It may come as a surprise to some of you that a company who has made a name for themselves, not only in title but in function, blocking ads will now turn the paradigm around and begin to sell ads. But that is exactly the change that is coming to Adblock Plus. Where they used to strip the internet of obnoxious and oversized ads Adblock Plus will now replace the bad, bulky, and intrusive ads with good ads, those they deem smaller, better, and over all less frustrating to users.
Ben Williams, Adblock Plus’ operations and communications director is excited about the change that is coming to the Adblock ad Marketplace. The general idea is to allow websites and blogs the ability to go to the ad marketplace, pick out those they see as being more “acceptable” ads and place these on their site instead. Where there may have been a big invasive ad before you will now be able to find the Adblock ad instead hopefully increasing revenue from the site or blog.
Williams is convinced the method will work for those who take the time to consider the possible benefits of such a system. He explains that, “it allows you to treat the two different ecosystems completely differently and monetize each one, and crucially, monetize the ad blockers on on their own terms.”
The overall idea is to give users a sense of control over the ads their viewers interact with which in turn can lead to more views and more importantly more desired clicks.
Back in 2011 Adblock started running what they call the Acceptable Ads program to which the marketplace has become an extension. It was then that Adblock began a process of “Whitelisting” ads they approved this way there will still be ads even when the ad blocker is being used.
Williams stressed the new ads will be available in a much wider scope. Where as the current process to get approved takes considerable time, thus limiting the amount of sites who can use the program, the new system, using the marketplace, will allow users to quickly select and implement the code of their choosing.
Making implementation simpler for users there are Adblock guidelines that don’t allow the ads to track visitors activity from site to site, further more the location of the ad placement will be limited to predetermined locations and dimensions.
Despite the fact many bloggers will see the benefits of this program many still are concerned about having Adblock as a gatekeeper of sorts when it comes to individual sites marketing. The publisher will still have to pay a tiny percentage to Adblock.
Publishers will get to keep 80% of the ad revenue generated by the marketplace ads leaving 20% to be divided up between other parties. At the end of the day Adblock walks away with 6% of total ad revenue.
Williams is aware some users may not be happy with the system at first but he thinks that it is a good solution for a problem that was essentially unavoidable, “Ad blocking would have happened with or without us,” stated Williams. “What we were able to do is try and reverse the spread of 100 percent black-and-white ad blocking, blocking everything … Acceptable ads was a pivot toward what we think is better.”
Adblock is not stopping here. Over the course of the next year they will be partnering with advertisers, publishers and privacy advocates in order to form a fuller and more beneficial set of Acceptable Ad guidelines.