Google announces ad-blocker payment platform

June 5, 2017 | 10:55

Tags: #ad-blocker #advertising

Companies: #alphabet #chrome #google

Advertising giant Google has announced the launch of a platform which enables publishers to request payment from visitors running ad-blocking software, even as it prepares to launch a built-in ad-blocker in its own Chrome browser.

That Google, and its parent company Alphabet, makes the overwhelming majority of its profits from advertising is no secret. The company offers many of its products - Gmail, Google Drive, large parts of the Android ecosystem - available free of charge for individuals to enjoy, and in turn slurps up vast quantities of data which can be used to drive targeted advertising. Now, though, the company is responding to the growing trend of more technical users blocking advertising through browser add-ons and custom DNS servers with the launch of a payment platform which will allow publishers to charge visitors if they should block site adverts.

'As part of our efforts to maintain a sustainable web for everyone, we want to help publishers with good ad experiences get paid for their work,' explained Google's Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president for advertising and commerce, in a blog post announcing the platform. 'With Funding Choices, now in beta, publishers can show a customised message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor.'

Publisher Business Insider was lined up to offer a quote in support of the initiative: 'Looking at the past few years, we've come to realise that the rise of ad blockers has negatively impacted potential revenue across all of our properties, particularly in Europe,' claimed Marc Boswell, senior vice president for sales operations and client services at the company, in a canned statement. 'Funding Choices allows us to have a conversation with visitors using ad blockers on how our business works, and provide them with a choice to whitelist or contribute to our newsroom. We've found that people are generally open to whitelisting once they understand how content gets created.'

The Funding Choices platform is available in beta form now in the UK, North America, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, with more countries due to be added to the list later this year. The launch, however, comes hot on the heels of Google's plan to add a native ad-blocker to its Chrome browser, albeit one which exclusively blocks adverts which are found to breach the guidelines set down by the Coalition for Better Ads - guidelines which, naturally, Google's own advertising follows to the letter. 'In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups,' Ramaswamy explained, 'we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.'

Google's DoubleClick advertising subsidiary has released a guide for publishers on 'engaging with ad blockers' as an introduction to the Funding Choices platform.
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