This post was originally published on VentureBeat.
Recently, it seems everywhere I see an article popping up to warn me about a new iOS 9 feature that is about to change everything we know about mobile marketing. The company’s new ad-blocking feature sent the industry into a panic, and all I could think about was: Why? Let’s start with the facts: As part of iOS 9, which will launch on September 9, Apple will allow users to download ad-blocking extensions for their Safari browser. These extensions will have nothing to do with in-app advertising and will only work on the mobile web. That is a very important point, for the following reasons:
The mobile web is not where your audience is
Old-fashioned advertising has marketers following a very clear mantra: Be everywhere. But when mobile took over, this perspective became as relevant as the mobile brick, and marketers adopted a new goal instead: Track your audience. Mobile marketers stressed by the concept of ad blocking on the mobile web must have missed this message, because their audience is not on the mobile web. Their audience is on mobile apps and has been for a while. Exactly 90 percent of mobile activity today is on mobile apps, according to a recent Flurry report, leaving only a small opportunity for advertising on the mobile web. Blocking ads on Safari probably won’t stop marketers from reaching their audience on mobile devices. If anything, this could be a serious money saver for advertisers who have invested in the wrong platforms all this time.
The mobile web is not where the industry is
Looking at the latest numbers from eMarketer, it’s clear that ad spend on mobile apps is taking up the big time. This 1:3 ratio means that mobile marketers won’t have to scroll too much to switch to in-app advertising. There are really no surprises here. Even before Apple announced its intention to block ads on Safari, analysts were predicting that app ad spend would continue to grow at a breakneck pace. The new feature on iOS 9 will just let them say “we told you so” a lot sooner.
More apps will join the party
The main victims in this story are the publishers. Apple is about to block ads on their mobile web, leaving them with no choice but to switch to the app, which is what they should be doing anyway. Mobile marketers, this ad-blocking festival isn’t the problem, it’s the opportunity. We can expect to see more publishers develop apps, creating an even larger mobile media playing field for advertisers to partner with. This will help balance out any increase in ad costs that may occur after inventory declines. And it’s not like publishers have no other choice. In addition to developing their own apps (which most have chosen to do no matter what), publishers can use other apps to monetize their content. We’ve seen a shift in mobile publishing over the past year, with the mobile giants taking a more serious approach to news apps: Snapchat has invested in its Discover platform, Facebook is testing a standalone news app, and Apple will replace Newsstand with a new one. , shiny platform for publishers. Not bad at all.
As an earlier VentureBeat story pointed out, in-app advertising won’t be completely unaffected by the iOS upgrade. In addition to the ad-blocking extensions, Apple will introduce App Transport Security, which will affect links that lead to ads on mobile devices. Now, while mobile marketers have to get used to this shift, they should also remember that it’s just another technical move in the relentless game of ping pong between different forces in the field. our. It is only a matter of (short) time before ad networks update their technology to address these limitations. The main message here is not that Apple is against the mobile web or advertising in general, but that mobile should be used in a certain way. The sooner we realize that smartphones are not, in fact, a smaller version of the desktop, the better our mobile experience will be, both as users and as users. marketer.