Ad blocking is one of the hottest topics in advertising right now. Ad blocker software adoption has been steadily rising (not least because Apple’s Safari browser included it as an option with the October 2015 release of iOS 9).
In this exclusive video from the event, one of those panelists, Daniel Ahiakpor of Vdopia, a programmatic mobile-video ad platform, and Infinitive’s own Jeremy Hines continue the discussion. They talk about just how disruptive ad blocking is, and the pros and cons of various approaches to managing the impacts.
Watch the video now for their take on the problem’s scale and possible solutions:
Ad Blocking’s Impact on the Advertising Industry: New Formats, Focus on UX
An ongoing “arms race” – with publishers figuring out ways around the latest techniques blocking ads, and then ad blocker software firms adding features to defeat those workarounds – means the industry is looking for some sort of long-term solution or standard to address the issue.
Video Stitching: Blocking the Ad Blockers?
Server-side ad insertion, also known as “dynamic ad insertion” or simply “ad stitching,” is a technology that lets publishers stitch their video and ad content together on the CMS level rather than on the level of the browser…
Ad blockers work by scanning pages and using filter lists to block domains that lead to third-party ad servers. The ad blockers can then prevent ads from being served while also letting publisher content through. Server-side ad stitching, however, combines the ad and video content into a single stream, which means that if the ad doesn’t get through, the video itself doesn’t either.
It’s important to note that stream stitching also offers usability and viewer experience benefits beyond blocking the ad blockers. Those benefits include less buffering, consistent video quality from ad to content, and easier delivery of localized or personalized content.
Is consumer access to better data plans part of the solution to delivering more mobile video – as well as delivering more effective ads? Maybe, maybe not. Daniel’s focus on mobile certainly shapes his perspective – ad blocking is simply less prevalent and effective in the mobile channels.
The Importance of UX
Jeremy and Daniel agree that ad blocking is something of a wake-up call for the industry. Its growing popularity underscores the need for user experience improvements to limit the appeal of stopping ads from displaying or playing, as we predicted earlier this year:
[The] rise of ad blockers will force many companies to take another look at both their ad creative and content to improve the user experience as a counter to ad blocker installation.
So what will it take to get viewers to stop using ad blocker tools? Publishers and digital media properties must work to deliver the right ad to the right person at right time in the right context (e.g., while they’re searching). Those ads also need to appear at the right frequency –to avoid marketing fatigue – and without slowing down page load times or otherwise disrupting what users are trying to accomplish.
That sort of user experience is the ultimate “solution.” Obviously, we are a long way from that point today.
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