- Forbes is the latest publisher to go to the extreme in the ad blocking battle by barring some users from accessing the site unless they disable the software, Digiday reports.
- Visitors who comply are promised an "ad-light experience," although in practice that only means not being subjected to animated or autoplay video ads.
- Mark Howard, chief revenue officer at Forbes Media, told Digiday, "It’s about doing something based on what our users are looking for versus not doing anything."
The move by Forbes echoes similar approaches by other publishers and web properties, including Yahoo, which blocked its web mail users out their accounts last month. Forbes might feel emboldened to run this test, Digiday explains, despite the potential to have a negative impact on some web users, since in November comScore reported Forbes reached 43 million users from a combination of mobile and desktop, up 30% year-over-year.
Another risk in Forbes' approach to ad blocking software, the author of the Digiday report points out, is the appearance of rewarding those visitors with a better website experience in return for whitelisting the site.
Howard addressed those concerns, telling Digiday, "They’ve already chosen to install the ad blockers. They’ve already chosen that web experience. For us, is there an experience we can offer that they’ll whitelist us? It’s not all or nothing."
Ad blocking has become a widespread issue that marketers and publishers alike will have to face head on in the year ahead. According to AdBlock Plus, its U.S. user base grew 44% between April and October this year, reaching more than 13 million users.