Social Media & Content Specialist.
The digital business has never been easy for publishers. The competition never rests and the pressure on the business models continuously increases. It is difficult to introduce paid content after the free initial phase. What’s left is the financing via advertising, which is, however, steadily levered out by ad blockers. Gruner + Jahr resists this development quite some time now by blocking readers using active ad blockers.
It started with an experiment on GEO.de. Everyone who visited the website using an active ad blocker in the browser, got excluded from the content. Instead, they saw an overlay with two options for further media consumption: either turn off the ad blocker or pay for your ad free visit.
During this year’s Digital Innovation Summit in Berlin, G+J’s manager Oliver von Wersch talked about their success. Latest results show that 43% less ad-blocker users were registered on GEO.de. G+J also proved effectiveness with a plain and clear educational page, displayed to visitors using ad blockers. Furthermore, the ad-blocker quote on Brigitte.de decreased by 11%.
Oliver von Wersch criticizes the business model from ad-blocker companies harshly. Without being asked, they act as gatekeepers for clubs they do not own. What he mentioned was the so called “Whitelisting” of particular ad-blocking providers advertisers can use, if they’re willing to pay for it, to avoid dealing with ad blockers when launching their campaigns. These providers sabotage the publisher’s business models and generate digital advertising revenue through the back door.
According to Oliver von Wersch, many readers did not know how online media finance themselves, so educational work regarding the ad-blocker issue was also a great opportunity. He continued that it was important for publishers to engage with their readers and explain to them why online advertising is important. Furthermore, publishers need take prompt action and create advertising on their websites more relevant and less annoying for their readers.
This is where SAP XM totally agrees with G+J. Joint objective: make advertising relevant again.