Ad blocking has been on the rise for years, but publishers aren't accepting the inconvenient truth behind the trend. Instead they're trying to combat the ad blockers.

Some are asking users with ad blockers to disable them, and others are experimenting with alternative techniques, such as subscription business models.

Others are getting even more creative, or sneaky depending on your perspective.

Here are three of the newest examples of publishers and advertisers targeting ad blockers.

Netflix

 

Netflix is currently running an ad campaign that specifically targets ad block users across a number of sites.

The ad's copy, which reads "Hello ad block user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you. What's on the other side of your black mirror?", is promoting a Netflix original drama series, Black Mirror.

The on-demand streaming media company hasn't commented on how its campaign functions technically. It is possible that Netflix has cut deals with popular sites to serve the ad directly to their users when ad blocking software is detected.

It's also possible that Netflix is using an exchange like that recently launched by Adblock Plus

Either way, the Netflix campaign demonstrates that large advertisers have the resources to break through the ad blockers and are even willing to create messages that speak directly to users who have ad blockers.

Twitch

Amazon purchased live streaming platform Twitch for nearly $1bn in 2014.

In an apparent effort to ensure that its parent company can recoup its investment in the gaming-centric service, last week Twitch announced the launch of SureStream, a "new video technology that brings more of the ad delivery experience under our control so that we can optimize it in ways that benefit the entire community."

While Twitch acknowledges that many Twitch users employ ad blockers and it isn't discouraging them from continuing to use ad blocking software, it says SureStream will "reduce the efficacy" of this software, enabling the company to deliver more ads.

SureStream is similar to Facebook's server-side ad busting tech, which effectively inserts ad content into non-ad content, making if difficult if not impossible for ad blocking software to identify.

PornHub

The adult entertainment industry has historically been an early adopter of new technologies and it appears this might be the case when it comes to combating ad blockers.

According to BugReplay, maker of a bug reporting tool for developers, MindGeek, the company that owns PornHub, is using WebSockets to deliver ads to users that have an ad blocker enabled.

When you visit Pornhub.com, it tries to detect if you have an ad blocker. If it detects one, it opens a WebSocket connection that acts as a backup mechanism for delivering ads.

While the loophole that MindGeek has been exploiting might soon be closed, and ad blockers like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin have developed workarounds to block the use of this technique, the fact that such a technique has existed until now demonstrates the lengths to which companies will go to bypass ad blockers.

Patricio Robles

Published 9 November, 2016 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2616 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (1)

Avatar-blank-50x50

sarah hannity, Marketing Manager at clearhill

This really confuses me - if a user has an adblocker installed they clearly do not want their online experience to be interrupted by adverts. How can brands think that overriding this decision is going to end favourably? Companies need to realise that forcing their way in front of a user and disrespecting their choices is not the way to build a positive brand perception / experience.

over 1 year ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.