Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook: Who has the AD-vantage?

In light of our Sat make-up class and the launch of iOS 9 a few days ago, it might be interesting to highlight the ‘newest and biggest war in tech going on today – the assault of the ad revenue model.

iOS 9 rolled out on 16th September and with it, support for content blockers to the Safari mobile browser for iOS 9. Before we make any whooping calls of delight/judgement calls, consider these facts:

  1. The top online advertiser is Google – Google makes more than 90% of its revenue through its ads
  2. Facebook is relatively unaffected by ad blockers – Their ads run on apps, while ad blockers work their magic on browsers
  3. Apple ads on their apps are unblockable – They will never ever be blockable with a closed iOS system

These developments have differing impacts on the fate of the independent (albeit major) players in the online advertising and social media domain. The competitiveness of Google is called into question, while Facebook might be preparing to absorb any influx of new/ex-Google advertisers. Aside from these, perhaps we should also frame this in a macro view of this development.

Advertisements are the silent workers that toil thanklessly in the maintenance of the Internet. There has always been a divide between the cost of media creation and production, and the price that consumers are willing to pay. Advertisements take residence in this gulf, bridging a compromise between the two. Blocking them essentially threatens the existence of your favourite websites.

On the other hand, some independent publishers, especially the smaller ones, that run on ad revenue are at risk of becoming the collaterals in the war between Apple and Google. This is sad and unfortunate, especially if those publishers were still trying to make ends meet from the shift of traditional advertising to digital advertising.

In my opinion, I would rather live with the ads than have my favourite sites shut down. What do you guys think?

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