A Brave new world and the way ahead in the ad blocking wars

Written by on April 7, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Ad blocking warsYou would be forgiven for thinking that we are slightly obsessed about the advertising world. We are not alone. Many industry observers are fascinated by the ad blocking vs advertising battle. Now, browsers such as Brave, and add-ons such as Redmorph are appearing that might shed some light on the future.

Brave has incorporated bitcoin into their browser. The reason being that they are not simply blocking adverts but – ultimately – trying to help advertisers understand what customers want to watch and experience. You can, if you want, block adverts. Or, you can elect to get paid for watching adverts, although you have to click a button to deselect giving the money back to the publisher. The functionality is called Brave Ledger.

Although possibly quite a blunt instrument – and again raises issues about why ad blockers should be judge and jury over adverts – it will hopefully show the way for the advertising industry.

There is no getting away from the fact that most customers dislike adverts on mobiles. They take up storage, use up battery and account – according to our feature by John Strand – for 20 percent of our data traffic. So, an advert has to be pretty compelling, entertaining – and relevant – for us to want to watch it.

It is as if the likes of Google and Facebook have become lazy with our data. We click ‘agree’ and they feel they can run amok with it.

Perhaps this is changing.

Perhaps companies such as Brave, Redmorph and others are beginning to become champions for the customer. Perhaps these and other initiatives to get back control of our data, will influence Google and the others, into allowing customers to say what they want digital service providers to be able to do with it.

We tend, in almost every instance of a new technology and its associated fanaticism and reaction, to go from one extreme of a pendulum swing to the other. Almost always we end up in the middle, a compromise between commercial zeal and customer requirements.

Let us hope this is the case with the advertising vs ad blocking battle. In this case, the potential to really switch customers off is very real. Thus the risk to those companies whose businesses are based on advertising is also very real.

This swinging pendulum has the potential to teach the commercially driven companies that the customer actually is, ultimately, king.

And they should learn from what they want, not try to force unwanted adverts down their throats. That is short-sighted indeed.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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