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Anti-Adblock: Stop Ad Blockers and Recover Revenue 

 Anti-adblock and code to stop adblockers are becoming the industry norm to mitigate the rapid adoption of consumer adblocking software. 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. Successful media brands such as NBC, Viacom/CBS, USA Today, RottenTomatoes, and others are using adblock recovery solutions today to recover millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The tools and strategies can help publishers detect ad block, block or stop ad blockers, and recapture lost income immediately, while building a more sustainable relationship between content production and visitor experience. Using a combination of engagement and allowlist techniques and anti ad block test for all ad blockers, some publishers have garnered a greater-than-100% return on lost adblock revenue.

Research has shown that people using ad block software are often higher-than average value visitors, and most are willing to negotiate with publishers for a balanced value-exchange if the publisher engages them directly. In fact, an unlocked user can drives  3-4X the ad revenue of a non-adblock user, on average. (when using Admiral's engagement solution to unlock the full ad stack)

An unlocked adblock user drives  3-4X the ad revenue of a non-adblock user, on average.


Anti-Adblock FAQ Contents:


Is Adblocking Still a Problem for Publishers?

Absolutely! The global ad revenue lost in 2021 to blocked ads was in the billions of dollars, and adoption has slowed but growing nonetheless.  Blocking online 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. Solutions to the problem can deliver more ad revenue and multiple revenue streams, with a multi-pronged solution like Admiral's adblock recovery module.


Users with ad block extensions like Adblock Plus never see blocked ads and the publisher 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. These 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 blockers may even block content and impair site functionality. Our recommendation is for publishers to install an adblocker themselves 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.


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What is Anti-Adblock?

Anti ad block software is technology that can help web publishers detect, measure, prevent, and mitigate revenue losses due to adblockers. The tech  makes it possible for publishers to detect when a website visitor is using an adblocker, and encourage them to turn it off for a particular website or engage in a win-win value exchange.

There are a few different vendors in the ad revenue recovery space, but most are limited to just running replacement, reduced average CPM ads rather than unlocking a publishers full ad stack. Admiral, the leader in adblock recovery, is unmatched in the ability to use multiple techniques, detect more blockers, and deliver more revenues than any other solution for media publishers. Benefits of the Admiral solution include:

  • Detect when a site visitor is using an ad blocker.
  • Measure block rates and impact to revenue via intuitive dashboards
  • Engage adblock users, asking them to whitelist the site
  • 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 limited ad-free content access. 


Revenue analysis and head to head comparisons show that the best approach is a combination of the above tactics providing visitor choice and publisher sustainability. Typically engaging visitors to allowlist a website returns 5-10X the revenue as an ad reinsertion method using Acceptable Ads (a technique developed by the adblock vendors themselves). 


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. Solutions to "block adblockers" 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. The losses affect large multi-national, multi-site publishers, as well as 1000's of local and regional media sites, and niche content providers. 

Thousands of publishers are now implementing adblock recovery technology with significant results, while growing more sustainable revenue channels in the process. 


Why do Visitors Use Adblockers?

Users that block ads 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  standards such as Better Ads Certification. 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.

The best recovery solutions can help those users unlock the ad stack for the responsible, improved publishers, while still keeping their adblocker script on for abusive sites. 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.


More stats and analysis covered in our
Ultimate Adblock Revenue Recovery Guide for Publishers.


How Does Anti-Adblock Work?

There are a variety of techniques used to detect, measure, and reduce ad block rates. Solutions can encourage the user to turn off their ad blocker for sites they enjoy, or guide them to a value exchange that benefits both parties. Most solutions or DIY efforts are limited to a single approach. Admiral offers the industries most robust combination  of recovery options and assistance, such as:

  • Unlock/Allowlist Visitors - By engaging visitors directly, publishers can ask them to allowlist their specific site, unlocking the full value of their ad stack. Unlocking the full ad experience consistently returns the highest CPM's, ARPU and RPV for publishers, vs any other method separately. In fact, unlocked adblock users average 3-4X the CPM revenue as an average user. A combination of adblock recovery methods is the optimal approach.
  • Adblock detection: Experience is key here. There are dozens of adblock extensions, and each browser has it's own built in tools, with regular changes to scripts and tactics. Admiral maintains the technical expertise to, monitoring feature changes across adblock solutions and browsers. 
  • 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.
  • Ad reinsertion: Once an a adblock user is detected, this solution checks to see if the visitor has chosen to allow ads that are filtered through a standard on size, position, and other factors. For those visitors that have consented to view ads under such a standard, Admiral facilitates and monitors the ad views.

Robust solutions can redirect the user towards a more sustainable relationship. In the example below, Encyclopaedia Britannica users Admiral to offer two paths, both of them an improvement. One leads to unlocking the full ad stack for the visitor, the other collects a donation which can exceed several years worth of ad revenue for that visitor.


How Do You Get Started With Anti-Adblocking?

  • First, you should sign up for a FREE analytics dashboard showing daily block rates and impact. 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 recovery 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 and playbooks 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.

Admiral Get Started Free Adblock Analytics


How Long Does It Take to Recovery Blocked Ad Revenue?

An adblock recovery solution 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 installs in minutes with a single line of code added to a publishers' website. And it's free to use. Once the tag is on your website, additional 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 Recovery can be 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 ad block prevention 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 Solution?

There are many vendors available which tout their ability to help publishers address adblocking. 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? Do they insert themselves into delivering remnant ads across your pages, adding additional page load? Can they help recover high CPM video ad revenue?
  • 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?

Admiral's Adblock Recovery Module can be used separately, or as part of the full Adblock Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) platform. Request a demo today!

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