Popping the Publishing Bubble – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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That it’s Safari is vital; the concern about ad blockers is, for now, a bit overwrought considering a much larger proportion of page views for many publishers comes from Facebook, which, together with Twitter and most other social networks, uses a basic web view controller that isn’t affected by the new content material blockers. 1 However, while the concern over ad blockers may be too early, writer angst is arguably too late: if iOS 9 ad blockers do end up causing critical harm it is only because the publishers have been living in an unsustainable bubble that goes to pop sooner in place of later. This first point is apparent and favourite, but the importance of the second one can not be overstated: publishers had long taken advertising as a right or, as the journalists put it, had erected a “separation of church and state” under the belief they’d a monopoly on reader attention. The increase in competitors destroyed the monopoly, but it was the divorce of “readers” from “advantage clients” that prevented even the largest publishers from profiting much from the enormous amounts of new site visitors they were receiving.

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After all, advertisers don’t really care about readers; they care about choosing, achieving, and changing expertise clients. And, by extension, this meant that differentiating ad inventory depended less on volume and much more on the degree to which a particular ad offered advanced targeting, an amazing format, or sophisticated monitoring. The above graph shows the inefficiency of this association: publishers and ad networks are locked in a dysfunctional relationship that doesn’t serve readers or advertisers, and it’s only an issue of time until advertisers — which again, care only about achieving skills clients, anyplace they may be — desert the whole mess absolutely for brand spanking new, more effective and valuable commercials options that put them directly in front of the folk they care about.

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