Adblock Plus Passes 100M Users; Digital Video Measurement May Not Be Strict Enough

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Over The Fence

Adblock Plus (ABP) surpassed 100 million users, cementing its position as the most scaled ad-blocking solution. It’s worth noting ABP numbers are hazy (a single user can have multiple downloads across devices, and many will have dropped the product). Numerous rival ad blockers have adopted ABP’s Acceptable Ads program, an open-source revenue opportunity for ad blockers [AdExchanger coverage], extending ABP’s influence well beyond its own product. A threat that once looked amateurish – ABP’s Acceptable Ads standards were born from a Reddit subthread, after all – is zooming through adolescence.

Apples To Watermelons

In a lengthy takedown of loose metrics in the digital video space, Gawker’s Kevin Draper writes, “If BuzzFeed’s watermelon video had been measured the way a TV show is, its viewership would’ve been closer to zero than the 807,000 it trumpeted to advertisers.” That’s because Facebook starts counting a video view after only three seconds of consumption, an embarrassingly low bar for a “view,” especially when you consider that videos autoplay. Say what you will about Nielsen its standards are stringent. Read it.

Disavowing The Ad Model

Broadcast startup Cheddar, which bills itself as CNBC for millennials, is introducing a $6.99-per-month charge, which will paywall most content but not shorter clips on Facebook or YouTube. “I didn’t want to get into the ad business again,” Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg (previously president of BuzzFeed) told The Wall Street Journal. “It was becoming increasingly clear that was becoming a winner-takes-all situation for Facebook and Google.” Never mind that Steinberg’s new model is similarly daunting and just as dependent on platforms. More.

A Force Of Nature

“Facebook’s mass acts as an an intense gravitational force in the industry, warping user behavior and fracturing the economic incentives that defined media companies,” writes Tony Haile, former Chartbeat CEO and an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of Journalism, in a column for Re/code. Look at how media companies gave up leverage by forsaking the home page, where they controlled curation and distribution, in favor of Facebook’s mobile feed, or how newsrooms may veer away from negative coverage (Haile cites ISIS) that doesn’t sell advertising. More. Related Pew Research report: “Facebook sends by far the most mobile readers to news sites of any social media site.” Read that.

But Wait, There’s More!

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