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Adblocking: how should publishers respond?

Charlotte Jee | Nov. 6, 2015
Adblock Plus' main investor believes at least half of online surfers could be using adblockers in the next several years.

Schumacher defends the decision to charge publishers for inclusion, saying 90 percent of companies don't have to pay and only big, international conglomerates are forced to cough up.

"The whole exercise of monitoring is expensive and a lot of work. There might be other, better models but ours is that the big guys pay for everyone. We don't see how that's wrong," he says.

So what should publishers do to get around the potential for adverts to get blocked or being blacklisted?

"We're not against advertising," Schumacher says slightly impishly.

"I think publishers need to think outside the box about other ways of monetising their audience, including about advertising," he adds.

One approach could be to publish clearly marked 'sponsored stories' or other forms of native advertising content, Schumacher suggests.

"Publishers should not let ad agencies, ad networks or their own internal sales department dictate how they make their product, that's the crucial point.

"They need to focus a lot more on user experience...we [Adblock Plus] really just see ourselves as the guardian of the user," he says.

How worried is he about the threat of more lawsuits from publishers?

Schumacher is ebullient on that point: "Adblock is self-funded, no VCs [venture capitalists]. We are profitable. We're earning enough money to feed a staff of about 40 and finance all the nasty lawsuits...we could have another five of them and it still wouldn't kill us."


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