/ Advertising

On adblock and business

After Apple opened iOS9 to add-blocking apps, the tech community has been in a bit of an uproar. As they are wont to do, bloggers and pundits have escalated the conflict between those who want to serve ads and those who don't want to see them to the status of war.

I get the desire of advertisers to serve media, even somewhat forcibly, upon consumers. Their business model depends on impressions and clicks. Thus, if served content is blocked and isn't seen by the end-user, they can't make money. Their emotional backlash against smart programmers thwarting their attempts to deliver ads is certainly understandable, if not justified.

Markets behave in unexpected ways, certainly to the dismay of content producers and their advocates. Benedict Evans of Andreessen-Horowitz recently tweeted

While his sentiment resonates with me, the market demand for ad blocking software ([Crystal](http://crystalapp.co) is more popular that Minecraft right now on the Apple App Store) screams lound and clear that users don't want to see ads. Their motivations, reasons, excuses, and morality is irrelevant (even if it is upsetting) - they simply don't want to see banner advertising on principle.

Instead of pushing back with code to trick or defeat the adblock software or arguments or pleas for consumers to tolerate ads - no matter how reasonable those arguments may be - why don't they listen to the voices of the masses and pivot? If a business model doesn't work, it seems like the only two possible outcomes are failure or reinvention.

"There's always been a lag in advertising catching up as media has evolved" says Joe Marchese of Advanced Advertising at Fox Networks. Once again, technology has outpaced traditional advertising and its evolution necessitates a fundamental change in how producers spread the word about goods and services among consumers. Advertisers need to stop pleading for adblock whitelists and put their energy into building something people love, not forcing them to choke down something they hate.

Joe Marchese – The Future of Advertising from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.