Adblock Plus, one of the web’s most popular ad-blocking services, will soon begin selling its own ads—and taking a little bit of the cut as well. Seems counterintuitive, huh?
But it’s not entirely surprising. Adblock Plus has been positioning itself for a long time as a kind of online advertising firm. The company is now just making concrete what was originally read-between-the-lines ambiguous. According to The Wall Street Journal, Adblock Plus’ parent company Eeyo is teaming up with an ad tech firm to being selling ads through its “Acceptable Ads Platform” by means of its own marketplace. Even Google will help sell these ads through its own ad ecosystems.
These acceptable ads are immediately allowed to pass Adblock Plus’ filters by default if they meet the company’s own criteria of size, placement, etc. The Verge reports that 80 percent of the revenue from these ads will go to publishers as other online agencies—along with Adblock Plus’ 6 percent cut—will take the rest.
Adblock Plus uses the same justifications now as when publishers first grumbled about its Acceptable Ads initiative in late 2011 and soon began whitelisting companies like Google, Amazon, and Taboola, for a price. Adblock Plus see themselves as a force for good. However, many publishers think that adblockers amount to a sort of restrictive third-party tampering with their own business model. And of course, this new initiative will likely only fan those flames.