Chrome Will Start Blocking Ads February 15

The rumors are true. Google will start blocking ads on February 15…and that’s a good thing. It’s a positive step towards cleaning up the industry.

Google Chrome is by far the largest browser on mobile and desktop, with 60% of the browser market share. So, this new policy will certainly change the ad experience as we know it today.

For our clients, not much will actually change, because we always recommend the best user experience and discourage intrusive ad methods. For ClearTrade® (Empower’s proprietary fully transparent programmatic solution) specifically, we don’t purchase ads that are pop-ups and interstitials, and steer away from auto-sound on video as much as possible (currently, auto sound is largely controlled by the publisher/site). We don’t recommend intrusive ads as an option for our clients to buy, even though all of our demand-side platforms (DSPs) and many partners offer interstitials and intrusive ad types. However, if you are using this type of ad or your agency is buying them you could experience significant loses in impressions and clicks.

While we don’t participate in buying intrusive ads, the industry as a whole will still be affected by Google’s new policy. Here are three major changes to expect.

Prices Will Go Up

The removal of poor quality inventory/intrusive inventory decreases overall supply. Demand will still be there, so prices may initially increase across the industry. Additionally, publishers who currently allow intrusive ads will see decreases in revenue, so they will likely increase prices on non-intrusive ad types.

We will closely monitor campaigns and CPMs, and plan to adjust CPMs based on current market rate and share with clients.

Partners Will Go Away

Partners/exchanges who largely focus on these ads may go under. While many media companies use intrusive ads to create immersive and beautiful ad experiences, the ads are still intrusive and take over pages unexpectedly.

Viewability Will Go Down

The industry may see a decline in average viewability. Intrusive ads are great for viewability metrics, but have artificially been increasing industry viewability benchmarks because of the nature of the ads. We don’t anticipate our client’s viewability changing much, since we aren’t participating in non-intrusive ad types.

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