Some European mobile networks may block ads by default

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Shine, looking to help mobile carrier either block your income as a publisher or force ad networks to pay a toll because they are greedy buggers or have over-stretched when paying for 4g licenses and infrastructure. A real threat to content creation and indeed the very things that make people want to go on the web. Get Shine, Get F*****

A report in the UK’s Financial Times says that several large European mobile carriers are thinking on allowing customers to opt-in to block ads on their phones with the help of a product from Israeli company Shine.

This would either be user-initiated or perhaps even a network wide block by default….I can see the list of these networks circulating on webmaster sites all over the place if this happens.

From a publisher’s perspective this would be pretty bad. Even if they managed to blackmail Google into giving them a slice to allow ads it would mean either Google’s profit was down or publishers got a smaller cut.

Of course if they really did block all ads by default, the first thing I would do is block their network. I would imagine a few big publishers would do the same and it would soon be playtime over. Who wants to use a mobile network where you cannot view half the websites.

Ad-free mobile browsing, but oh not that page. That one sure,oh wait no that link gives a message saying your carrier is unable to show you this page because they are greedy bastards.

This is just greed from networks, if they are not charging their customers enough for the capital outlay on the high speed networks they have built…well that is their problem. I’m not sure we even needed 4g on a massive scale, I mean most apps work fine without it. It reminds of TV makers coming out constantly with 3D and bendy screens that only a tiny number of people will want.

Same with people using Adblock, freetards they used to call them. You know if you don’t like the ads then go elsewhere. Oh wait you want something without having to pay the price…yes that’s right that makes you a fanny.

The two things that make ads more intrusive are ad-blocking and a downturn in the economy. In 2008 I saw a real rise in the demand for more intrusive content from networks. I think they tend to put more pressure on publishers when they know it is very tight and perhaps their own advertisers are doing the same to them. Ad-blocking just means publishers have to make the same from less impressions or reduce content. The later being the whole reason there is any demand for high speed networks or indeed even ad-blockers.

Publishers already pay for creating all the content that the network’s users are using the phones to access and we pay for the bandwidth going out as well.

The most pernicious part is that it won’t block ads on Facebook feeds. That combined with Facebook’s plan to get publishers to let them publish the content within Facebook (turkeys voting for Christmas)…well almost reads like a conspiracy to distort the market. Turns out Horizons Ventures, an investment company, has its finger in Shine and Facebook. I think the EU will have plenty to say about this sort of thing, so will some governments and I’m sure Google will as well.

To me this is a lot like a blackmail or highway robbery, I reckon it will go nowhere too fast except courts and a lot of websites blocking those carriers. Of course the carriers often advertise online themselves…a good % of the ads I see on my own sites are for mobile networks.

The irony is also thick with many users who use Adblock going on about freedom and the right to view uncluttered etc. But what they actually want to do is censor what adverts are allowed. This is a decision for publishers not users. If publishers get it wrong then users find it too much and leave.

Here is what the marketing guy at Shine said recently.

“We believe ad blocking is a right, full-stop. If the consumer decides to use it, we believe that it should be their right, and they should be able to do it with full integrity … nobody [in business] has a god-given right to exist. If you own a trucking business, and gas prices rise, and you can’t afford to pay your bills because you were not able to manage your business, you go out of business,” he said. “There will be causalities, absolutely, but I know I’m not losing any sleep knowing remnant inventory ad networks will disappear.”

You can read more here.

Honestly, what an idiotic argument. The analogy is flawed, what they are suggesting is that you have a trucking company and then someone comes (maybe the person maintaining the road) and barricades the gas station and demands you pay a cut to them. Sound fair? No, because people are already paying for the road via their monthly contracts.

This has zero to do with ad intrusion and everything to do with cash. Even the all-holy Adblock takes a bundle from some companies to let their ads through. They have some list of demands for advertisers. All pretty reasonable but hey back off and let people make up their own minds, as everywhere in life there is not such thing as a free lunch. So their aim is to let user experience the Web how it was…free and ad-free…except for these special ads we got paid to put through…really. Just be honest you want to make as much cash as you can just like publishers, except you don’t create anything.

One to keep an eye on for sure, especially as mobile income becomes more and more important.

Apologies for any ranting!