March 29, 2020
Better ads in 2018

Better ads in 2018

2018 is already looking to be a very interesting
year for the digital ad industry. GDPR will come into effect in May, and there’s
a chance that the corresponding ePrivacy Regulation is going to be rolled out as well, potentially
severely disrupting online publishing and online advertising. But it’s not only legislators that are shaking
up a landscape that’s already very dynamic. The industry side is busy as well. Starting in early 2018, the most popular web
browser on the planet – Google Chrome—will start to block certain ads. That’s what we are going to talk about in
this video. (Intro Slide) Hi. This is Stefan with admetrics. Starting in early 2018, Google Chrome will,
by default, block all ads that don’t comply with the “Better Ads” standard. What exactly is this standard? “Better Ads” is a specification for digital
ad formats that was developed by an industry consortium called the Coalition for Better
Ads. This group comprises an impressive array of
major digital players, including IAB (the leading trade association for the online advertising
ecosystem, AppNexus (one of the biggest programmatic platforms for buying and selling digital ads),
Microsoft, Facebook and Google, along with a large number of advertising trade groups
from all over the world. So it’s fair to say this group is credible
and resourceful and has technical expertise. The “Better Ads” standard specifies the most
excessive, aggressive or annoying types of ad formats—basically building a blacklist. At this point, the “naughty” list contains: – popups that block a web page while trying
to read it, – videos that start playing automatically,
wasting bandwidth, – ads that unexpectedly play audio, – flashy ads, and – interstitial ads that can only be closed
after a certain amount of wait time. The frustration and annoyance created by these
kinds of ad formats have been motivating scores of users to install ad blockers, even users
that aren‘t really that tech-savvy or have no problems with ad-supported content in principle. While ad blockers do solve the problem for
the user, the other side—publishers or content creators—is deprived of the revenue that
the blocked ads would have brought in. Ad blocking has become such a concern to publishers
and ad-tech companies like Google that they developed the “Better Ads” initiative to counter
the ad-blocking trend. The idea is pretty straightforward: Fix the
user experience problem of bad formats that drive users to block ads, winning back the
audience for publishers and creators. So far, the “Better Ads” standard had only
been a recommendation, but now Google has decided to throw its full weight behind the
initiative by blocking all non-compliant ads in its Chrome browser starting in early 2018. Since Chrome dominates the browser market
with a share of over 50%, this decision is nothing short of a game changer. It means that publishers and advertisers basically
have no choice but to comply with the standard. In our opinion, “Better Ads” is a good thing
because it provides clear guidelines to the industry while maintaining a balanced approach
that respects the interests of all sides. So we definitely welcome its wide adoption. Even if Google is using its dominant position
to further its own interests here, there’s currently no serious opposition, perhaps because
the initiative makes so much sense to all stakeholders. In conclusion, “Better Ads” means that
you can expect a better online experience for consumers in the short term and more revenue
for ad-supported creators in the midterm – if “Better Ads” can really roll back the ad-blocking
trend, that is. And in the long term, “Better Ads” could serve
as an example for successful self-regulation instead of legislation—which is always a
good thing. So let’s see how this plays out. We are intrigued. If you want to know more about “Better Ads”,
check out the links in the description. Subscribe, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn,
or visit our website, This is Stefan. Take care. Until next time.

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