Mobile purchases are up and so are ad blockers
With ad-blockers soaring in popularity, some are wondering whether mobile advertising is in trouble and subsequently m-commerce.
The debate arrived after the release of Apple’s new iOS that made it possible to block ads in Safari browsers.
On his blog, Jason Calacanis, a popular tech blogger and angel investor, said that compared to desktops, ad blockers are more useful on mobile since iPhones’ screens are five to ten percent the size of desktops and more challenged with bandwidth.
"So publishers putting up a roadblock on the content, then asking you to use your fat fingers to hit the tiny little X or ‘skip the ad in 4… 3… 2… 1…’ is just overbearing," wrote Mr. Calacanis. "Mobile advertising is so ugly and intrusive, it actually makes people AVOID mobile browsing."
Felix Salmon, a senior editor at Fusion, the TV and digital network, believes the popularity of ad blockers shows mobile users are "very annoyed." Virtual pop-ups that force mobile users to watch an entire commercial and other "ever more dastardly ad units" are ruining the mobile experience, he asserted.
In a shared column for MediaLife, however, Gene Ely, the magazine’s editor and publisher, and Rebecca Harris, a digital strategist at Brand Cottage, wrote that the uproar over ad blockers is an overreaction based on "some very flawed assumptions." The big one is that ad-supported media is suddenly being rejected to a strong degree. They saw the ad-blocker’s popularity as proof that advertising, particularly digital, is "awful, utterly absent of any creativity or imagination" and felt ad-blockers could give internet advertising overall "a good housecleaning."
Ethical arguments also abound, specifically tacit agreement given to view ads in exchange for free content. Peace app developer, Marco Arment, denied this, telling the Guardian that consumers’ "data, battery life, time, and privacy are taken by a blank check with no recourse."
Predictions arrived earlier this year that m-commerce, fueled by mobile advertising, would see rapid growth over the next few years, assuming retailers improve targeting. Without advertisements, however, can they sell? If their advertisements antagonize, can they sell?
In many ways, mobile ads are no different to those in any other medium. Exciting ads encourage sales, irritating ads discourage sales. As Mr. Salmon suggests, ads should use respect rather than irritation.
"Ad-blockers, if we’re lucky, will put an end to the unedifying ad tech arms race," wrote Mr. Salmon. "Let’s hope that from here on out, the best creative, rather than the worst technology, will win."
- Apple’s brilliant assault on advertising — and Google – Linkedin
- Can ad blockers put an end to the ad tech arms race? – The Guardian
- iOS adblocker apps shoot to top of charts on day one – The Guardian
- Ad blockers. Ad smockers. Phooey. – Medialife
- Statistics on mobile usage and adoption to inform your mobile marketing strategy – Smartinsights
- M-commerce driving rapid mobile internet growth – Fierce Retail
- Mobile internet to be worth more than Apple by 2018 – TechCrunch
- Apple’s ad-blocking move causes big problems for retailers like Walmart – Fortune
How do you see ad blockers affecting m-commerce transactions? As consumers increase their use of mobiles for shopping, how likely are ad blockers to impact sales?