How did the Adblockers take the digital ecosystem hostage?

How Adblockers have taken the digital ecosystem hostage
The digital ecosystem involves three main parties: Website publishers who have a digital medium and an audience, advertisers who are looking to promote their products and generate sales online, and Internet users who are looking for ever more regular offers and content. The very strong competitiveness in the media and web sectors requires publishers, in addition to producing quality content, to make the most of their audience and therefore to rely on increasingly varied sources of revenue (also known as monetisation levers), particularly since the arrival of ad blockers, which have a significant impact on their income.

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An Adblocker, also commonly known as an ad blocker, is an extension installed directly by the Internet user on their browser. The rise of Adblockers in recent years has penalised not only advertisers and publishers, but also Internet users who unknowingly receive advertising via their Adblockers. Here is a look back and an explanation of how Adblockers have taken the global advertising market hostage.

An Adblocker: what is it?

The majority of Adblockers come in the form of an extension installed directly on the browser. An Adblocker allows you to block the advertisements that can be displayed when browsing the Internet: advertising in different forms such as banners, interstitials, pop-ups, expands, auto-plays, and many other formats.
Initially, the aim of Adblockers was to combat advertising formats that were considered intrusive and that could hinder the user's browsing experience.

Adblockers: Reasons for success

In 2020, it is estimated that 28% of French Internet users use an Adblocker, specifically 1 in 3 French people have installed an Adblocker on their computer and 1 in 10 on their mobile phone. This rapid growth correlates with the increase in digital advertising investment (+13% investment in digital advertising in Europe vs 2017). Faced with an increasingly competitive market and the decline in publisher revenues and advertisers' return on investment, both parties must redouble their imagination to be seen by the greatest number. Formats are multiplying in order to increase the number of pages viewed and adjust their revenues and performance per medium.

Over-solicited French Internet users therefore turn to Adblockers, thinking that they can avoid any advertising format when browsing and make it more fluid.


Adblockers: consequences and perspectives

One of the first consequences of the rise of Adblockers is of course the significant loss of audience targeting potential for brands, as it is now estimated that 30% of the French audience can no longer see the ads of various advertisers on display. 

The second issue related to the growth of Adblockers is the privacy of Internet users. Adblocks present themselves as the protectors of users' private data with the blocking of third-party cookies that prevent the tracking of the user's web path, but in reality this anti-tracking solution is not checked by default, it is an option that the user must activate himself in most ad blocking extensions. Under the guise of respecting the privacy of users, Adblockers actually collect data about their users.

But what for? To broadcast targeted advertising to their subscribers! Yes, you read that right... Some Adblockers allow "white-listed" branded ads that are considered "acceptable". The reality is much less sexy; the vast majority of brands are taken hostage and end up paying a fee to reach their audience and stay in the competition. 

By positioning themselves as an intermediary player with the control of whether or not to display brand advertisements, Adblockers thus adopt the position of "customs officers" becoming judge and part of this industry.

Between the growing annoyance of Internet users faced with the multiplicity of automated ads and marketing pressure poorly controlled by brands, publishers who see their monetization revenues melting like snow in the sun...adblocking becoming an increasingly common practice also penalizing less aggressive advertisers, it's time to react!


Towards more responsible advertising to last?

To counter this phenomenon, players in the online advertising industry are working with regulatory bodies to propose more respectful, non-intrusive and tolerated advertising practices and standards to refine practices and best practices. Browsers themselves act by regularly adjusting their options and settings.

Alternative solutions have emerged to offer new virtuous models that can realign the interests of brands, content sites and Internet users. To make the bet where the Internet user's choice is above all a priority, where advertising does not finally impact the Internet user in his web reading but addresses him at the right moment, uncorrelated to his web browsing and especially after having been agreed beforehand.

Why did we bet on Web Push Notifications?

Advertisers, Publishers, we have launched the 1st platform for customer conquest and loyalty by Web Push Notifications. This choice-first format"is the first display advertising format to obtain the prior consent of the Internet user. It is also a communication that is displayed directly on the Internet user's terminal and therefore does not require the user to be interrupted in his or her browsing or reading of the web in order to be displayed to him or her.

Faced with an ecosystem that has to reinvent itself, it is becoming essential to educate the Internet user on the advertising market to ensure respect for the individual and their data. Various collectives have thus been created, such as the "Coalition for better ads" and the "digital ad trust", which bring together publishers on the basis of precise quality criteria and support the idea that advertising must accompany content and not the other way round. It is time to reinvent ourselves to create the digital ecosystem of tomorrow, an ecosystem of trust and performance.

  • Editor: activate a decorrelated lever on your website
  • Advertiser: opt for a new "Choice-first" marketing lever.

Shall we discuss it together?

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