AOL Fights Ad Blocking

Ad blockers are becoming increasingly popular with more and more users employing them to block the ads they see on their favorite websites. With their rise in popularity, ad blockers are also becoming more adept at stopping the onslaught of online advertisements. While this can help improve the immediate user experience for many people, what most don’t realize is that the elimination of online ads is also a threat of elimination for the content that they are trying to enjoy. Ad revenue is the principal method of supporting the content on publisher’s websites, which means that without that income, the content it supports is also likely to be lost.


Tim Armstrong Of AOL Speaks Out About Ad Blockers

Although AOL relies heavily on advertising as its principal source of revenue, Tim Armstrong says that this actually puts them in an advantageous position to combat the effects of ad blockers.

"Any threat that ad blocking is doing is because people aren't innovating enough on ad formats and delivering value to consumers," Armstrong said to a group of marketers during an Advertising Week talk. Although outdated forms of ad delivery may have created this problem, Armstrong believes that his company is in the best position to find a new way of reaching potential customers.

The reason that ad blockers are so effective against most forms of advertising is that many still rely on traditional display and video advertising. Pop-ups and other common forms of online advertising like these do not stand up well against ad blockers, which mean that ad blockers are essentially blocking the main source of income for many companies such as AOL.


It Is Time For Innovation In Ad Delivery Formats

Ad blockers are the most obvious sign that something needs to change within the advertising industry. This type of disruption to revenue could mean that companies like AOL will also be erased from our screens.

"Right now, that disruption is called ad blocking. In the future, it's going to have some company's name against it who redefines what ads look like and how they work.” Armstong said. “I hope that's our company, but somebody's going to do it. Ad blocking is a definitive signal to the industry that people need to get their butt into gear with innovation."

There are some big reasons for AOL to push themselves into a position of power for the ad-driven media of the future. AOL has followed through on a few huge tech deals, which means that they have a lot riding on adaptation to remain competitive.

Verizon has acquired AOL on a hefty $4.4 billion deal, which means that the telecom company now has access to all of AOL’s content and advertising sources. Following this, AOL went after Microsoft’s ad sales, which has increased their consumer base up to 500 million consumers. AOL also purchased Millennial Media, which has given them access to the advertising platforms on 65,000 apps.

With all these deals in place, AOL hosted a huge even that demonstrated how it will all come together in Verizon’s new go90 mobile video platform.