Will iOS 9 spell the end of mobile advertising?

The new iOS 9, scheduled for release by Apple later this year, with its better and more accessible ad-blocking software may well bring an end to the era of traditional mobile advertising.

Such ad blocking software is hardly new, with Ad-Block Plus – one of dozens of such programs – claiming more than 50m monthly users. Users of ad-blocking programs account for over 13% of US Internet users, while the programs themselves cost ad-dependant Google up to 10% of its revenue.

However, with the backing of tech-giant Apple, ad-blocking is fast coming into the mainstream, with a 70% growth in their use in 2014, and a further 50% growth expected for 2015.

Apple’s announcement should worry content publishers, as close to half of audiences now come from mobile, with Apple’s Safari browser holding up to a 25% share in this market. The $69bn currently spent annually on mobile ads could soon dry up, especially if other market leaders follow suit.

To avoid being overly dependant on this fragile source of revenue, it seems content producers will have to adapt. Part of the approach is to ensure their monetisation strategies incorporate more non-traditional sources, such as selling sponsored posts, selling affiliate links, or gating premium content. Some might argue this can’t come soon enough.

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