Sourcepoint CEO Ben Barokas recently spoke about the future of digital content and ad blocking during a digital advertising panel hosted by AdAge. Barokas discussed a future vision of “compensation consent” and “compensation choice”, in which publishers would ask consumers to accept an ad-supported experience or allow them to opt out, offering additional choice on how to pay for content.
Barokas proposed forming a consortium of publishers to allow bundling of ad-free content. Consumers could potentially pay a monthly fee to access content, which would also catalogue user preferences across devices. He analogized the model as a Netflix or PayPal for media content.
Forty-two percent of consumers said they were “planning to pay for new solutions to remove ad interruptions” in the next year, according to an Accenture Digital Consumer study of 28,000 people in 28 countries.
Consumers were most willing to pay for long-form video content, with three-quarters of respondents saying they would pay for video content if there were fewer ad interruptions.
French publishers have seen early success in a collective action experiment against ad blocking. During the weeklong test, publishers in France took various approaches to deal with ad block users, ranging from polite messaging to content locking.
News site Le Figaro experimented with blurring articles to those with blockers installed and saw 20% of users whitelist the site during the trial. Sports daily newspaper, L’Equipe, blocked content entirely for ad block users and saw the highest percentage of ad blockers whitelist the site — about 40%. Le Figaro, L’Equipe, and others have said they will continue to experiment.
Over one-quarter of British web users will use ad blocking software by the end of 2017, according to an eMarketer report.The report also suggested the growth in ad blocking will largely be contained to desktop computers, with only a small number of Internet users in the UK utilizing mobile ad blockers.
In 2014, 9.5% of UK Internet users – at that time about 5 million – had installed adblocking software. That will have doubled to 18.5% – about 11 million – by the end of 2016.