Adblock Plus is the most popular piece of ad-blocking software in the world. But its 100 million users may soon start seeing new ads appearing on their screens after the company launched a service that will allow more “acceptable” ads through its blocking technology.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Adblock Plus parent company Eyeo has partnered with a firm called ComboTag to create an ad marketplace where websites can choose “pre-approved” ads for their pages. Adblock Plus users who then visit these sites see these ads, which are said to be smaller and less intrusive the regular versions. Google and AppNexus will also help sell ad space from the new platform.
“It allows you to treat the two different ecosystems completely differently and monetize each one,” said Ben Williams, Adblock Plus’ operations and communications director. “And crucially, monetize the ad blockers on on their own terms.”
The Adblock Plus Acceptable Ads initiative has been around for the last five years. Many businesses that sign up, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, are asked to pay a fee to be put on the “whitelist.” The new marketplace is an extension of that program, making it easier for publishers to be whitelisted and thereby increasing the number of acceptable ads.
The Verge notes that 80 percent of the revenue from these marketplace ads will go to the publishers, with the remainder divided up among the other online agencies involved in sharing the ads. For its part, Adblock Plus will take 6 percent of the total revenue.
Adblock Plus sees the Acceptable Ads program as a compromise; every single online ad isn’t blocked, and it only allows the least annoying ads to be displayed. However, as Eyeo takes a revenue share from these ads and an increasing number are making their way onto the whitelist, many publishers and users are unhappy about the initiative.