Mobile advertising: should advertisers be concerned about iOS 9 ad blockers?

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Partner Post - Addict Mobile - Mobile Media Buying Technology

Posted: November 26, 2015

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Claire is Addict Mobile Marketing Manager, the first 100% profit-oriented mobile media agency. With over 5 years experience, Addict Mobile provides mobile campaign management across the world: strategy, materials creation and localization, campaign optimization (pre-targeting, A / B testing, post-targeting) and real-time dashboard. Thanks to our technology, we are able to buy from more than 250 acquisition sources and ensure positive ROI. We currently manage $1+ million marketing budget monthly for international brands and top grossing applications.  
The latest update of Apple mobile operating system accepts applications that block advertising content on mobile. Indeed, iOS 9 lets you install extensions to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups and other content in a fast and efficient way. Should advertisers be concerned about this update?
Why Apple decided to take a stand against mobile advertising?
Unlike Google, Apple business model is not based on advertising and has already protested against advertisements. For example, Safari, the browser developed by Apple (similar to Google Chrome and Firefox), blocks cookies by default to avoid Internet users being traced. Thus, it seems natural that Apple accepted ad blockers on its mobile store. On the contrary, Google Play Store does not accept ad blockers, probably because the majority of Google’s revenue comes from advertising.
Are these new ad blockers dangerous for advertisers?
These ad-blocking applications have been available early September on the Appstore (1Blocker, Adios). After having downloaded the application, users should activate the Safari extension to remove advertising content. But ad blockers for iOS 9 are only available as extensions for Safari, they are solely applicable to mobile web traffic. Thus, ad blockers are unable to remove advertising content within apps. Since apps account for 90% of time spent on mobile, advertisers should not be concerned about this type of ad blockers.
However, a new type of ad-blocking application has been controversial, which promises not only to block ads from mobile web traffic, but also within apps. For example, the app Been Choice removes all ads contained on your mobile device. How does it work? After downloading and activating the application on a smartphone, users traffic is routed through Been Choice’s servers, which perform a deep content inspection, remove ads and send back the content (without ads) to the user.
Finally, Apple took the decision to remove Been Choice from the App Store for many reasons:

  • A lack of security: Been Choice has access to users traffic and all related information such as purchases and passwords.
  • Contrary to the interests of Internet giants: this application removes ads from Apple News, New York Times, and even from Facebook (native ads). As long as in-app ad blockers are against digital giants’ interests, they will not be sustainable in the long term.

So far ad blockers do not represent a threat for the promotion of mobile applications.
Nevertheless, mobile users continue to believe that ads are sometimes intrusive and they do not like the idea of being routed, especially without their explicit consent. It may be time to think about a new advertising model.
How to improve reputation of advertising on mobile?

  • Use native formats: Native advertising matches the form and function of the app on which it appears. Thus, users handle advertising as a new content in their information flow. For example: Facebook Ads, Twitter or Yahoo Ads, sponsored content within media stream, etc. Native formats are often considered as non-intrusive ads contrary to other more traditional formats.


  • Reward mobile users: Some applications offer the possibility to turn off data tracing, or to turn it on to earn rewards like vouchers for Amazon or PayPal. Been Choice already offers this kind of contract between users and major brands.

You can visit the Addict Mobile website here.

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