Some of the US’s most popular websites are planning to support legal action against ad-blocking software firms according to a new report by digital insights firm MediaNomics.
MediaNomics surveyed 42 of the US’s biggest publishers – although no publisher’s names were actually named in the report – and who boast an aggregate of 2.2 billion visitors between them each month. The publishers were asked which strategies they were most likely to employ against ad-blocking.
As yet no publisher in the US has tried to sue the makers of ad-blocking software and none of those surveyed admitted they’d yet instigated any legal action. However, 48 per cent of the respondents said they were “somewhat likely” and 36 per cent said they were “definitely/very likely” to engage their lawyers.
Many publishers are reporting they’re starting to feel the advertising bite from their readers who’ve installed ad-blocking software and fear the problem will get worse not better.
However, the MediaNomics report admitted that only 10 per cent of Americans used ad-blocking software and its sample of publishers was small and not necessarily indicative of the entire online media industry in the US.
Another problem for publishers attempting to sue makers of ad-blocking technology is that it’s a new and murky area and no one has yet been able to do it successfully.
The most notable case was in Germany were tech firm Eyeo was taken to court by five separate publishers including newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The judge ruled in Eyeo’s favour on each occasion.