Three creative ways publishers and advertisers are combating ad blockers
Others are getting even more creative, or sneaky depending on your perspective.
Here are three of the newest examples of publishers and advertisers targeting ad blockers.
Netflix is currently running an ad campaign that specifically targets ad block users across a number of sites.
The ad’s copy, which reads “Hello ad block user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you. What’s on the other side of your black mirror?”, is promoting a Netflix original drama series, Black Mirror.
The on-demand streaming media company hasn’t commented on how its campaign functions technically. It is possible that Netflix has cut deals with popular sites to serve the ad directly to their users when ad blocking software is detected.
It’s also possible that Netflix is using an exchange like that recently launched by Adblock Plus.
Either way, the Netflix campaign demonstrates that large advertisers have the resources to break through the ad blockers and are even willing to create messages that speak directly to users who have ad blockers.
Amazon purchased live streaming platform Twitch for nearly $1bn in 2014.
In an apparent effort to ensure that its parent company can recoup its investment in the gaming-centric service, last week Twitch announced the launch of SureStream, a “new video technology that brings more of the ad delivery experience under our control so that we can optimize it in ways that benefit the entire community.”
While Twitch acknowledges that many Twitch users employ ad blockers and it isn’t discouraging them from continuing to use ad blocking software, it says SureStream will “reduce the efficacy” of this software, enabling the company to deliver more ads.
SureStream is similar to Facebook’s server-side ad busting tech, which effectively inserts ad content into non-ad content, making if difficult if not impossible for ad blocking software to identify.
The adult entertainment industry has historically been an early adopter of new technologies and it appears this might be the case when it comes to combating ad blockers.
When you visit Pornhub.com, it tries to detect if you have an ad blocker. If it detects one, it opens a WebSocket connection that acts as a backup mechanism for delivering ads.
While the loophole that MindGeek has been exploiting might soon be closed, and ad blockers like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin have developed workarounds to block the use of this technique, the fact that such a technique has existed until now demonstrates the lengths to which companies will go to bypass ad blockers.