Publishers are the heart of the internet. In order to produce the content we depend on for information, entertainment, and commerce, they must be able to make a living. Most depend on advertising for revenue. Most surveys put the number of US internet users with an ad blocker between 12% and 30%, resulting in millions of dollars of lost publisher revenue every year.
We’re happy to say that the entire Sovrn network has been whitelisted by the Acceptable Ads initiative. That’s why we’re introducing //Unblock, our Acceptable Ads integration. Now, publishers with //Unblock will be able to unlock revenue from readers who have opted into the program.
To learn more and unlock revenue with //Unblock, click here.
What is Acceptable Ads?
The Acceptable Ads program allows readers using approved ad blockers to opt in to viewing curated ads that don’t disrupt their browsing experience. The alliance that enables Acceptable Ads makes up approximately 75% of all ad block users, and includes Adblock and Adblock Plus, two of the most popular extensions in the world. A full 83% of Adblock and Adblock Plus users choose to participate in Acceptable Ads. This shows that most internet users understand the important role advertising plays in keeping the internet free—they just want a better advertising experience.
When a reader participating in the Acceptable Ads program visits a site, they will see advertising in specialized ad units that are recognized by participating ad blockers as Acceptable Ads-compliant. Readers who have whitelisted a site or do not use an adblocker are totally unaffected.
What is //Unblock?
//Unblock is our Acceptable Ads integration. It allows publishers to pass creatives to readers who have opted in, thereby unlocking crucial revenue. Even better, we’re delivering //Unblock directly through //Connect. That’s our super-lightweight, no-latency, universal delivery system. Publishers already using //Connect won’t have a lengthy or complicated installation process, and they won’t see increased latency on their sites. Publishers who don’t already have //Connect will go through a simple onboarding process that gives them access to other services.
We’d prefer to focus our time and effort on building great products that can guarantee our publishers revenue. By joining the Acceptable Ads initiative at a network level and offering //Unblock, we’re able to offer a streamlined way to ensure that our 40,000+ publishers can earn advertising revenue in a way that benefits both them and their readers. Publishers can quickly and easily opt in to the Acceptable Ads initiative. Once they do, they’ll be able to easily tap into this revenue source.
Why we’re doing this
We’ve spent a lot of time investigating a wide range of potential solutions to this problem. Generally, publishers try a combination of a few common strategies:
- staying one step ahead of ad blockers by trying to outsmart the tools they use to identify ad tech-related code on a website. While these coding workarounds can work in the short term, ad blockers usually plug those holes fairly quickly. Publishers must then spend more time and money on tools that unblock ads—which will themselves be inevitably rendered obsolete.
Not only do these publishers spend time and money, but they’re actively ignoring the wishes of their readers, which can negatively impact reader experience.
- completely blocking readers from accessing a site if they are using an ad blocker, and showing them a message that informs them they have to turn it off to access the page. This leads to bounced traffic (especially from new readers), and less revenue for publishers.
- displaying a message to readers who have an ad blocker, and prompting them to unblock ads. This is a solution we currently offer through Adblock Unlock, and while it can be effective (and more effective than completely blocking access), it’s still dependent on a one-off message to entice readers to drop their blocker. If you’re a reader, you’re exposed to these messages on a site-by-site basis, which fails to provide a seamless experience.
We don’t think this is sustainable. The ad industry has been engaged in a costly, labor-intensive, and ultimately endless arms race that benefits no one. We think the internet should be free for readers. We think that publishers should be rewarded for creating content. And we think that a healthy advertising ecosystem that respects reader preference is the best way to accomplish both of those goals.
We also think it’s important that we offer our publishers as many revenue options as we can, and give them the ability to choose the products that work for them. While we’ve been involved with Eyeo, the directors of the Acceptable Ads initiative, for some time, this expansion of our partnership is an important step in giving publishers and their readers more control over their internet experience.
We’re confident that partnerships focused on improving the health of the entire online ecosystem are good for publishers, readers, and advertisers. This is yet another step towards a better internet for everyone.
To unlock revenue from blocked ads with //Unblock, sign up here.