APPLE-ORIENTED ad blocker Crystal has already been a big hit with its App Store download, but it's now about to make a whole bunch more revenue through a sponsored whitelist.
The app's UK based designer, Dean Murphy is already said to have netted $75,000 according to the Wall Street Journal, with over 100,000 downloads in its first week.
Overall, 600,000 ad-blocking apps were downloaded during the first week of iOS 9, the first to allow such apps, leading to concerns that the lack of ad views may lead to a demonetisation of the web, which in turn could lead to paywalls like those offered by The Sun and The Times becoming commonplace.
The result for Crystal has been a deal with Adblock Pro makers Eyeo GmbH, which will allow him to take cash for letting "acceptable ads" through.
This is nothing new of course. The 'block it unless we deem it acceptable' method has been used by Adblock Plus for some time, with high-profile clients including Google, Microsoft and Amazon taking the opportunity to let their missives through the net.
Meanwhile, as more and more ad-blocking apps appear on the iOS App Store, the designer of Peace decided that he felt guilty about his creation and discontinued it, offering refunds to purchasers.
It's a signal of what a thorny issue this is. Apple has fired the first salvo by showing that it is more interested in you using its apps, which generate revenue for it, rather than the mobile internet, which generates money for ad companies.
Google, on the other hand, banned ad-blocking software from its Play Store in 2011, but it owns a huge advertising network which it leverages within free apps anyway. Thus, the die is cast.
So far, the advent of ad blocking in Appleland has done very little, according to figures quoted in the WSJ, but the next few months will prove very telling as we see an acid test of just how influential the mobile ad industry really is. µ
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