With the advent of ‘content-blocking’ in iOS 9, I run an adblock on all my devices* – desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet. Like several hundred million other people, I see next-to-no display adverts on the web. After a few days it becomes so normal to see the online world without ads that it’s a genuine shock when you have to turn your adblocker off.
Assuming that adblocker usage grows and isn’t negated by in-app advertising (e.g. in Facebook and Twitter) or native ads (e.g. in Buzzfeed), who does this favour? Could it be the biggest ‘legacy’ brands from Proctor and Gamble and Heinz who can afford to run expensive, unblockable ad campaigns during live TV events, along with outdoor display advertising? After all, I can’t run an adblocker on my eyes quite yet, so I still see billboards and posters and store promotions – most of which seem to be for the biggest and oldest brands.
Perhaps their ultimate advantage will be small. Adblocker uptake on mobile devices won’t be significant for a few years, which is plenty of time for big and small companies to find alternatives. Although I’m not sure what the alternative will be when we have heads-up displays that do block ads.
*I offset my guilt about this by spending quite a bit of money on subscriptions and memberships