Adblocking is coming to Apple – what can advertisers do about it?

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 10 September 2015

Adblocking is coming to iOS 9, and with the software set to drop on 16 September, advertisers and marketers need to be looking at their digital strategy in order to combat the rising problem says Andrew Crawley director for Jack Media.

Crawley told AdNews this software update has brought the adblocking concern out into the open and he explained if display advertising businesses aren’t thinking about it, it could have consequences.

“The display based business, where the bulk of [digital] advertising spend sits still, would be paying very close attention and if they're not being proactive about how they're going to manage It, I would image their going to have some problems,” he said.

“Even if 10% of users start installing adblocking platforms it would be a big hit to their revenues.”

It was announced back in June that with iOS 9 users will be able to download an extension from the Apple App Store which will block ads on most sites, but now the software update is set to land Crawley explained that advertisers are going to have to start looking to other ways to reach their audiences.

“I think it really shows how much digital is still infancy, in terms of this big channel that everyone has relied on and built their strategy around, is potentially in the next 12 - 18 months going to see a very big shift,” he said.

“People are going to start thinking about how they can be more creative, how they can be more innovative and it really just shows how much digital is in its infancy and how much it's changing. You can't be complacent.”

Jack Media is a lead generation business so Crawley explained that he is excited to see what disruption adblocking can bring, but he also believes that native and the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will see a boost of the back of the iOS announcement.

Crawley also believes that now is the time for advertisers to focus on owned media.

“Advertisers need to start creating their owned media, building that e-mail database so they own it, so they can reach out to it, other than having to say: “We need to reach an audience, who do we have to pay this time?”

The arrival of iOS 9 also sees the arrival of Apple's News App, Avrill D'Costa, co-founder, head of data analytics and product design for BigDatr said this is the biggest positive to come from the update, however he adds it's double edge sword for publishers.

“The biggest positive change in iOS 9 is the addition of the News app that will be great at distributing content to the masses whilst helping increase audience accessibility and engagement. I expect this will continue to evolve by introducing easier ways for publishers to immerse their audiences into richer content such as live streaming video.

“Sadly this is where the news stops and takes a turn.

“Publishers will have to face Apple's decision, which now allows developers to distribute advertising blockers via the App Store. This change will deny publishers advertising revenue in the tune of millions whilst still allowing users to access their content ad-free. It wouldn't surprise me if those publishers running on tight margins and rely on advertising revenue as the sole income stream throw in the towel and call it quits.”

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