Tag: online advertising

Ad blockers are becoming a threat to the survival of some sites

Those advertisements that have become a nuisance to the mobile web may be vital to its existence.

Among the frustrations that are the most common about the mobile web are the ads and automatically playing videos that cause us to have to wait excessive amounts of time for a page to load, but the ad blockers that have been providing relief from that experience may now be threatening the existence of some websites.

The reason is that many free sites depend on the display of advertising for their livelihood, to make them worthwhile.

iPhones and iPads now have the opportunity to be able to use apps that function as ad blockers and millions of mobile device users have chosen to download and install those applications to speed up their experience on the mobile web while avoiding annoying accidental ad clicks. At the same time, websites and publishers often depend heavily on advertising revenue in order to make their very existence worthwhile, as the ads pay for the amount of time that is put into maintaining them.

This has some sites watching the rise of ad blockers with bitten-down nails as their primary income is threatened.

Mobile Ad BlockersAdvertising revenue is vital to companies ranging from tiny to giant such as Google, The New York Times, and Hulu. While panic has yet to set in for the majority of websites, they certainly have their eye on this trend and some websites are already working hard to be able to reduce any annoyance that their ads may be causing so that their regular users won’t be driven to ad blocking altogether.

According to the Harvard University director of the Nieman Journalism Lab, Joshua Benton, “It is possible to be too alarmist about ad blockers, but it’s a very real phenomenon.” It all depends on the proportion of mobile device users who opt to install these apps. He explained that there will be a very big difference between having 5 percent or 80 percent of iPhone users installing these mobile apps.

He cautioned that if advertising practices become too annoying, it could lead consumers to take action through ad blockers in order to make them disappear, going the way of the pop-up window (a technique that is automatically blocked by many browsers due to user frustration).

An FTC and Google agreement opens up mobile industry market

Google mobile industryInternet giant Google has settled with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in regards to its antitrust lawsuit that allows smaller players in the mobile industry access to mobile patents. The move is said to lower the amount of suits related to patent holders.

Google’s hold on patents

Philip Solis, of ABI Research in Oyster Bay, NY, stated that concerns have been raised about Google buying ‘standard essential patents’ from Motorola, essentially giving Google the ability to greatly suppress smaller competition. This settlement states what Google has said all along – that they would not use the patents in such a manner.

“It could start a trend around standard essential patents not being used for offensive purposes,” Solis said. “That is a good thing because it means potentially less litigation.” He goes on to say that bigger companies are not effected by having to work around patents in the mobile industry, but smaller companies lack the resources to do so.

What it means for competitors

Smart phones, gaming consoles, tablets, and even online search advertising are all affected in this settlement. Google will allow competition to license patents on what are called critical standardized technologies for all of the above. When Google acquired Motorola Mobility, it gained hundreds of different patents. Many of these are for most basic functions like device internet connectivity.

Google agrees to allow use of standard patents and thus the number of patent-related lawsuits should drop. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that Google has made a step that allows consumers to enjoy the benefits of competition in the online marketplace as well through the gadgets that they buy.

“This doesn’t remove the patents issue in general,” Solis said. Overall, he believes that this agreement opens up markets in both advertising and the mobile device market. Google has agreed not to use patents to delay other companies from releasing new products in a timely manner. It is not perfect, however.

Online Advertising

Google is known as an online giant in search and also in search related advertising. As part of this agreement, Google will give those that advertise online more flexibility to use their program as well as the advertising programs of their competitors. The company also promises that any site can remain excluded from Google vertical search results while still remaining visible under their standard search.