What may be most difficult for Sourcepoint and companies like it (PageFair and Secret Media among them) isn’t composing the different messages, but delivering them. Ad blockers may seek ways to suppress its messaging, a natural next step in what has become an arms race between publishers and ad block users. (See Facebook's recent back and forth with Adblock Plus.)
“Once we were sure we could keep that message up, and that it was resilient under any circumstances to have that conversation, we created a platform where publishers can expose messages to users and test them,” said CEO Ben Barokas.
Dennis Publishing, which is one month into the test, expects to expand its messaging to ad-blocking visitors over the next few months, Flood said. By early next year, “we will have solid data to go on which will undoubtedly steer our strategy,” he said.
According to Sourcepoint COO Brian Kane, a US publisher that’s further along in tests saw its ad-blocking rates decline by 5% after it added a soft message encouraging a whitelist.
Unlike other ad-blocking companies, Sourcepoint doesn’t focus solely on ad recovery or ad reinsertion. Barokas called those technologies “one-trick ponies that are, in my view, very shortsighted solutions.”
Avoiding ad reinsertion without consent puts Sourcepoint’s tech on the right side of GroupM, which has said it would not pay for ads forcibly served to ad-blocking users – although the agency made an exception for Facebook since it’s offering consumers ad preferences in other ways.
As Sourcepoint expands its tech offerings, it may offer publishers the ability to message non-ad-blocking users about different ways to view content – such as offering the opportunity to pay a fee for an ad-free experience.
“In addition to messaging, the key attribute we deliver is choice,” Kane said.