Google lost an estimated $6.6 billion to ad blockers last year

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The rise of ad blocking is becoming a serious problem for digital media companies. And for Google, it's turning into a multi-billion dollar issue. PageFair, a company that works with publishers to measure the cost of ad blocking and to help them display less intrusive advertising that can be whitelisted by the ad blockers, estimates that Google lost out on $6.6 billion in global revenue to ad blockers last year. To put that into context, that's 10% of the total revenue Google reported in 2014.

Adblock Plus, one of the most popular ad blockers, does give internet companies the chance for their ads to be whitelisted if they meet an "acceptable ads" policy — which includes what they deem as non-intrusive ads like sponsored search links. But bigger digital advertising companies like Google (as well as Microsoft, Amazon, and Taboola) are made to pay Adblock Plus huge fees — up to 30% of the additional ad revenues they would have made were the ads unblocked, according to The Financial Times. Google has managed to claw back around $3.5 billion by getting on ad blockers' whitelists, but Google is rumored to be paying $25 million to Adblock Plus alone just to do so.

But Google is not necessarily critical of ad blockers, in spite of the threat they pose to its revenue. Earlier this month Google CEO Larry Page was questioned by shareholder at the company's AGM as to whether he was worried about the rise of ad blockers. He responded that the best response to ad blockers from the industry will be to create better ads.

Re: I don't think they are going to get much sympathy... (Score: 1)

by on 2015-07-03 02:32 (#D5JW)

Pretty much same here. I don't mind useful, unobtrusive ads. I don't mind occasional brand-recogntion ads. I do mind being punched repeatedly in the eyeball by the same damn ad everywhere I look. Yeah, I'll remember that brand, all right -- as one to avoid.

I don't bother with AdBlock. Between HOSTS, Prefbar, and NoScript, and occasionally "block images from this server", 99% of the obnoxious stuff fails to penetrate my desktop, and what's left doesn't amount to much.
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