All Things Digital

Friday 22, May 2015

Mobile Ad Blocking: Controversy or Convenience?

A recent report from the Financial Times has revealed that an unnamed European carrier has installed ad-blocking software to prevent mobile ads disseminated by Google and others from reaching subscribers screens.  

The unnamed carrier is using software originally deployed by Israeli start up company Shine, which allows for ad blocking and reduced bandwidth on the carriers pipeline. 

Shine believes, “Ad-tech has gone unchecked, polluting our Web and App experiences with privacy infringing and obtrusive advertising”.

“We work with mobile carriers who are redefining their services to meet the true needs of consumers by offering the power of ad control to millions of subscribers around the world”.

Shine aims on not blocking native ads since these are considered by companies to be an "intrinsic part of the user experience." Shine's service however will block out ads on mobile displays, apps, and mobile video ads.

Shine plans on offering the service to other mobile carriers and is rumoured to announce a deal in the next two months that will serve, “tens of millions of customers”. Roi Carthy, Chief Marketing Officer of Shine has announced that at least one U.S carrier will be signing up to block mobile ads on its network.   

Shine Vs. Google 

Google is a target for the unnamed carrier, the company enforcing that the Tech Giant needs to give up a percentage of the revenue it receives from mobile ads. 

A Google spokesperson has stated that the company is not willing to comment on how it would react if these plans went ahead, however Google did release the following statement, “People pay for mobile internet packages so they can access the apps, video streaming, webmail and other services they love, many of which are funded by ads. Google and other web companies invest heavily in developing these services – and in the behind-the-scenes infrastructure to deliver them.”

Ad Blocking, Net Neutrality & Publishing 

In the U.S and Europe Shine’s big-change-to-the-ad-world service may break net neutrality rules in the process of automatically blocking ads. Existing net neutrality laws enforce that all data must be treated equally by carriers.   

However Shine CMO Roi Carthy believes this will not be an issue for the company as their operators responsible for the technology already have their legal departments on the case. Roi maintains, “If this was a deal breaker, we wouldn’t have reached where we are now.” 

Since the news went public this week editors have also joined in on the online debate with TNW’s Martin Bryant posting

“I hate to go all high-and-mighty-Mr-Morals, but the proud ad-blocking folk out there are happily starving sites (that they rely on for information and entertainment) of vital income. Yes, publishers (including TNW) are increasingly opting to diversify their income with ‘native ads,’ events, deals, education offerings and the like, but display ads are still an important bread-and-butter income stream”. 

“Taking delight in denying publishers that revenue shows either sociopathic tendencies or ignorance of economic realities”.


What are your thoughts about ad blocking?

Controversial or convenient?

Is it breaking the backbone of net neutrality laws?


Let us know in the comment section below.    


Mobile Ad Blocking: Controversy or Convenience?

Ad blocking software has recently been installed by an unnamed European Carrier to prevent mobile ads from reaching subscribers screens.