More importantly, Apple’s support for ad blocking software will make those applications mainstream. On September 21, the top selling app in Apple’s App Store was Crystal, an ad blocking program. Purify Blocker, a rival to Crystal, was No. 4. More recently, Apple removed some ad blocking apps from the App Store due to security and privacy concerns. The removals centered on apps that install a root certificate that allows app developers to see encrypted traffic from users. The company has said that it is working with app developers to get the apps back in the store.
“Ad blocking has gone mainstream,” says Peter Fader, marketing professor at Wharton. “The move to ad blocking is symptomatic of the fact that we can’t take a business practice like advertising from another domain and assume it will work in an online setting, too.”
According to David Hsu, a management professor at Wharton, the Internet’s ad blocking woes aren’t unique. “This issue transcends media,” says Hsu. “Think about Tivo and various types of technologies that allow consumers to skip [television] advertising. Whether it’s radio, TV or online, there is technology available to get the content but not the ads.””