Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.

Thank Goodness For Ad Blockers?

By Nathan Skid | October 17, 2016 | 4:35

Is ad blocking the realization of an altruistic ideal or naïve disruption of an already fragile ecosystem?

Well, that depends on who you ask.

For publishers, ad blocking prevents them from earning revenue on about a third of desktop audiences. For ad buyers, blocking means a loss of reach. And for advertisers, ad blocking makes it that much harder to serve the right ads to the right audience at the most opportune time.

The only business to benefit in the battle of ad blocking seems to be Adblock Plus, which charges the biggest online players a fee to participate in its program to let certain “acceptable” ads through.

And if that wasn’t enough, Adblock Plus now plans to sell those acceptable ads itself and serve them around the web.

If the road to hell is paved in good intentions, Adblock Plus might be pouring the cement.

The only certainty when it comes to ad blocking is its growing popularity. Some 86.6 million U.S. consumers, or 32% of web users, will use ad blockers in 2016, according to eMarketer up from just 69.8 in 2016.