To block, or not to block – that is the question

Ad blockers are nothing new to most desktops, almost every modern browser that I’m aware of has some sort of option, plugin or extension that allows us to block advertisements while surfing the web.

An interesting topic (debate?) has emerged in the news and social media now that iOS 9 has dropped, which is the newly added feature Apple has included in mobile Safari to allow for third-party applications to filter and remove advertisements.

So what’s at stake?

For the consumer

On the plus side, you save in bandwidth, but how much is really up for debate. I have no idea, nor any way to measure, how much of my browsing is advertising versus content.  From home,  ads are blocked so it’s not a big deal.

For the website owner

It’s a negative, right? Many sites offer premium content at no charge, relying on advertising clickthroughs or page impressions to cover operational costs. I did this for a long while on a privately hosted blog to offset the costs to run the server, and the bandwidth.

This probably hurts small sites more than more than larger sites such as news publications that also bring in revenue from print and television commercials.

Conclusions and thoughts

I really hadn’t thought much about this until I started seeing discussions online. On one hand, advertisements can be extremely anoying. On the other hand, if I’m visiting a site and enjoying the content without having to pay a penny, are they so bad? As long as the advertisement doesn’t jump up full screen or start to auto-play some garbage, I think I can deal with them in support of the site.

Bottom line? With bandwidth not being an issue (and a seemingly implausable excuse) I don’t think I’ll be blocking ads on my mobile devices. I may not click on the ads, unless on accident, but maybe the pageviews alone can help.


Wired: Please don’t block our ads
NRP: With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Publishers?

One thought on “To block, or not to block – that is the question

  1. It would be interesting to measure how much revenue it would bring the average adblocker user. I have the feeling advertisers are worrying about potential revenue that it’s not really there anyways.

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