In late December we posted a recap of 2018 from AdGuard's point of view. But the year didn't happen in a vacuum; we are all in this together — ad blocker developers, ad blocker users, and advertisers. So anything that happens in the "world of ad blocking" concerns both us and you, the users. Let's look back at the most noteworthy events in the industry, assess their impact, and try to make some predictions for the next year.
The year 2017 was a tough one for privacy protection and ad blocking apps, but a good one for their users. But any paradox seen here is illusory.
It was back in 2016 that the ad and marketing industries acknowledged the impending crisis. Ad-blocking growth statistics created great concern for many advertisers and publishers. Extrapolations showed that in a year or two almost nobody would see ads. Advertisers got ready to sell their lives at a high price. That was the year that ad reinsertion startup companies like PageFair, Admiral, Sourcepoint, Secret Media propagated, offering technologies to push ads through ad blockers.
It also was the year when the Coalition for Better Ads emerged.
An ad blocker of the nearest future is yet another personal assistant, that guides you to your profit and safety through the labyrinth of marketing technologies. Today ad blockers hide ads from you — tomorrow they will have to hide you from ads.
Personal assistants have recently become a very trendy type of apps. Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant are being used globally; local markets have their own products, like Alisa by Yandex in Russia or Duer by Baidu in China. But what do ad blockers have in common with these apps that tell you the weather, build routes, search the web and manage events in your calendar?
The final part of the History contains a brief overview of the regulation measures affecting blockers in different regions of the world. We will also see how companies dependent on advertising find other ways to earn money or track customers. If you’ve missed the previous parts or want to read them again, here there are, the first and the second.
The fourth installment of the series will be the most interesting, as we will speculate on the future of blockers.
We continue to tell the story of ad blocking. The first part was about first apps, anti-trackers, and the technology behind ad blocking. Now you can read about the fight against ad blockers, the attempts of self-regulation by the advertising market, and the birth of an ad blocker that sells ads.
For as long as advertisements have existed, people have been trying to avoid them. No surprise there. An advertisement is an unwelcome communication that distracts attention and intrudes at its own discretion and for its own purpose.
Marketing experts writhed in agony when video cassette recorders first started gaining popularity. "It’s over now," they thought. "TV advertising is dead. People will no longer just switch channels (where they can be caught) or go to the kitchen (where they can still hear the ads). Now they can avoid an ad altogether by just cutting it off!"