Apple’s support of mobile ad blocking may upend how the web works

“Apple is coming for ads. It’s coming for publishers. And, in the process, it may be gunning for the web,” Julia Greenberg reports for Wired. “Buried in documentation released after the [WWDC 205] conference, the company revealed another update to iOS 9 — app developers will be able to create ad blocking software for Safari’s mobile browser.”

“Ads don’t exist just to track and annoy consumers. For publishers and entertainment sites, ads pay the bills,” Greenberg reports. “Google depends almost entirely on ads for revenue. By one estimate, the giant may be losing billions of dollars from these kind of browser blocking extensions. Google has tried to fight back by blocking AdBlock Plus — one of the most popular ad blocking browser extensions — in 2013, but, ultimately the company has reportedly opted for paying the service to save its search ads. By incorporating its own ad block capabilities in Safari, Apple could be kneecapping its archrival while innocently claiming its just trying to improve the user experience.”

“If Apple does truly want to get users out of browsers and into its apps, it will need to have publishers and entertainers on board. And the best way to do that may be to force those content creators into a position where they stand to make the most money if they allow Apple to serve as the conduit to their audiences,” Greenberg reports. “While Apple may be fine with blocking ads in Safari, there’s no indication it plans to block ads in its new News app. The company may be betting that if it can make bringing in revenue on mobile even more difficult for publishers, then everyone will be more willing to publish stories directly within News… if more ad blocking does make publishers more dependent on third-party platforms such as Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles, and Snapchat Discover, it could help consolidate those companies’ power as gatekeepers to determine what qualifies as news. While big publishers likely won’t suffer under such a regime, the little guys that form the fabric of the web may slowly start to fade.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hoo boy.

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SEE ALSO:

How Apple’s mobile ad-blocker could backfire on the company and iPhone, iPad users – June 12, 2015
iOS 9 lets app developers make ad blockers for Safari – June 10, 2015

32 Comments

  1. The ad networks have nobody to blame but themselves for having their market overturned. They do a really poor job of vetting ads. Ads should not have code in them supplied by the advertiser. There are far too many exploits that happen because some ad service allowed malware into their ad network. A friend of mine, who is not very tech savvy, fell for one of those scams where the ad site injects a pop up that tells you you have a virus and you must call Apple at a number. Except it’s of course not Apple; it’s a scammer waiting to let you let them into your computer so they can take it over an install their crapware and get your credit card info. This is illegal, yet ad services allow this company to advertise on their networks.

    The ad networks have to stop being #&%@ and take responsibility for vetting and cleaning up their ads or they will die along with a lot of independent websites as ad blocking becomes more popular.

  2. Interesting.. Apple has their own iAd sales and now is reported to openly support ad-blocking.. Seems somewhat a conflict of interest.. I would think the companies buying ads on Apples iAd now will think a little harder about buying ad space.

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