Yahoo! might not be the king of search anymore but their content and advertising businesses and overseas subsidiaries still drive revenue that makes the internet giant over $4 billion in revenue and their news and e-mail platforms continue to drive millions of visitors and therefore ad revenue.
Unfortunately for many publishers, who depend on traditional banner and text ads, such as Yahoo!, ad blocking has become increasingly prevalent throughout the last few years. This has been partly driven by advertisers responding to “banner blindness” by making their ads more intrusive, more demanding of system resources, and altogether more annoying for users.
Clearly there are two solutions to the problem for publishers that depend on this revenue: solve the problem of users hating the ads by devising guidelines and standards that reduce annoyance or forcing users to turn their ad blocking software off.
According to The Albany Daily Star, many Yahoo! e-mail users are seeing a notification demanding that they turn off Ad Block Plus, a popular ad blocker, if they wish to proceed to use the service.
This is likely to be effective for ‘essential’ services such as e-mail or other accounts that users sign into regularly and may be loathed to change due to the hassle of notifying all their contacts, but is unlikely to work for all but the highest quality news outlets as hundreds of ‘unprotected’ versions of a story will often be published at the same time and easily accessible through news search services, such as Google News.
If publishers and the ad networks that support them are unable to resolve these issues and ad exposure and revenue continues to decline, innovative brands will continue to seek exposure through their own media brands. Ritz Crackers, for example, recently built and marketed their product through Cheese Rank, a magazine for cheese aficionados. Hundreds of law firms have built blogs around specific niches, catering to an audience that’s relevant to their firm. As more and more businesses find ways to connect with their audiences through their own media strategies, less and less time will remain for traditional outlets to cash in on the move to the web, which judging by the spate of newspaper closures, and unfortunate layoffs, hasn’t been going very well for the traditional media anyway.
[Image by BillionPhotos]