June 23, 2015
Safari to Block Ads
In a move guaranteed to make the advertising industry more than a little nervous, tech giant Apple has recently unveiled that they are incorporating their popular ad-blocking technology into their iOS 9 version of the Safari web browser. We all know that the most obnoxious parts of our internet experience are the insidious, continuous ads inundating us constantly. Safari is about to make this a thing of the past with the incorporation of certain extensions.
A Blow to Advertisers
Many advertisers and their subsidiaries depend upon these ads, their clicks and the cookies they create for not just their own income but to target ads to their customer base more effectively and even to coordinate and design future campaigns. iOS users have long been able to block ads, however, this is the first time that the extensions have been incorporated into the Safari browser.
In addition to being able to merely block ads, the new Safari extensions will allow users to block cookies, images and pop-ups, among other things. This will give users virtual carte blanche when it comes to controlling their internet experience.
While a good thing for users, it’s a huge problem for publishers and advertisers alike. Safari controls a full 55% of the online browsing traffic. If even 10% of their users incorporate the new extensions into their browsing experience, it could cost millions.
The bottom line is that the Safari brand incorporates a huge market share when it comes to web browsing technology. The shift in marketability of ads may end up costing some sites their ability to break even, let alone make a profit. This could potentially reduce the percentage of sites who offer free content, as ads are often a primary revenue source.
It’s possible that consumers don’t fully realize the trade-off they get in exchange for their momentary inconvenience in dealing with advertisements on the web. Most surfers of the net would be reluctant to pay even a small fee for access to their favorite content. However, they don’t seem to realize that someone has to foot the bill for the things they see for free.
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The Cost of Surfing?
Is it possible that the implications of these new Safari extensions could profoundly change the face of the internet for everyone? The truth of the matter is that it could. Most online publishers aren’t making huge profits as it stands. Companies like Google, who offer publishers an income source through advertising, may take a big hit if consumers jump on the ad-free bandwagon.
Sites may have to shut down entirely if they can’t stay in the black with their ad revenue, while others may be forced to reduce content or charge membership fees.