Apple’s iOS 9 and the Mobile Ad-Blocking Dilemma


Apple announced major product upgrades last week which included the new iPad Pro, a revamped Apple TV, and of course the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. But it’s the software update, iOS 9 (free update avail Sept 16th) that has mobile advertisers worried. Apple is strengthening the ad-blocking technology of its mobile browser Safari in iOS 9. With Apple’s new tools, developers can build ad-blocking apps that consumers can download to wipe out ads on mobile sites when using Safari.

Ad Blocking Isn’t New

Mobile ad-blocking is not a new phenomenon, but it is effective. Ad Age used AdBlock Mobile to cleanly remove ads from websites in Safari with no new support from Apple required. Some apps like Facebook have in-app browsers that are not affected by current ad-blockers but iOS 9 will let developers use the new Safari browser inside apps. The good news for advertisers is hardly anyone is using ad-blocking apps. The two most known apps, AdBlock Mobile and Ghostery, have not been in the top 1,500 apps in the past three months according to App Annie. However, Apple’s appeal and market share have the potential to bring ad blocking to the mainstream, drawing more attention to the topic, and making the implementation process a lot more user-friendly.

Know Where to Place Your Mobile Ads

Even if Apple’s ad-blocking on Safari works as designed on iPhones and iPads, it’s the apps where consumers spend their time. Apps account for about seven out of every eight minutes of media consumption on mobile devices (ComScore). “The vast majority of activity is occurring in apps,” said Mr. Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group. About 90% of mobile content consumption happens in apps, Mr. Wieser said in a report this summer. Advertisers are already riding this trend and investing more into mobile in-apps advertising. “Marketers will spend $20.8 billion to reach consumers via mobile apps in 2015 but only $7.9 billion on mobile browsers” (eMarketer).

Cross-Channel Marketing

As mobile browsers become more friendly to ad blocking software, it places more importance on other advertising channels such as email and search. Future Flow Media aggregates all the major ad networks and exchanges so you’re never limited to a single platform or operating system. A hyper-targeted integrated cross-channel campaign using mobile, email, search, and re-targeting ensures the ads reach your audience regardless of their device and at the optimal time in the purchase journey. Read more about Hyper-Targeted Digital Advertising.