Monday 24 October 2016

Irish tech firm to take on new iOS ad-blocking update

Harry Leech

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

PageFair aims to allow publishers to bypass ad-blocking on websites
PageFair aims to allow publishers to bypass ad-blocking on websites

An Irish technology company is set to take on computing giant Apple when the computing behemoth launches its new operating system next month.

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It is believed that the latest version of Apple's iOS mobile operating system will allow users to install applications to block online advertising on iPhones and iPads, but Irish technology company PageFair says that it can allow publishers to beat the new system and reach their consumers.

A joint report released by PageFair and Adobe earlier this year estimated that $22bn in advertising revenues will be lost in 2015 due to ad-blocking and that the number of internet users using ad blocking software has increased by 41pc in the past 12 months.

The ad-blocking software means that internet users never have to see another ad while they browse the internet, which is extremely worrying for publishers who need ad revenue to keep their businesses afloat.

According to Head of Ecosystem at PageFair Dr Johnny Ryan, publishers need to learn from consumer behaviour and change their approach to online advertising, or ad-blocking could kill the 'free internet'.

"In the first 20 years of the internet, publishers all across the world have let ads run amok on their websites, as they are desperate to generate revenue, and in doing so they have allowed advertisers and forms of advertising that jump around the screen, ads that take an awful lot of time to download.

"Those sorts of ads annoy consumers, and, as a result, consumers are increasingly storing ad blockers on their machine, and from that point on, consumers will never see an ad again. This hurts websites and advertising that the consumers might actually like, as ad-blockers do not just block the annoying ads, they block all ads," Ryan said.

PageFair have become the leading provider of counter-ad-block solutions to web publishers in the last few years, providing a free service that helps over 3,000 websites measure and recover revenue lost due to ad-block. PageFair also provides technology solutions to enterprise publishers to recover lost advertising inventory. But according to Ryan, and author of the book A History of the Internet and the Digital Future, the company is not willing to annoy consumers with the same type of advertising that drove them to install the ad-blockers in the first place.

"We are in a position to restore ads, but we are not interested in doing that in a blanket fashion - before we have a set of guidelines in place to make sure that whatever we put back doesn't provoke the same sort of reaction that people have had to current ads," he said.

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