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@WAN_Medialex coverage of Web Summit: Adblock Plus faces off with Bloomberg, FT

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@WAN_Medialex coverage of Web Summit: Adblock Plus faces off with Bloomberg, FT

The face-off took place this morning on the center stage at Web Summit. The two representatives of the publishing industry agreed that the Adblock “problem” was ultimately caused by content creators themselves, and that they also will find a solution to it. 
Justin Smith added that there is no reason to have third parties acting as intermediaries with the readers, eating away at the content creation value chain. He drew a parallel with BitTorrent and Hipsters, saying that premium content publishers will figure out a solution also to Adblock Plus. 
The Financial Times is not as reliant as others on advertising, with the majority of its revenue coming from readers paying for content. Cait O’Riordan said that the job of newspapers to “help make sense of all the noise” was never as important as it is today, what makes the relationship with readers even tighter: there really is no reason to allow third parties to come in the middle.
It really seems that Bloomberg and the Financial Times are not close to becoming audience for Adblock Plus. At the same time both conceded that the rise of adblocking has possibly accelerated the process of change towards additional care dedicated to transparency, readers' data and publishers’ focus on providing a better ad experience.  
Moderator Michael Hirschorn, CEO of Ish Entertainment noted that the language around ad blocking is getting very emotional, with critics accusing the lack of transparency around whitelisting translating to downright extortion.
Faida countered that for the Financial Times the reader might indeed be ready to “walk the extra mile”, but most publishers cannot rely on subscriptions to survive. He insisted that increasingly publishers see Adblock Plus as an opportunity to provide customers with a more user-friendly experience, and win back frustrated public through fewer, high quality ads. The project coalition for better ads is supposed to bring answers to publishers who might now feel cornered, and succeed in monetising content on the web.
O’Riordan commented that some publishers, far from trying to provide their readers with a better experience, are in fact reacting with additional and more invasive advertising, in an attempt to scramble for revenues. 
Smith closed by reiterating that Bloomberg will never partner with Adblock Plus, and that publishers will find solutions through their privileged relationship with their customers. 


Elena Perotti's picture

Elena Perotti


2016-11-09 17:01

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