The Washington Post’s decision to block readers who utilise ad blocking software should be applauded, not vilified, by consumers of online content, online content providers and online advertisers, says Hellocomputer digital media director, Klaus Germann, in an email to staff summarising the impact ad blocking software could have on the online publishing industry, and the quality of content.
“Simply, ad blocking software stops advertising messages (banners, strips, pop-ups etc) being served on web and mobi sites,” he said. “Given that the majority of online content providers-publishers fund their businesses through advertising, this effectively erodes their income stream.
“In addition, users are increasingly concerned about privacy, and are refusing to allow cookies or other forms of tracking to access their browsing history, which results in these users being served irrelevant advertising, which in turn contributes to a negative online experience, which could result in the user not returning to that site.
“Combined, these two trends could significantly curtail the online publisher’s revenue streams, and force them to re-design their business model,” he said.
“The Washington Post has gone as far as blocking users using ad blocking software! Don’t get me wrong: that exclamation mark isn’t because I think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s a damn good thing!”
Despite the gloomy undertones of his message, Germann added Hellocomputer’s consumer-centric approach puts it ahead of the curve when it comes to intersecting the right audience at the right time with a decent level of context. This, in conjunction with incorporating more direct communication with potential consumers, puts it and its clients in a strong position to develop successful digital marketing campaigns.
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