Tag: data

iOS app always free but optional tips for publishers


We launched a better FREE ad blocker for iOS 10 called “Optimal BLOCK” (it will always be free! See optimalblock.com) based on DNS, which works very well to block ads in multiple browsers and apps. We hope the app helps consumers reduce their data usage (ads on the mobile web double a user’s bandwidth and battery use!) and lets publishers have a chance at getting donations from people instead of interrupting their mobile usage. Here’s how:

  1. We offer a separate and optional way to tip websites amounts ranging from $0.01 to $1.00. We are able to give publishers 100% of these tips by charging a $1/month membership fee to participate
  2. There’s a lot of potential for this to help publishers benefit when they write great articles: conducted two online surveys asking consumers to value news content: (a) 9% of people felt the average online news article they read was worth a $1.00 donation; (b) Most people felt fewer than 10% of news stories were worth a 10c donation; (c) For comparison, it costs you more per MINUTE to drive your car (23c) than you are worth in ad revenue in an HOUR of watching TV in the US (18c). Detailed data from a survey we conducted on attitudes towards advertising and blocking are at adblocksurvey.com
  3. We’ll open up a web interface for publishers to confirm the websites they own and claim their funds on 12/15/2016

You can register and sign up here. Thanks and, as always, let us know your thoughts!

Download the Ad Block Survey & Forecast

We have made the Optimal.com / Wells Fargo Securities ad blocking consumer survey and our 2016-2020 US Ad Blocking Revenue Loss Forecast available now in two formats, PDF and as a Slideshare. You can also download the chart data by visiting this link.

Ad Blocking Puts $32 Billion at Risk Globally by 2019

We recently collaborated with Wells Fargo Securities on a survey of US smartphone users, asking them about their ad blocking preferences, and as a result we produced a US model of display ad revenue lost to blocking ($12.1 billion by 2020, the full model is available with registration here). The data we shared also assisted Wells Fargo (along with MagnaGlobal figures) to produce the following estimates of global ad spend at risk from ad-blocking. You’ll need to be an accredited investor to read their report and see their reasoning, but they gave us permission to reproduce the top-level figures here ($ in millions):


We think these global figures are quite conservative. The positive drivers we identified for the US projection model we built included:

  • New technical approaches for blocking
  • FTC action on deceptive ads
  • State attorneys general action on mobile ad data use
  • Better blocker app store visibility
  • Security companies enter block market
  • National media attention
  • Robust blocking browser availability
  • Generational blocking acceptance
  • Foreign actions against blocking blocking
  • Carrier-level blocking

And some of the negative drivers /hinderances included:

  • Vendors blocking adblockers
  • First-party serving
  • Native advertising increases
  • Legal actions against blocking
  • Foreign actions against blocking
  • Exemptable types of advertising

We encourage discussion around these, and have formulated some suggestions to improve the dysfunctional online advertising ecosystem.

Over $8 billion in wasted mobile data!

We have been quietly testing hundreds of ad blockers, most of them for iOS devices (thanks to Apple’s decision last year to allow these apps). We also built a data savings calculator for you to estimate how much extra mobile data you might be burning, loading stuff on the mobile web you never asked for.

We estimate that if all US iPhone users with iOS 9-capable devices used one of the top 10 adblockers we tested, iPhone users in aggregate could save $7.19 a month, or about $8.3 billion in the US alone! We ran across 7 websites for 3 minutes, and loaded 1712 URLs on average, whereas the top 10 blockers on average needed just 493 calls to render all the content and images on these sites -> this means that advertising technology accounts for 71% (1,228 hidden items loaded) what loads on your mobile phone in an average web session!

  1. Business Insider wrote about the data calculator today.
  2. Here’s the data calculator, give it a try!


Installing and configuring these applications is somewhat cumbersome, so we provide assistance and support to subscribers to help them with this process. But if you are one of the 30% of smartphone owners in the US to occasionally or regularly exceed their mobile data plan, adblocking is simply a must. (BTW we also hope you’ll sign up for our $5.99/month service to compensate publishers for their content –>  it’s only fair! But it’s your choice!)

Sign up for our mailing list to learn when we have test results and data available on Android phones, desktop browsers and other devices!