The World’s Largest Ad Blocker Launches A DSP

The German ad-blocker company eyeo will be making more ad revenue than ever after launching a demand-side platform called Trestle on Wednesday.

Eyeo operates the ad blocker Adblock Plus (ABP), which can be downloaded as a browser plug-in or a mobile browser app, and created the Acceptable Ads program, a committee of ad blockers (ABP plus similar services called Crystal and AdBlock) that gather consent from users to serve ads.

The Acceptable Ads program created an audience exchange so that buying platforms – mostly DSPs and ad networks – can serve ads to ad-blocker users. Some of the program’s big spenders, for instance, are Google, Criteo, Taboola and Outbrain, which pay a 20% cut to the exchange so that they don’t miss out on ad block users, who make up a low double-digit percent of all web audiences.

Eyeo earned more than $50 million from the Acceptable Ads program last year and is growing at a double-digit clip, according to CEO Till Faida.

Trestle is a buying interface primarily for agencies, leapfrogging the need for an ad tech intermediary. For now, it’s only available in the United States.

“It’s been a challenge these past 10 years for agencies to reach these users,” said Adi Padhye, general manager of eyeo’s Trestle product.

Padhye said he’s “somewhat surprised” that the hostility toward ad blocking has diminished, and agency execs are willing to work directly with the company.

But Trestle makes it easy to plug directly into existing campaign infrastructure, Padhye said. In the past, targeting ad-block users required agencies to set up specific buying arrangements through Acceptable Ads, or more often to just rely on a DSP or ad network vendor that was part of the program. And they couldn’t track campaigns using common tags or verification vendors.

With Trestle, advertisers can use verification services like DoubleVerify or Integral Ad Science, or attribution vendors, and those tags won’t be removed by the ad blocker, he said.

Eyeo was also incentivized to develop Trestle because it will improve the value of Acceptable Ads campaigns for advertisers. Instead of bidding blind on ad-block users, for instance, agencies can use Trestle to onboard client first-party data to match and target users or create lookalike audiences, Padhye said.

Agencies often ask whether they should be targeting campaigns to users who have downloaded an ad blocker. Might that not backfire?

But fewer than 10% of ABP’s users opt out of all advertising, Padhye said. And it’s a cleaner campaign for the brands, he said, because many sites that serve five or more ads on a page to most visitors serve only one or two ads on a page to Acceptable Ads users (that’s part of the criteria for the program).

“I always encourage advertisers to test and experiment,” Padhye said. Once those agencies run the data, they’ll see how many users are pure incremental gains, he said, because those users can’t be identified and targeted anywhere else on the web.

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  1. Well give me the domain and I’ll just use pihole from now on to block ads

  2. This is why I will not use ABP, they sold out and now will serve ads so long as they pay them to. Ublock remains the best solution to block ads and so far have not sold out to the advertisers