The debate about online advertising and user experience continues with news of more sites blocking Ad-block users.
As we covered in our Web Design Trends 2016 – Part Three: The Experience, advertising in the age of Ad-block is a fast-changing field. Some sites have gone in the direction of blocking users who have Ad-block installed. In December 2015, American business magazine Forbes started greeting Ad-block users with a screen urging them to turn off their software in order to continue to a 30-day “ad-light” experience.
These 30 days of ad-light experience are also a test for Forbes, as they see just how willing people are to turn off their Ad-blockers. Chief Revenue Officer at Forbes Media, Mark Howard, said: “It’s about doing something based on what our users are looking for versus not doing anything. They’ve already chosen to install the ad blockers, they’ve already chosen that Web experience. For us, is there an experience we can offer that they’ll whitelist us? It’s not all or nothing.”
Arguments that using an Ad-blocker is not something to feel bad about are gathering pace, especially in the face of an industry that relies on increasingly outdated business models. There will doubtless be other sites who follow Forbes’ actions, and others who take alternative approaches to raising revenue. Coupled with updates in Ad-block software, this is conversation that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. We’ll see how the various approaches fare in the coming year.