Story 2015-07-02 D2QM Google lost an estimated $6.6 billion to ad blockers last year

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

in google on (#D2QM)
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.
Reply 11 comments

No it didn't (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 09:04 (#D2T7)

In the bad old days, before Firebird ( now Firefox ), that stopped site's stupid never-ending chain of, I was already cutting back on my web usage. I can assure your, if there were no ad blockers, most of the web would be unusable by now, and I would spend more time in the "great blue room" (outside).

Re: No it didn't (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 09:15 (#D2TP)

I know it's bad form to reply to myself, but I want to rant a little bit :)

I can't understand how people pay to have their brand associated with this kind of Add Networks! I mean, who want buy something with a name/brand they associate with annoying spam?


Re: No it didn't (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-04 13:02 (#D9RK)

If all your competition also associates with annoying ad networks you don't have to worry that much about brand damage, so it becomes pick the ad network with the biggest payoff. Pop ups click throughs, auto playing ads, etc. all get more eyes (and are thus worth more) than unobtrusive ads on the side of the page.

They lost money? (Score: 3, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 09:53 (#D2Y8)

How about those of us on limited bandwidth? We lose money every damned time an ad plays. My phone has 500 megabytes per month, that's all I get. Every time an ad loads, it has an impact on what I get.

No, I can't get a better package until my boss stops stealing from me.

I don't think they are going to get much sympathy... (Score: 4, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 13:44 (#D3KJ)

Reasons I use an ad-blocker:

a) Ads are obtrusive: although we are (largely) past the days of "punch-the-monkey" and other in-your-face advertising pop-ups, they still are far too pushy and obtrusive. Unless I am going to, I am not surfing the web looking to buy something; I am usually looking for a particular piece of information. Ads get in the way of that.

b) Ads are manipulative: Ads don't just present their product and its features and then let you make a decision about its merits; rather, they try to trick you into wanting it. I know we all assure ourselves that - while the common "sheeple" may influenced by ads, we ourselves are immune. But that's bullshit and we all know it. Advertisements worm their way into your subconscious, subtly influencing us in ways of which we are rarely aware.

c) Adverts use up bandwidth: Some of us are on slow link-ups. Others have data-caps. And regardless of anything else, most of us have better use for our internet connection than downloading ads. Advertisers subsidize their business by making the viewers pay for the privilege of fetching their product.

d) Advertisements are a security risk: Not a month goes by that there isn't another news story about how an advertising network got subverted and served out malware. Worse, because these networks are so ubiquitous, it is not as if you can try to avoid them by only going to the "safe" parts of the web. Even the most innocuous and best-intentioned website can accidentally infect its users if it is partnered with an advertising network.

e) Advertisers harvest personal information: Adverts wouldn't be half as bad if all they did was promote the products, but no; these days they do everything they can to track your movements and likes across the Internet so that they may compile a detailed dossier about your likes and dislikes. Not only do they then use this info to tailor more effective adverts for you (see complaint "b") but they then re-sell this information to their partners. Oh, and you can be sure they aren't putting security first either.

f) Advertisements influence content: Oh sure, the website INSISTS that their editorial content is free from any influence from advertisers, but when there's money involved, everyone is going to check their own words if it risks slowing that precious income. It might not always be obvious, but its there.

So boo-hoo if Google supposedly lost umpty-trillion dollars (as calculated by an advertising company; it smacks of MPAA/RIAA accounting techniques) to ad-blockers. Not using ad-blockers costs me too, and not all of it counted in money.

Re: I don't think they are going to get much sympathy... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2015-07-02 17:31 (#D48B)

I find some small amount of advertising useful. Some new products are genuinely useful, and if you avoid advertising, you'll be the last one to hear about them. And how do you find out about new TV shows and movies you may want to watch? DVR users were the first to find that, if you skip all advertisements, your world just keeps getting smaller.

I can't say I've found myself being manipulated by ads. Instead I'm consistently disappointed when no amount of useful information about the product is presented... They aggressively go for name recognition, and fail miserably to give anyone a reason to care about their product, versus a competitor's. I mostly buy cheaper generic/store brand food & drinks. I only buy cars used, and then only after my current one has proven unreliable. Even more, I simply don't spend much money, and save most of what I earn.

Mostly I'm annoyed with them. Even if they had good information, after about the 3rd time, I'm done, and yet will typically have the same damn ad pushed down my throat 10 times a day for weeks on-end.

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

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 17:26 (#D4AR)

For me, mostly word of mouth. If something really is that good, people will be talking about it. Marketing is really only necessary to get you that first batch of fans to seed natural spread.

Of course, advertisers will never tell you that you've had enough. I wonder if there will soon be a time where execs realize it may not be worth the money they pour in.

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.

Re: I don't think they are going to get much sympathy... (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-06 09:43 (#DEFR)

If they were smart they would be serving me ads from local IT shops for hard drives, ram, a new server, etc. But oh no. I see ads about.. damn.. now I can't remember exactly what kinds of things are in google ads

aww yeah (Score: -1, Offtopic)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-02 22:24 (#D54Q)

nuttin but a g thang ba-bay!

Ads are just shite (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-07-07 16:09 (#DK2F)

Ads are complete shite. I'm not paying for a computer, electricity, internet access and bandwidth to have some moron yelling at me about some crap I'm not interested in.

If I wanted this sort of rubbish I'd buy a TV and kill off a few brain cells.