Now that Apple is openly encouraging ad blockers, publishers are up in arms. The topic dominated the tech conversation last week, and I think it is well understood by now. If you are not up to speed on it, here are a few links to skim.
This development should not be a surprise to anyone in digital media. We have been headed in this direction for a while. When was the last time you persevered through a Youtube pre-roll's full length? How about clicking on a display ad?
Apple's move is understandable. While spammy ads are a nuisance on the desktop experience, they are a killer when you deal with them on the small smartphone screens. Apple wants its users happy in their browsing experience, and does not have to apologise to anyone when you decide to use blockers.
Ultimately the media audience is gaining power, and it will reward not those that are trying to circumvent and trick the distribution channels, but those that are committed to delivering engagement.
A good recent example is Medium, which has grabbed the headlines with its recent round. It is delivering real engagement and thus proving valuable to the brands that are using it to deliver their messages - in context and without spam.
The bar is now higher for monetisation for publishers.