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Mobile Operator Digicel Will Block Advertising Across Its Network

Online ad companies will have to pay to have ads displayed

     
12:44 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Who needs an ad-blocking app when your telecom operator will prevent ads from reaching your mobile device?

Wireless operator Digicel will soon begin blocking online advertising from traveling across its networks in the Caribbean and South Pacific, the company announced Wednesday.

German telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom is also considering blocking advertising on its networks, a person familiar with the matter said.


[wsj.com...]


Another volley fired across the bow of the ad networks, or maybe a lucky strike? I've been saying for a while now that advertising on the net has become ungawdly disruptive as it might relate to trying to view content. I wonder how long it's going to be before ISP's and other networks discover the boon of possibly charging the ad networks money for the display of ads.

We've had the end user putting up quite a fuss over ads for a while now (via things like adblocker). It appears that some wireless networks might be following suit.

I think that if we keep going in this direction, ad companies large and small will have to rework their model regarding how they choose to display ads. Maybe, and it's a big maybe, ad companies might finally start to put their foot down on irresponsible publishing.

... and since Adsense is already the lowest it's ever been regarding payout, I'm left to wonder if there might be anything at all left of it if Google is required to start paying ISP's and other like networks for displaying ads.
1:27 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's interesting how that article doesn't even mention the publishers.

“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves,” said Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, in a statement.


I just don't understand that argument. The web is about so much more than Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

Up until now there have been discussions, in various different threads here, about how to cope with ad blockers. How on earth does a small publisher hope to cope with ad blocking networks? If the Deutsche Telekom rumour is true, things could get worse very quickly. Deutsche Telekom is HUGE, worldwide.
1:45 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I love the way telecoms companies keep claiming that their networks are being used for free when customers are paying them for using them!

I was expecting this too. If it starts spreading ad networks will have to react. Maybe by letting publishers fetch the ads using an API and serve them from our servers.

[edited by: graeme_p at 1:46 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2015]

1:45 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If publishers are prepared to allow people to view their content with the ads blocked - whether by end users with AdBlock or telecoms networks or whoever - then that's what people will do.

The solution is for most publishers to block users who can't see the ads, from seeing the content.
2:27 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I love the way telecoms companies keep claiming that their networks are being used for free when customers are paying them for using them!


Exactly. The end cost of bandwidth is paid by the customer, so advertising is of no consequence to mobile providers. What I suspect is that mobile providers are sniffing a revenue opportunity. They block advertising then charge ad networks a service fee for whitelisting. All while dressing it up as concern for the customer.
3:09 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The customer pie is only so big... ie, what can be sold and at a price the user will pay. The user expects to get content for the funds expended, and when abusive advertising limits that (data plans burned up getting NON content delivered ... ads are not content, BTW) the user will rebel.

The abuse/proliferation of ads adds to the data packets transmitted against fixed infrastructure, straining the seams, so to speak. There is legitimate concern as the provider networks have invested millions for one mission only to have it elevated beyond expectations by abusive ad servicing.

These are just some of the arguments that may be offered.

Advertising on the net is still in its infancy... and sadly, as happened with radio and tv in their early years, it looks like government regulation may be required to rein in abuse. UNLESS the ad industry of the net begins serious self-reform, acknowledges that costs are not evenly shared by all, and a reasonable business practice is developed for all concerned.

I don't see that happening any time soon... hence the USER and PROVIDER rebellions on the horizon.

Publishers need to be part of that reform.... after all, it is their content which has been used (and abused) which is part of the complete problem. That and greed. :)
3:20 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Advertising on the net is still in its infancy... and sadly, as happened with radio and tv in their early years, it looks like government regulation may be required to rein in abuse.


You've said that several times before but I suspect regulation of that kind would be difficult to legislate across all jurisdictions and almost impossible to implement and police. If there is reform then it needs to be collaborative rather than legislative.

[edited by: trebuchet at 4:07 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2015]

3:48 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Never underestimate a legislator! :)
9:13 am on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Frankly, publishers should just block all users on this network.
If users cannot access their favourite sites, they will choose another provider.
Telecoms companies earn money by giving their users access to content, if they don't want this model, then they (the telcos) will need to pay publishers for access to that same content.
3:37 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Frankly, publishers should just block all users on this network.

Now that is really throwing the baby out with the bathwater. :)

Site content will not be blocked. The publisher does exist for their site content, correct? (most sites that is true)

If the publisher has explored other monetization which will not be blocked (ie, direct ads) the site will still display and have revenue opportunities as well.
3:44 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Monetization that doesn't involve ads (that can be blocked). LOL. If your direct ads are squeaking through, don't worry, those will get patched. I think if those ads are "getting through", then that's something they will be fixing in future releases. It's the race for the best ad blocker and if you think that means some direct ads or clever tricks will work for any amount of time? I call that dreaming. Marketing 101: Now able to block direct ads! I think that's what happens where there is any competition is any space. If we're a virus to them, they will eventually catch on and block that ad content. That's what they do. Norton kills viruses. It's not like a few last long term. They get caught. Ads will get caught. I would rather go fishing than try to outsmart the technology and brains behind the ad blocking software.
3:59 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I blocked them yesterday. I had a whole 10 users from them in the past 6 months. Users get a friendly message telling them the reasons why they are blocked. They are encouraged to switch to another provider if they wish to read my content.
4:09 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I would rather go fishing than try to outsmart the technology and brains behind the ad blocking software.


Almost sounds like you're at the fishin' hole already! Seriously, it is the third party servicing and abuse by publishers that has brought this to a head. Ad blockers (or their like for certain file types, think Flash) have been around since the turn of the century. I do not think for a minute that the end game by ad blocking is to kill ALL advertising! Witness Eyeo deals with G and others, and their upcoming attempt to get publishers and advertisers together to deal with excesses and find a path forward.

As for providers getting in the mix (as this thread is about) the processing of data packets, of any kind, has a direct cost to their operations. Site content is one thing, that they signed up to do. Abusive or excessive advertising they did not sign up for, nor have the infrastructure to take too much of that in stride, plus their customers are getting hammered in cost over runs on their data plans. Life as we know it cannot continue in that regard.

We hope the providers don't get in the middle of all this, but for some, it might be necessary to maintain their business model/operations.

MEANWHILE, site operators (publishers) need to diversify. All eggs in one basket is not a good idea.
4:20 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Use of time. That's how I'm looking at it. A fix to getting your ads "unblocked"? If you asked me if I'm going to invest in a thought that involves ad monetization that is going to circumvent ad blocking technology and mentality? I'm sure if somebody gets super clever with their ads, there will be a "report ads" button in the ad blocker so the companies can use your site as a project to deal with. Just like Norton does. So do I think my time is best spent on defeating ad blocking? That's called a gamble. A workaround is not something that I take seriously. Short term? Yeah, whatever. Lots of viruses were out in the wild, right up until the Nortons figured out how to find it and patch it out of existence. Everyone can make up their own mind about what is or isn't a great investment at this point. A silver bullet solution? LOL.
4:58 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting really fed up with hearing about the so-called ABUSIVE advertising that I'm running on my website.

In no way do I ABUSE the people who come to my site for my content. Please - enough of those snarky "it is the abuse by publishers that has brought this to a head" comments. Can we just assume that most publishers - and the publishers hanging out here - are not abusive?

I am a publisher of free content, and have been for 15 years. I pay my small team of content creators and my server costs, and provide for my family, by showing advertising on my website. I have done so for some 12 years. A very large chunk of the net has run successfully on this business model for many years.

So along comes Shine Technologies, declares that

Ad Blocking is a Consumer Right. Full Stop
.

and presumably intends to profit by selling its extortion software to mobile network provider(s).

And those mobile network provider(s) presumably intend to profit by either i) extorting a share of the advertising run on their pipe from Google or ii) cutting their costs by ad blocking and therefore reducing the load on their pipe (sorry, not sure of the correct language exactly). Hands up who think that the reduced cost / increased profit is going to be passed along to their mobile customers? Ha ha.

Meanwhile small publishers get stuffed.

And yes, tangor, I KNOW that apparently there are other ways to make money on the net. But to suggest that the "free" net can suddenly turn around and compensate for lost advertising income (which I am sure accounts for a huge proportion of the free net's revenue) by suddenly diversifying is absurd.

And anyway...

HOW DARE THEY?

I can't go to a cinema and rip up the screen to prevent ads from showing, or graffiti over the advertising on the side of taxis and buses and trucks, or throw missiles at the billboards and neon signs as I walk around town. I could be arrested and prosecuted for doing any of those things.

How dare they threaten my website and my business, and decide that I will not get paid for my content any more?
5:08 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Monetization that doesn't involve ads (that can be blocked). LOL. If your direct ads are squeaking through, don't worry, those will get patched.


I love their over-reaching certainty that direct ads are untouchable. Let's just see how that works out. The average Joe doesn't know where ads are served from and I doubt he'll care whether they come from Google or Yahoo or your own server. Once you tell him he can block ads, that's what he'll expect. You may well find that adblockers evolve to scan image sizes, external links, commercial URLs, to allow user reporting, etc. Perhaps the best you can hope for is that Joe visits your site and sees your direct ads once, then flags them so that he never has to see them again on repeat visits.

As I've said, we're not just changing a business model with adblocking, we're changing an entire culture. The user who is blocking Adsense ads today might well expect your direct ads to be blocked tomorrow.

Can we just assume that most publishers - and the publishers hanging out here - are not abusive?


Most of us assume that already. It's only one or two of the cheer squad who don't. Which is not to say that the argument isn't valid, of course, just that we aren't the authors of this mess.
5:26 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@SmallP ---

You are the perfect example of the collateral damage. Not part of the problem, as I suspect that most of us here are not. But there are too many sites out there doing advertising so WRONG that the end user push back is understandable.

One runs their site anyway they like. That's as it should be.

Sad thing is the web does not work the way we'd like it to, and if only one method is used, then only one result will happen. As for considering ad serving as payment for content, you've put all your revenue expectations in a third party you have no control over and which has no devotion or concern for your content/property. You aren't "earning", you are providing billboard space for the advertisers. And recent years have shown how much they "value" that billboard.

Income is something YOU earn by providing a service, product, or information that requires payment to receive and does not rely on a third party to make that happen. That is hard work, but is something that can't be taken away from you by third parties or end users.
6:44 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I love their over-reaching certainty that direct ads are untouchable.


You don't code much do you?

You can hard code anything that will pass the muster of any adblocking utility that's ever been invented.
And yes, we are indeed quite confident that with the appropriate writes (coding) and publishing best practices, we who would be the little guy, will prevail in all areas of the advertising spectrum ..

You would have to write everything out but the text in order to block the persistence of the coder if all you want to do is display content - All of your pretty little lines, css frillies, and jQuery elements would go away - Totally blocking the talent and ingenuity of the coder will make for a very boring day in the world of the end user ... but if that's what these wireless networks want, well, then who are we to stop them?

On the publishing end? .. Please ... It was the abusive ad publishers that got themselves into this mess in the first place. Thinking that bandwidth just magically appeared out of nowhere was their first mistake -- So enthralled with the desire for free money, they kept on digging the hole for themselves deeper and deeper .. One day someone stood up and said stop -- and now we're having these kinds of discussions as a result.

I've been in the mix for a number of years now and sometimes we who might code, and publish, can be our own worst critics, or our own worst enemies, depending on which side of the argument we might find ourselves on.

As a coder and a publisher, I lay the blame for all of this rubbish squarely at the feet of the ad networks and their irresponsible publishing goons -- And I don't blame the end user or the wireless networks for choosing the few options they have to combat the abusive nature of the ad industry as a whole.

-----

Income is something YOU earn by providing a service, product, or information that requires payment to receive and does not rely on a third party to make that happen. That is hard work, but is something that can't be taken away from you by third parties or end users.


Precisely
7:00 pm on Oct 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Can we just assume that most publishers - and the publishers hanging out here - are not abusive?


Nope. I do not concede that point.
6:00 am on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If something is hard coded into an page served over a secure connection, the ISP cannot alter it. An ad blocker in the browser still could, of course.

I suspect this is one reason Google is so keen on encouraging sites to switch entirely to secure connections.
8:17 am on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You can hard code anything that will pass the muster of any adblocking utility that's ever been invented.


"Ever been invented" being the operative term. I'm talking about adblocking tools not yet developed. Because once you give consumers the right and the capacity to block ads, that's what they'll expect. I happily concede that some (some, not all) ad-serving coders will always be ahead of whatever adblockers are out there. But to suggest that direct ads will always be immune is hopeful, if not naive.

Adblockers are changing the culture of the web and the expectations of users. Coding skills may draw a line under this, but technical skills can work both ways.

And yes, we are indeed quite confident that with the appropriate writes (coding) and publishing best practices, we who would be the little guy, will prevail in all areas of the advertising spectrum


"The little guy" eh. And what happens if the "little guys" are hired by the "big guys", who load up their sites with ads as before? We're back to square one. The idea that coders are the guardians of "publishing best practice" is as questionable as any other assumption.
4:27 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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And what happens if the "little guys" are hired by the "big guys"


Then the "little guys" have a regular pay check and can stop worrying if a mobile provider decides to stop serving ads. :)

The thread is about providers blocking ads. If that should happen what will "you" as a webmaster do in response? That's the question, among the utter horror that a provider gets in the middle of this ad blocking thing.
8:19 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm talking about adblocking tools not yet developed.


So I guess we'll cross that bridge when and if we ever get to it.

We don't know what the future holds - We're web developers/coders/publishers, not fortune tellers ...
To think that we somehow have got the ability to read the tea leaves is somewhat naive all on it's own.
1:36 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We don't know what the future holds - We're web developers/coders/publishers, not fortune tellers


Correct. Hence the risks in saying 'these people will prosper' when they may, but it's not certain.
My personal view is that adblocking will have profound changes on how the web is funded and the expectations of its users. I don't think it's just Adsense publishers who are likely to be affected. But time will tell.
2:12 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Sorry... I don't get the "how the web is funded" concept.

The web is fully funded from the get go. That's what the backbone, providers, webmasters, and users pony up. Funds have been exchanged at all levels, else the sucker wouldn't work.

I do get that there is a function that has "grown" from inception called advertising, which has been piggybacked on the already funded (for a single purpose) web. That advertising is an add on by third parties who have no vested cost/expense in funding THE WEB. It is a stealth theft at all others' costs. Always has been.

Advertising does not fund the web.

Advertising revenues MIGHT explain why MFA sites exist, of course. Those who RELY on third party adverts to justify their existence...

The web offered content long before advertising appeared. Still does. And will for some time to come.... without third party advertising. This cart before the horse commentary does not recognize the actual function of the web, and this does become tiresome after a while. YCDAFL (new word... You Can't Demand A Free Lunch).

Sites that provide value, have a revenue stream independent, or are a BRAND have no requirement or need for ad servicing. These will not only survive, they will THRIVE, primarily because they are not beholden to a third party (cesspool of product) with a product of increasingly diminishing value. To that observation I just remind one and all to look at the payouts these days and compare to those payouts from 10 years back.

And ONCE AGAIN, this thread is about a PROVIDER NUKING ADS. Can we please stick to that? Please?
4:15 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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this thread is about a PROVIDER NUKING ADS


Which is exactly why it might be best to have a product or a service that people might want to purchase ... I'm kind of on the side of the end user in this regard .. I can't even begin to list all of the times I've gone online to shop for something only to be bothered by ads that had nothing to do with why I was even there in the first place.

If ISP's / wireless networks determine that NUKING ADS is the way to go, then fine - I make money on ads of course, but it's marginal at best when you stack the ad revenue up against the service that's being provided.

Clearing the field by nuking the ads might be the way to go .. I still think it will be a boon for the little guy that "knows how to write" because he won't have to be competing so much with all of the automation that the adblockers hope to block.

Blocking ads at the ISP level might be the real game changer here .. in that maybe the ISP's will start to see some sort of return on all of the bandwidth that the ad networks have been using for free all of these years. It may make the web somewhat more efficient to by trimming some of the waste. It may also force the ad networks to change the way they've been doing business.
9:34 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Sorry... I don't get the "how the web is funded" concept. The web is fully funded from the get go. That's what the backbone, providers, webmasters, and users pony up.


No mention of content creators or publishers in that equation. How many people do you think would use the web if it was devoid of content?

And ONCE AGAIN, this thread is about a PROVIDER NUKING ADS. Can we please stick to that? Please?


Haha, you're the one who just steered this jalopy down the 'web is already funded' street.

I still think it will be a boon for the little guy that "knows how to write" because he won't have to be competing so much with all of the automation that the adblockers hope to block.


Lucky I'm not cynical or I might think that some coders are in love with adblocking because they're hoping it will kill off the competition. :-)
2:47 pm on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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No mention of content creators or publishers in that equation. How many people do you think would use the web if it was devoid of content?


It is a bit inconvenient when one side changes their own argument. :)

I never said the web was funded by advertising. Not once. Never addressed that until it was brought up.

The WEB has base costs which are "funded" (ie. paid for) by backbone operators, providers, the webmasters (for their hosting and dns), and users, who pay to access that infrastructure.

Content might have value, but does not have a specific price tag, and does not, in any way, have a cost to the WEB.... it is simply content which all the above have paid for the infrastructure to be able to "display their wares" within the limits of their level of participation in that infrastructure.

Those fixed costs, data packet levels allowed by plan or tier, are the true costs of the web ... and are already "funded" by the cost of doing business by all concerned. And those costs, when abused, are the ones which providers, webmasters (dealing with bots and scammy links, etc.) and users will address in effort to protect or make efficient their investments.

Content is something else.... it might have value, might be useful, might be amazing, but in and of itself has no value until the webmaster/publisher assigns a value AT THEIR LEVEL.

Advertising is not value content. It is a way to make money by making space available on a content site and is completely independent of the WEB itself. Until the rise of abusive advertising most had simply ignored it, but when it began to encroach on operating costs, or user data plans, that "not content" part has come back full force.

So I am not surprised that some provider networks might take action.

The users have already begun their revolt.

And those who have content sites that have been monetized AT THEIR LEVEL will continue to see revenue incomes. Those who rely on third party ad servicing will see those income streams reduce.

The mobile networks are likely to be the first to respond in this "blocking", particularly in the wireless category.
4:26 pm on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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< I deleted my comment. Let's just say I'm sick of reading this crap >
4:11 am on Oct 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here's why ad blockers are so popular:

[digiday.com ]
This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38
 

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