Google has blocked ad blockers in the Google Play Store

Dive Brief:

  • Android users surfing on Samsung browsers will have to download ad blocking apps somewhere other than the Google Play Store thanks to Google pulling ad block apps this week.
  • The move from Google comes just days after Samsung released a Content Blocker extension API for its Android browser that allowed developers to create ad and content blocking apps.
  • When TechCrunch reached out to Google for comment, a spokesperson said, "While we don’t comment on specific apps, we can confirm that our policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers."

Dive Insight:

The ad blocking battle is only growing. 

The latest move from Google to remove ad block apps from the Play Store in a way protects two different assets. Obviously the ability to serve ads since ad revenue is key to Google’s profitability, but also its mobile Chrome browser. Samsung’s ad blocking API only applied to its homegrown browser, which comes installed automatically on Samsung devices but trails the far more popular Chrome browser in actual usage. It’s possible the ability to block ads on their smartphone might encourage more mobile users to switch browsers on Android devices.

Brian Kennish, founder and CEO, Rockship Apps, the developer of Adblock Fast, spoke to TechCrunch about the app being removed from the Google Play Store, saying, "We’ve been trying to contact Google through their public channels since Monday, and I tried through private ones all day yesterday … but we haven’t gotten any official response from a human – just autoresponders."

In another front in the ad blocking wars, video publishers have a new weapon – server-side ad insertion (SSAI), also known as “ad stitching,” that somewhat mitigates ad blocking tech according to reporting by Ad Exchanger.

Filed Under: Trends