- With the release of iOS 9 and the chance to block ads in the mobile Safari browser, Apple fans are downloading ad-blocking apps in droves.
- Based on early results, Apple users are more than happy to pay for apps that block ads – how long they'll have that chance is unclear.
- One ad blocking app, Peace, became the top-selling paid app on the App Store before being pulled by its creator based on concerns it could hurt publishers’ bottom lines.
Everyone in the industry knew that iOS 9 was going to provide developers an option to block ads on the mobile Safari browser. The popularity of ad-blocking apps probably took the industry by surprise. Peace, an ad-blocking app costing $2.99 immediately became the top-paid app in the App Store upon the iOS 9 release, but was subsequently pulled by its creator over concerns blocking ads could hurt publishers.
Peace developer Marco Arment wrote in a blog post, "Even though I'm 'winning', I've enjoyed none of it. That's why I'm withdrawing from the market.”
Free apps still dominate Apple’s App Store, but the fact so many users are willing to shell out a few dollars to block ads should concern everyone involved. From marketers hoping to reach a target audience to publishers depending on ad revenue, as more website traffic is coming from mobile devices, ad blocking software could put a dent in all players' plans.