AdBlock Plus Goes Into The Business Of Selling Ads: Wait, What?

Image courtesy of Ann Fisher

AdBlock Plus, the popular browser extension that does exactly what it sounds like, has actually been in the ad business for a long time, letting unobtrusive “acceptable” ads through, taking a percentage of the proceeds. Some publishers characterize this as a shakedown, but the company behind AdBlock Plus says that it’s simply trying to make ads more pleasant and less disruptive for everyone. Now the company is going into the business of selling ads.

(For those of you using ad-blockers, Consumerist is part of the non-profit Consumer Reports, and has no ads.)

This may just be the logical next step to the company’s business model. Until now, it has allowed publishers to submit ads to be evaluated for their relative obnoxiousness, then collect a percentage of the revenues that publishers collect from those acceptable ads. That’s estimated to be about 30% off the top.

After running that program for five years, now the company will just go ahead and run its own network of pre-approved and acceptable ads.

“We’ve been waiting years for the ad-tech industry to do something consumer-friendly like this,” co-founder Till Faida said in a statement, “so finally we got tired of waiting and decided to just do it ourselves.”

For users of the browser extension, Acceptable Ads are the default option. Most users don’t bother to opt out: this might be because they simply don’t notice the option, or they don’t mind a few non-distracting ads.

Eyeo GmbH, the extension’s parent company, estimates that about 90% of its users still see ads approved through the Acceptable Ads program. Selling its own ads will make the approval process much simpler, and will allow more ads through.

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Adblock Plus finds the end-game of its business model: Selling ads [Ars Technica]
Adblock Plus Enters Ad-Tech With Launch of SSP/Ad Platform [Press Release]