Wednesday’s announcement that Apple was allowing ad-blocking apps for Safari, its iOS9 mobile browser, was seen by industry observers as a shot across the bow of rival Google.
As BetaNews executive director Joe Wilcox sees it, Apple’s move is a way to cut into Google ad revenue while shrinking the sizable gap between iOS (Apple’s mobile platform) and the Google-backed Android platform. Android owned over 80 percent of the worldwide smartphone OS market share in the second quarter of 2015.
So what does it mean to you? For any business with sound online presence management (OPM), this is an opportunity to increase exposure. Yes, an opportunity.
Tom Goodwin, a senior vice president at Havas Media, calls this a challenge for marketers to develop better ways of connecting with mobile users by turning out smarter ads in more clever ways.
Some companies like Casper Mattress and Mountain Dew were already a step ahead of ad blocking by being their own publishers. But not all companies have the resources to do that. And they don’t need to, either. As Goodwin points out, native ads, advertorials and branded content are all formats that work well for mobile advertising, and they are not blocked.
And, don’t forget, ad-blocking does not affect Facebook ads or in-app advertising. In a Nielsen study, the time users spent in-app increased 63 percent over a two-year period from 2012 to 2014.
Ad-blocking apps will help weed out the ads that have little or no value to users and, at the same time, allow creative marketers to design ads that will stand out even more. OPM is critical to targeting consumers in the format they want to be connected with your products and service.
Ad-blocking has been available for years on desktop browsers and has even been available for Android users and on Safari, just not as an app. So, while Apple’s announcement grabbed headlines, it is not as shocking or damaging to advertisers upon further review.
And for the smart ones, it is a chance to capitalize on an opportunity.