CANNES — Over the last couple of years, ad buyers have fought hard against the perceived threat from fraudsters cheating them out of ad impressions. Now some feel Apple is about to exactly the same.
Under iOS 9, the Safari web browser will support extensions that enable “a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content”. That has been interpreted by many as ad-blocking – something which 4.9% and growing of all internet users did in Q2 2014, according to Adobe and PageFair.
But advertisers shouldn’t sweat, says Pivotal senior research analyst Brian Wieser – ad-free content has been around for a long time. “The reality is probably that ad-blocking in digital is overblown, as ad-blocking in the TV world was overblown,” Wieser tells Beet.TV in this video interview.
“Looking back over time, about 15% of total video viewing was ad-free in the United States. Netflix is around 5% of total viewing – a minority. The absence of advertising by itself doesn’t mean the media is going to die.
“DVR-based ad-skipping probably takes about 5% of total inventory out, so we still have around 80% of potential inventory (left).”
Even if Safari supports ad-blocking (and Apple has far from confirmed that specifically), it may not matter as much as some fear – by far the majority of mobile content consumption happens not on the web, but in apps, which will continue to be powered by display advertising in particular, Wieser adds.
We interviewed Wieser as part of a series on video advertising at Cannes Lions presnted by true[X]. Please find additional videos from the series on this page.