Putting Users in the Driver’s Seat: How Ad Filtering Increases Revenue

Prioritizing user experience is crucial in designing an online advertising strategy. Overloading users with excessive or annoying ads can push them towards ad blockers, while too few ads might lead to a dip in revenue. eyeo’s ad filtering technology is key to achieving an ideal equilibrium, ensuring both user satisfaction and effective ad monetization.

The advertising ecosystem relies on a delicate balance between user experience, publisher monetization, and advertiser reach. Ads keep the open web free, a reality most consumers recognize and accept. The publisher is responsible for curating user experiences that incorporate ads effectively. When your audience is fed overwhelming or distracting ads, they curtail that experience by using ad blockers or visiting other sites.

fair. for everyone.

And when that happens, publishers lose out on potential revenue. Littering a user’s experience with excessive or disruptive ads is not the key to engagement nor does it create an effective campaign. Publishers who go this route end up producing a bad experience for their users and advertising partners, and they also take a hit on revenue. 

Making the user experience a top priority helps publishers succeed. “When you take the user-centric approach and respect their choices, you build a loyal readership base which leads to a profitable, long-lasting business model,” notes Jan Wittek, Chief Revenue Officer at eyeo

Ad Blocking Versus Ad Filtering: It Makes a Difference 

A new survey from Censuswide (on behalf of Ghostery) shows that more than half of Americans (and 912 million people globally) use ad blockers. Ad blockers might improve the user experience, but they can negatively affect many stakeholders in the digital advertising ecosystem.

For publishers, the average desktop adblock rate is 10-40%. The projected cost of ad blocking in 2024 for publishers is $54 billion, which is ~8% of the total projected global digital ad spend of $695 billion, according to eyeo’s 2023 Ad-Filtering Report. Without ad filtering and other mitigation tools this loss could have been as high as $116 billion.

Unlike ad blockers that block all ads, ad filtering technology filters out annoying and disruptive ads, leaving fewer, unobtrusive ads that are more likely to make an impact. Over 300 million web users choose ad filtering rather than ad blocking to ensure a more pleasant online experience. 

This technology, offered by eyeo, powers ad-filtering tools like AdBlock and Adblock Plus, and publisher solutions like Blockthrough. Built in compliance with the Acceptable Ads Standard, the tech empowers real-world users and industry stakeholders to determine which ads are in compliance with the standard based on user research and criteria including quantity, placement, and format. Users who would rather filter ads than block them all can implement AdBlock Plus or AdBlock browser extensions. Blockthrough ensures publishers are only serving compliant ads.

“In a typical ad block environment, the ad blocker stops the ad from running in the first place, which results in the publisher failing to earn any money from that user. But with Blockthrough, we can detect if there’s an ad blocker present and if it’s compliant with Acceptable Ads. If so, we can restore the publisher’s existing demand stack and re-run the ad auction in an ad-filtered environment,” explains Wittek. 

After analyzing each ad for compliance, Blockthrough creates a pool of bids, and the winning bid with the highest CPM is rendered on the publisher’s page. This allows ad tech companies to monetize ad block users without compromising their experience.

Giving Users the Best Experience Online

A recent survey conducted by eyeo and CCM Benchmark shows that many internet users (83%) would be happy to see non-intrusive, relevant ads online. These are younger, more tech-savvy users who understand that ads keep content on the internet free but do not want ads to affect their experience negatively. eyeo’s solutions keep the internet uncluttered for ad-filtering users while giving publishers the opportunity to reach agreeable users to increase engagement and grow revenue. 

“The ad tech ecosystem is made up of users, advertisers, and publishers and the reality is that they all rely on one another. Any time the pendulum swings too far in any direction, it jeopardizes the ecosystem. Ad filtering creates the most mutually beneficial balance between user experience, publisher monetization, and advertiser reach,” says Wittek. This gives users control over their experience and privacy and allows publishers to continue offering free, accessible content.

Currently, 96% of ad-filtering users are actively taking action to protect their privacy online. eyeo focuses on giving users control over their privacy while still supporting high-quality content creators. This provides users with an improved experience while publishers get incremental revenue and advertisers increase views.

Keeping the Internet Free Through Advertising 

Many users understand that the ads they see help to keep the content they access on the internet free, but they do not want to be bombarded with advertisements at every turn. Ad filtering can help achieve the right balance; ads on pages with less clutter are more memorable.

Users want a fair value exchange for seeing ads, with the keyword being “fair,” meaning the ads are unobtrusive, respectful, and relevant. According to eyeo’s 2023 Ad Filtering Report, 79% of ad-filtering users are open to seeing ads that don’t interfere with their content. So, placement matters. Smart publishers are revamping their websites to reduce the number of ads on their pages, not only to increase the speed of the page but to improve their visitors’ ad experience. And, it’s working. They’re seeing higher engagement and increased revenue.

eyeo’s ad-filtering solutions enable user control while serving ads, though these are fewer, less interruptive ads that meet an objective ad standard. According to the company, publishers can uphold a positive user experience while regaining 15-20% of lost pageviews and recurring, incremental revenue. Advertisers benefit too. They realize a higher impact in a less cluttered environment while also building brand trust. It’s a win-win across the ecosystem.

“In the ad tech space, we have the unique position of representing the user by giving them control. We see a huge potential in continuing to educate users and publishers about the online value exchange and how ad filtering can be beneficial to the ecosystem at large. We’re looking forward to more solutions that allow users to exercise choice and control over how and which publishers to support in a simplified way. Ads are a great way to keep the internet free but user-centricity has to be at the forefront when implementing,” Wittek says.