Apple and Google Turn Down the Volume on Bad Ads

Tired of searching the web page you just opened to switch off the sound of autoplaying video ads? As online publishers seek to increase their video inventory (and the higher CPMs that go with it), unexpected autoplay video is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, on sites like the Huffington Post. However, both Apple and Google seem set to do something about that. As this CNN Money article reports, as part of their WWDC 17 developer conference announcements, Apple is adding autoplay blocking to Safari (and yes, ironically the CNN page has an autoplay ad running on it).

Meanwhile, Google will be blocking a whole range of “annoying” ads on Chrome, starting in 2018, with the stated goal of “building a better web for everyone.” Google will be offering an Ad Experience tool to publishers, once blocking starts in earnest. As Marketing Land reports, some critics have noted that this Chrome move may well advantage Google’s own ad formats over those preferred by revenue-hungry publishers.

The number of potentially intrusive ad formats spotlighted by the Coalition for Better Ads is lengthy, and includes some that are as familiar on mainstream web sites as they are on less reputable web destinations. With consumers increasingly turning to ad blockers, and publishers wrestling with the limitations of mobile (and wrestling with the desire to avoid paywalls), it’s important to see companies like Google and Apple take a leadership role. How they implement these rules in a way the industry sees as fair and unbiased remains to be seen.

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