US Publishers Going Easy on Ad Blockers

forbes_homepage-1024x496Yesterday I wrote how publishers were starting to turn up the heat on ad blockers by greeting ad blocker users who arrive at their site with a message inviting them to turn off their ad blocker if they wanted to enjoy the content for free.

I named Forbes and Wired as just two of a growing number of publishers who are adopting this hard-line approach, but made the point that it will only really work if everyone adopts the same stance; otherwise there will always be somewhere else the user can go to get similar content.

Well it turns out my piece coincided with a useful piece of research carried out by content marketing firm Pressboard which shows that in fact, very few publishers, in the US and Canada at least, are currently adopting the hard line approach I referred to.

The company installed AdBlockPlus and then visited 250 of N. America’s top publisher sites as defined by SimilarWeb, across a number of categories, including news & media, technology, newspaper, weather, sports and gaming sites.

Surprisingly, Pressboard found that only eight of the 250 sites visited are either blocking access or messaging their readers with requests to turn off their ad blockers. The company also tracked the different types of messages publishers who are messaging ad blockers use. These range from the ‘polite ask’, where the user can still see the content even if they refuse to disable their ad blocker at one end of the spectrum (Slate, Weather Underground), to the ‘turn off or get out’ approach being adopted by the likes of Wired, Forbes and GQ at the other.

Credit to Pressboard for taking the time to do this primary research. You can see the full list of which publishers are blocking and which elements are being blocked here. And the range of messages publishers are using here.