Apple approves first adblocker that works within mobile apps

“Apple has approved a piece of software for its digital store that enables iPhone users to block advertisements from appearing in mobile apps such as those of Facebook, Yahoo and The New York Times,” Robert Cookson reports for The Financial Times. “Been Choice was launched in the US this month and is more powerful than other types of adblocking software on the market, which are only able to eliminate ads from web pages. The service even prevents Apple delivering ads to its own News app.”

“‘We’re getting into dangerous territory,’ said Ciaran O’Kane, chief executive of Exchange Wire, a digital media analysis company. ‘If app developers can’t make money, there’s going to be a kick back,'” Cookson reports. “Marketers will spend almost $69bn this year on mobile ads, according to research group eMarketer.”

“To make money, Been Choice plans to allow users to sell their data through the app. The company is offering to pay people $20 a month if they consent to being shown ads and allow Been Choice to collect information about how they use their devices,” Cookson reports. “Mr Yoon said the company gives users ‘a clear choice’ about whether they want to block ads or share in the value created by their data.”

“The ethics of adblocking has spurred intense debate in recent weeks. Marco Arment, creator of Peace, a popular adblocker for the Safari web browser, last month pulled its software from Apple’s app store,” Cookson reports. “Mr Arment wrote in a blogpost explaining the decision that while blockers ‘benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some [including many media companies] that don’t deserve to be hit.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring it on! The quicker the shit hits the fan, the quicker the solutions will arise.

Apple’s ad-blocking move causes big problems for retailers’ online stores – September 24, 2015
Rush Limbaugh: What Apple’s iOS 9 ad-blockers will unleash – September 21, 2015
iOS 9 adblocker apps top App Store charts; developer pulls ‘Peace’ adblocker – September 18, 2015
iOS 9 content blocking will transform the mobile Web – August 24, 2015
Apple’s iOS 9 ad blocking threatens Google’s lifeblood – August 14, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. The add companies have created their own problem, similar to the music industry of old. If you make beautiful enjoyable ads people won’t object. But if you bombard us with garbage – we want to block it! (MDN is a very enjoyable read with ad block on.)

  1. Misleading- this is using VPN and a part of multiple apps that did the same thing a long time ago.
    If you don’t mind all your data being trafficked through someones server go ahead!

  2. “‘We’re getting into dangerous territory,’ said Ciaran O’Kane, chief executive of Exchange Wire, a digital media analysis company. ‘If app developers can’t make money, there’s going to be a kick back,’” Cookson reports.

    How about this:
    Stop giving away your apps for free and start selling them without ads. As to website apps- go to a subscription model. I do not want to be faced with ads while reading the news or playing a casual game.

    I hate ad supported anything.

  3. Anyone remember when cable tv first came out? The big selling point was commercial free tv due to requiring a subscription for subsidizing the content. Commercials creeped in anyway and now there’s no difference other than a myriad of channels of garbage programming.

    Advertisers have abused the tool to the point people are tired of seeing ads, and I am glad that there is finally a push back. They started the war with the evil pop-up ads on the web, and now they’re going to cry because people don’t want their pop-ups in the apps they use?

    I would much rather pay a little more for an app, than get a free app that eats up my data plan by downloading ads all day.

    1. It’s the same with DVDs. They include adverts for other movies which can’t be fast forwarded through. There is absolutely no excuse for abusing their customers in that way.

      The advertising business is spoiling everything it touches. They simply don’t understand the concept of behaving reasonably.

  4. Why are these people bitching about their ads being blocked? It’s not as though Apple’s iOS has major smartphone market share. Those people’s ads will still get through on Android, so it’s not as though they’ll never make any money from ads. I’m fairly certain consumers don’t really care much for ads and probably don’t click on them anyway. If consumers are in favor of ad blockers, then there should be no need to complain about Apple giving consumers the means to avoid ads.

    Can’t there be at least one platform that isn’t bombarded by ads? Surely Google will never allow ad-blocking on Android so such a popular platform should be sufficient for businesses to make money from. However, I’m not sure MDN will be able to survive on mobile with all the freaking ads they have plastered all over the place. I disabled my ad-blocker for MDN and now I hardly notice the ads anymore.

    1. The vast majority of Android devices sold are inexpensive devices sold to people who can’t or won’t spend money on software or high-end devices, people who are far less likely to click on an ad and buy something. The advertisers would much rather have ads on iDevices, bought by people who are more likely to spend some cash.

      Developers who create apps for both iOS and Android make more money from their iOS sales even though there are far more Android devices sold. I’m sure it works the same way for advertisers.

      If a free app I use has a paid, ad free option, I pay. I don’t ever click on ads except by accident.

  5. ““Mr Arment wrote in a blogpost explaining the decision that while blockers ‘benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some [including many media companies] that don’t deserve to be hit.’”

    Isn’t this like saying that you should not put locks on your doors and windows because people boosting your personal property need to earn a living too???

    1. So the public will be Black Mailed into paying for something no one wants, just so you can make a buck…. find another career, or just simply SELL you product for a fair price and everyone’s happy. Oh, ok, I get it, crappy code and apps won’t sell, so they’re unleashed upon the general public to the benefit of bad developers with bad ideas. There was life before the inet and smart phones and web and apps, my wife has already sworn off these impediments to truly enjoying life…. I can, too, and only come in contact with all the BS when I’m at work,… so Go Ahead…, Make My Day!

  6. We’re getting into dangerous territory

    We’re already in dangerous territory. If websites cannot control the advertising on their websites and end up ABUSING their visitors with Bad Ads and commandeering user’s web browsers in order to dump them at ad campaign websites…

    Then OF COURSE Internet surfers are going to arm themselves with ad blockers.

    CONCLUSION: RESPECT YOUR PAGE VISITORS and POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS! Kill off the bad and abusive advertising OR get the hell off the Internet!

  7. Been® Choice appears to have gotten the mix right. It uses a well considered whitelisting system.

    1) User opt-in ability for ads at favored websites and using favored apps (which of course access favored websites).

    2) Benefits to users beyond good will when opting-in to ads.

    3) Effective blocking when you want it.

    As ever, the lazy, cheap and stupid way to market is to abuse the potential customer. Just ask the dickheads behind MacKeeper, the scourge (IMHO) of the Internet using Mac community. What’s smart, thoughtful, caring and great for a company’s reputation is to RESPECT the potential customer at all times. That’s what Apple does!

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