Archived Post

iOS 9 content blockers: Great for the reader, bad for websites

Yesterday was the start of a new era: Apple’s release of iOS 9 brought something new to Safari, content blockers. The primary reason for content blockers is to block ads on websites that you’re visiting. Some sites — probably not Apple World Today — take forever to load simply because of the huge number of ads that are scattered throughout the site. Those ads are usually pulled from an ad server that’s completely different from the web server, causing incredibly slow load times. Content blockers are designed to let you put certain slow-loading sites on a “blacklist”, and then block those ads from loading. Other sites can be whitelisted if they’re not a problem.

Here’s a list of content blockers that are currently available on the App Store, although some of the links may not yet be live:

I’m pretty sure that the content blockers that aren’t currently live will be soon, and it’s almost a given that even more will be released shortly. Why? Well, already two of them are listed in the top 10 paid apps, and developers certainly want to get on that gravy train.

The revenue faucet just got turned off

So, what are the cons of content blockers? Simple. For a website like Apple World Today that is already struggling financially, every bit of revenue we bring in makes the difference between staying alive and closing the doors. Ad revenue — although ad sales have been quite poor so far — is one source of revenue that we desperately need. If advertisers suddenly see that all of their ads are being blocked by content blockers, they’ll pull any ads they already have in place. Revenues, which have already been dropping in the industry, will go in the toilet.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on content blockers and how they work, but I wonder if they are going to be the thing that finally pushes AWT over the edge and into the abyss. If this is the case, we’re going to need your support even more than we do right now. If you read this site and enjoy our content, please click the Patreon button on the right sidebar and make a monthly pledge. 

I hope that you find the ads that we run on Apple World Today to be fast-loading and not annoying. We will never run video ads or animated ads, nor any ad that “auto-plays” in your browser. Keep us on your whitelist and we’ll be sure to keep our ads as unobtrusive as possible.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!