Battling Ad Block Software: Business Insider, Google, and More

Analyzing approaches to ad block software; plus, how digital publishers are handling Facebook Live

Ad block software continues to confound the digital publishing industry, but progress is being made as we see the results of various tactics to block ad blockers. Native ads, direct appeals, and other attempts to mitigate ad blocking programs are finding some success, but there’s no question that the issue will be sticking around for a long while.

This is definitely a concern for digital magazines that rely exclusively on digital advertising revenue, but it also gives them the opportunity to experiment with multiplatform strategy in an effort to become more diversified. has recent coverage on the subject. Let’s see what the latest is.

Business Insider Plots Paywall and Defense Against Ad Block Software

Business Insider is testing tactics to take on the industry’s challenges in an effort to generate revenue from both digital advertising and subscriptions, reports.

“The company plans to test those ambitions, starting this week, with a ‘small,’ randomly selected group of readers, who will be prompted to subscribe to Business Insider. As is standard with so-called metered paywalls, the readers selected for this test will get an allotment of free articles. Multiple meter levels will be tried, starting at 10 free stories. For those impacted, the meter will re-start every 30 days,” Jeremy Barr writes.

“These selected users will see the subscription message three times, at the beginning of the test, at the mid-point of their free story allotment, and with one story remaining. … At the same time, Business Insider is getting tough with ad-blockers. Also starting this week, readers that have installed and enabled an ad blocker will be told to either whitelist Business Insider’s website or pay up for a subscription, the same one offered to the small group of paywall-testers. (The New York Times is experimenting with a similar, whitelist-or-pay approach, which CEO Mark Thompson said in June is seeing results.)”

Where Does Google Stand When It Comes to Ad Block Software?

Google’s relationship with Adblock Plus has the industry asking questions, reports.

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“[A]long with the intrusive pop-ups and tracking cookies that drive people to block ads, the web is marked by an unusual concentration of power at just two companies: Google and Facebook. Many participants in the internet economy are nervous about the duopoly’s ability to set the terms online. Now what they—especially Google—do next could potentially steer the outcome of this conflict for better or for worse,” George Slefo writes.

“Adblock Plus has actually had a good thing going with Google until now, charging it and other major players to participate in its Acceptable Ads program. Adblock Plus, a for-profit enterprise, says it takes a 30% cut for letting those ads through. (Smaller publishers take part for free.) Although it’s unclear how much money Google is kicking in, it’s bound to be covering a big chunk of the bills for Eyeo, the maker of Adblock Plus. Then earlier this month, Adblock Plus bungled the announcement of its plan to create its own ad exchange through a partnership with a company called ComboTag. Dubbed the Acceptable Ads Platform, initial reports said Google and AppNexus would supply ads to it, news that left marketers with their mouths open.”

Digital Publishers Adjust Facebook Live Activity

Publishers’ Facebook Live strategies are still evolving, reports.

“Facebook wants users of its Facebook Live streaming service, including media publishers, to “go live frequently,” so as to maintain a steady stream of offerings and grow a base of consistent viewers, as encouraged in an online “tips” page. But just how often to really use Facebook Live is a question with which publishers are grappling,” Barr writes.

“According to research conducted for Ad Age by the social media analytics company Socialbakers, Facebook Live broadcasts for the top 500 media companies by audience seemed to peak in June at 5,385 broadcasts, then decline in July with 3,986 and August with 3,926. The overall trend is one of growth, though, a data analyst for the company said.”

Are you fighting back against ad block software? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

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