Publisher, stop losing revenue to adblockers

The digital landscape is not an easy surrounding for publishers to work in today. Not only do pu

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The digital landscape is not an easy surrounding for publishers to work in today. Not only do publishers have to stand out from the competition and grab the attention of over-exposed website visitors, but they also need to beat their worst, invisible rival – the adblocker. One in every 3 internet users in the U.S. alone is actively using an adblocker, leading to millions of dollars of annual revenue loss for publishers. Digiday forecasted that the cost of adblockers for publishers could exceed $35 billion by 2020. This is obviously not good news for publishers, but there’s a way out, and we are going to explain how.

The rise of adblockers

Regardless of what many seem to believe, adblockers weren’t originally invented as a revolution against capitalism. No, the first adblocker was a result of a young, bored Danish guy who came up with the open-source code instead of studying for an upcoming exam back in 2002. The adblocker became an immediate success, however, the code was rewritten several times after the initial launch by different developers.

A few years after this, pop-up ads started to become overly popular, and new adblocking measures were created to block pop-up ads from disturbing the user experience online. Fast forward a decade and most larger browsers allowed adblock extensions. Finally, in 2015, Apple enabled adblocking apps in their software iOS 9, which led to a massive amount of adblockers being created and still developing until this day.

The outcome of adblockers

The evolution of ads has been drastic, and while it has developed into (in most cases) a user-friendly, clean landscape, it has not always been as un-disturbing as it is today. As mentioned earlier, the ads dominating in the early 21st century were mainly large, colorful pop-up ads. The main aim was to gain the attention of the website browser, regardless of how it affected the user experience. This, naturally, led to great frustration among website visitors, and inevitably adblockers would have been developed at some point, regardless of the bored Scandinavian teen. In a survey, Google found out that 63% of internet users install adblockers because of too many ads and 48% because of annoying ads. Bad ad experiences seem to be the driving force behind installing adblockers, and we understand that. Ads should not be and are not annoying if they are placed seamlessly in the online environment.

Two pie charts stating that 63% of users installed an ad blocker because of too many ads and 48% of users installed an ad blocker because of annoying ads.

So if we have internet users who want content without ads and publishers who happily share content, but also need to earn a living out of it, how do we solve this problem? A popular solution to this problem has been to lock content behind a subscription. This means that you pay a fixed subscription fee in return for an advertisement-free reading environment. This is a popular solution that has helped many publishers survive from the revenue loss caused by adblockers. In case you want more options beyond subscriptions, there’s another solution available for you as well.

How to stop losing revenue to adblockers

Ads and especially display ads are still today one of the most important sources of revenue for publishers. Adblockers are stopping ads from being served, and this is a huge issue for publishers because you only get paid for served ads. It’s inevitable that publishers will lose some amount of revenue to adblockers, but the amount does not have to be that significant. Although the subscription model has increased in popularity in the past few years, it’s not the only option for all kinds of publishers and industries. In a study by Reuters, it was found that publishers still rely 40% on video ads and 38% on display ads as a source of digital revenue.

Admiral, a Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) company, helps publishers around the world to target, engage, and grow first-party relationships with their visitors. Admiral offers several different modules that can help publishers tackle adblockers. Two popular modules for this are the Adblock Revenue Recovery module and the Digital Subscriptions module.

Digital Subscriptions

We already spoke briefly about converting visitors into subscribers, and this can be suitable for some publishers, especially news sites are using subscription models in return for up-to-date content. Admiral offers a turnkey subscription engine that allows publishers to instantly launch a paid subscription program with zero dev lift. You can handle multi-site subscription bundles via a single login. You get access to all data and analytics through the dashboard and it’s possible to run A/B price testing to find the perfect price point for your subscription. It’s a single tag-installation so you can be up and running in no time.

Adblock Recovery

This option is very interesting for publishers who still want to beat the revenue loss caused by adblockers, but don’t find a subscription model suitable for them or want a combination. The Adblock Recovery combines website whitelisting with permission-based ad-reinsertion, a proven method to effectively recover revenue lost from adblockers. You get access to free advanced adblock analytics and monitoring of adblock traffic in real-time, so you can determine the revenue impact and recovery potential. It’s also a single-tag installation ready in minutes so you can start recovering your revenue immediately.

Both of these solutions can be used separately or combined, whatever suits your needs. Admiral is trusted by thousands and thousands of publishers and we recommend their services to our publishers as well to help them beat adblockers once and for all.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact form or directly at