rendering it inoperable or making it a less attractive proposition to the user.
Does Adblock Cost Publishers Money?
Yes, global ad revenue losses due to ad blocking has grown for 8 consecutive years. This has created many challenges for publishers who rely on ad revenue to fund content production. Ad sponsored content has been an efficient means to fund "free" content for decades, through broadcast tv, radio, podcasts, and the web. Adblock blockr solutions are critical for web publishers that need to ensure they are maximizing their revenue potential and managing a sustainable business.
On average, web publishers lose about 30 percent of their ad revenue to adblock ads, or reduced CPM ads delivered by some adblock companies. The digital advertising industry as a whole loses tens of billions per year due to adblock.
Thousands of publishers are using anti-adblock technology and strategies today, recovering significant amounts of adblock revenue, while growing more sustainable revenue channels in the process. Adblocking losses affect large multi-national, multi-site publishers, as well as 1000's of local and regional media sites, and niche content providers.
Why do People Use Adblockers?
Adblock users generally have valid concerns which publishers have been addressing. The most common concern is annoying, obtrusive ads. Many publishers have addressed this issue by improving the ad experience, or adhering to Acceptable Ads standards. However, users that feel the need to use an adblocker for ad-abusive sites, often end up hurting sites that have made improvements to show ads responsibly. Adblock users are also concerned with privacy and the bandwidth burden of ad downloads on mobile.
On the flip side, surveys have shown that 76% of adblock users recognize a publishers right to revenue for their content product. Additionally, many adblock users did not install their adblocker or didn't even know they had one turned on. Both of these insights provide a foundation for publishers and visitors to negotiate a win-win path forward that leads to sustainable revenues, a positive user experience, and quality content production.
How Does Anti-Adblock Work?
There are a variety of techniques an anti-adblock solution can offer, covering detection, measurement, and multiple methods to either encourage the user to turn off their adblocker, or guide them to a value exchange that benefits both parties. Most solutions or DIY efforts are limited to a key approach or two. Admiral, the leader in adblock recovery, offers the most robust array of anti-adblock options and assistance, such as:
- Adblock detection: Experience is key here. There are dozens of adblock extensions, and each browser has it's own built in adblocking tools, with regular changes to scripts and tactics. Admiral maintains anti-adblocking technical expertise, monitoring feature changes across adblock solutions and browsers.
- Ad reinsertion: An anti-adblock solution can detect that an ad is being blocked and can reinsert the original ad. This is sometimes called "surprise ad reinsertion" because it happens in defiance of the adblock visitor expectation.
- Ad replacement, which is consent-based, replacing the blocked ad with an alternative "acceptable ad".
- Offering a value-exchange
- donations campaigns appeal to users that wish to support the sites content
- offer access to ad-free content if the user will signup for email newsletters or follow on social channels
- paid subscriptions and site registration are two options publishers can offer in exchange for ad-free access, building the relationship towards recurring revenue
- other: there is no limit to the creative ways a publisher can engage profitably with their adblocking visitors. Participation in user panels, special events, multi-site bundled offers, and more. Admiral's visitor engagement expertise can help publishers explore and test the best engagement options.
Ultimately, anti-adblock tools seek to recapture revenue by redirecting the user into a path that ensures the content production is compensated and sustainable.
How Do You Get Started With Anti-Adblocking?
- First, you should sign up for FREE Admiral Adblock Analytics. This analytics service will tell you everything you need to know about the impact of adblocking on your website, how much revenue you may be missing, block rates, mobile vs desktop, and how much revenue you can potentially reclaim.
- Second, configure your anti-adblock messaging. This messaging can ask users to whitelist your site, donate for quality journalism, or accept other win-win options. This is usually the fastest, easiest way to recover revenue. Admiral's Customer Love team is very experienced with helping publishers create an engagement strategy and have templates to make this step easy.
- Third, optimize and test your message, layout, and offer. You can offer your users some alternatives, such as ad-free passes, email subscriptions, social subscriptions, ad-lite experiences, and other paths to build a deeper, more profitable relationship with your audience.
How Long Does It Take Anti-Adblocking to Work?
Anti-adblocking can be installed in ten minutes, and data will start generating in your adblock analytics dashboard within a few hours. Implementing engagements to begin recovery can be launched in as little as 24 hours even for a large enterprise website.
Admiral Adblock Recovery, the best anti-adblocking solution for web publishers, installs the platform and FREE working metrics dashboard with just a single line of code any publisher can add to their site in minutes. Once the tag is on your website, the recovery tools can be turned on at any time, no coding or additional installs needed. Results start showing up in the dashboard in hours.
Should You Build or Buy an Anti-Adblocking Solution?
While some companies may build their own adblocker blocker, the ongoing maintenance isn't in their core competence. Adblock vs anti-adblock vs anti-adblock killers is a cat and mouse game, so a publisher would need developers to stay on top of changes across dozens of adblock extensions and major browsers changing constantly. Most organizations are better off not reinventing the wheel. A not-insignificant amount of time, effort, and money has already been spent creating some of the best anti-adblocking software now available.
See more: Ten adblock recovery "build vs buy" considerations. Share with your software purchase decision makers.
How Do You Find the Right Anti-Adblocking Solution?
There are many anti-adblock solutions and adblock recovery partners available. How can you know which is the right one?
- Technology. How intelligent are the solution's recovery methods? Is it using next-generation technology such as AI? Can the vender combine and optimize whitelisting + re-insertion + paid subscriptions + email signups, and more for your best ARPV?
- Transparency. Is it easy to access your analytics? Can you tell, at a glance, how well the anti-adblock solution is working?
- Customer service. How easy is it to communicate with customer service? Are they responsive and available? Do they place a high priority on customer service?
- UX and Product Vision. How easy and quickly can you launch their adblock blocking solution? Are there intuitive management tools? Do they have a plan for continued investment in their product and features?
Are you ready to start maximizing advertising dollars and ARPV? You can get started today with Admiral Anti-Adblocking. You will have valuable metrics in minutes to help you capture the advertising revenue that your publishing company deserves. Request a demo today!