Front running service providers to trial ad blocking technology

Written by on June 2, 2016 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

opt-in-ad-blocking3Three UK is planning to trial opt-in ad blocking technology from Shine next month. As mentioned in this recent entry, ad blocking technology at the network level is somewhat controversial, at least from an operator point of view. 3 Three UK however has come out as the very public leader in the pro opt-in ad blocking camp.

“We believe the current mobile advertising model is broken and our customers are becoming increasingly frustrated by irrelevant and intrusive adverts which use up their data allowance and can invade their privacy by tracking their behavior without their knowledge or consent,” the company said in a statement.

Ad blocking has been a big issue for Internet users, who are fed up with slow-loading, overbearing or irrelevant ads disrupting their web browsing. Many are also unhappy about the browsing data that is often collected as part of bigger online advertising services.

There is also a more immediate, financial interest in blocking ads: Large, media-heavy ads are a drain on bandwidth and can count toward the data caps, eating up the data plans, which is a problem for many smartphone users.

PageFair — a company that actually works with publishers and ad companies to display “quality” ads that bypass ad blocking technology — estimated that by June 2015, there were some 198 million people using some form of ad blocking software. It also said that the U.K.’s use of ad blocking was up by 82% in the year, now used by 12 MN users up to June 2015. (In the U.S., ad blocking was used by 45 million users in the same period.) According to a KPMG report cited by 3 Three, 44% of UK adults are planning to download an app to their phone and use an ad-blocking in the next six months.

Opt-in ad blocking at the carrier level is believed to be more effective than solutions on a specific device or browser, or by a specific web publisher — all options that are available today. However, it will also put 3 Three squarely against not just large brands, but the ad tech companies that help brands put their message in front of customers.

The ad black-out will be carried out sometime in the week of June 13, and 3 Three says the trial will “test the ability of the technology to filter out advertising that damages our customers’ mobile browsing experience without impacting their network experience.”

The mobile operator will stop up to 95% of banner and pop-up adverts from appearing on the browsers of smartphones and tablets.  3 Three argues that many mobile adverts are irrelevant and intrusive, and rob users of mobile data they have paid for. The network also argues that some adverts invade the privacy of phone users, and others are simply unwanted.

The network wants to change internet adverts forever by working with the advertising industry itself, plus the brands and publishers which create and host adverts. This, 3 Three claims, will result in “more relevant, less intrusive adverts that increase consumer satisfaction.”

3 Three first announced its opt-in ad blocking plans in February 2016, but was met with criticism. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) said that blocking ads could lead to customers “having to pay for content they currently get for free.”

In a statement, the IAB said it “believes that an ad-funded internet is essential in providing revenue to publishers so they can continue to make their content, services and applications widely available at little, or no cost…we believe ad-blocking undermines this approach and could mean consumers have to pay for content they currently get for free.”

Three UK chief executive Tom Malleschitz said “this is the next step in our journey to make mobile ads better for our customers…[adverts] frustrate customers, eat up their data allowance and can jeopardize their privacy. Something needs to change.”

More here and here.

This article first appeared on PricingDataPlans.

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .

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