Press Publish 16: Jason Kint on how worried publishers should be about the arrival of adblockers on mobile

It’s Episode 16 of Press Publish, the Nieman Lab podcast! press-publish-2-1400pxMy guest today is Jason Kint. Jason is CEO of Digital Content Next, which I confess I liked better under its old name, the Online Publishers Association. It’s the trade organization representing most of the country’s largest online publishers. I wanted to talk to Jason because this week marks the release of iOS 9 and with it the debut of ad blocking on the iPhone. Ad blockers have existed on desktop for years, of course, but they’ve mostly been a niche interest. On your phone, though, the appeal is obvious — faster loads, lower data use, fewer annoyances. And as I record this, iOS 9 has been out for about 24 hours, and the No. 1, No. 4, and No. 6 paid apps on the App Store are ad blockers. So publishers are about to see percentage of their mobile ads…disappear. Will it be a rounding error, or is this the beginning of the end for a certain kind of online advertising, the way popup ads were killed by technology in the early 2000s? Jason’s been talking to a lot of publishers and he’s convinced it’s a big deal — an 8 or a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, he says. We talked about how publishers should respond, whether it’s worth trying to block the blockers, and how to keep a focus on your audience’s needs. Here’s our conversation.

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Show notes

Jason Kint on Twitter
Digital Content Next, formerly the Online Publishers Association
“CEO Explains Why the Online Publishers Association Changed Its Name” (Nov. 3, 2014)
“Back in DC. 48hrs. 7,300 flight miles. 30+ premium publishers, 10 meetings all related to adblocking. Working hard on this issue.”
“Dear ad blocking community, we need to talk” (Sept. 10, 2015)
“Rise of ad blocking threatens German publishers” (May 28, 2015)
“The Rise of Adblocking” (2013)
“A blow for mobile advertising: The next version of Safari will let users block ads on iPhones and iPads” (June 10, 2015)
“How big a deal will adblocking on iPhones and iPads be for publishers?” (June 12, 2015)
“Ad Blockers Shoot to the Top of iPhone App Store Chart After Debut Day” (September 17, 2015)
Auto Image Loading in Netscape
WTF Ad Tech series at Digiday
Napster
Recording Industry Association of America
Pop-up blocking
“Over 300 businesses now whitelisted on AdBlock Plus, 10% pay to play” (February 3, 2015)
Direct marketing
“‘Tracking’ is immaterial to most publishers’ revenue streams. industry myth that it’s necessary.’
What is online behavioral advertising?
Podcasting on Nieman Lab
Native advertising on Nieman Lab
“Publishers arm for war with ad blockers” (February 19, 2015)
Timeline of file sharing
Crystal
“A wave of distributed content is coming — will publishers sink or swim?” (March 24, 2015)
“Facebook’s Instant Articles are live: Either a shrewd mobile move by publishers — or feeding the Borg” (May 13, 2015)
“Content blocking in iOS 9 is going to screw up way more than just ads” (August 28, 2015)
“Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff” (August 12, 2015)

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