The program was created as part of Google’s “Coalition for Better Ads” efforts and is aimed to help publishers recover lost revenue from ad-blocking issues. The Funding Choices platform lets publishers display one of the following three messages to site visitors using an ad blocker:
- A dismissible message that doesn’t restrict access to the content.
- A dismissible message that counts and limits the number of page views that person is allowed per month, which is determined by the site owner.
- A message that blocks access to content unless the visitor chooses to see the ads on the site or pays for access to content either via the site’s subscription service or a pass that removes ads through Google Contributor (a paywall alternative developed by Google).
The subscription service option is a new addition to the Funding Choices messaging that Google says it has just started testing. Google shared the following images to show how each message would be displayed.
Dismissible message that doesn’t restrict access to content
Dismissible message that limits access to content
Message that blocks content until user pays for access
In February, Google officially began blocking intrusive or “bad” ads by default in its Chrome browser as part of its commitment to the Coalition for Better Ads. Google says publishers using the Funding Choices messaging since its launch last year are seeing 16 percent of site visitors choosing to allow ads on their site, with some publishers getting a positive response rate as high as 37 percent.
Last year, eMarketer reported approximately 25 percent of US internet users were employing an ad blocker on their desktop by the end of 2016, and nine percent on their smartphones. The same report, published in March 2017, predicted ad-blocker usage would increase to 31 percent on desktops and 13.8 percent on mobile devices by this year.
A survey of 1,000 US internet users, published in May, 2017 by AdBlock Plus and Global Web Index, reported even higher ad blocking numbers, with 40 percent of respondents claiming to have used ad blocker on their laptop or desktop during the past month, and 22 percent on mobile.
“Ad blockers designed to remove all ads from all sites are making it difficult for publishers with good ad experiences to maintain sustainable businesses,” writes Google Product Manager Varun Chirravuri. “Our goal for Funding Choices is to help publishers get paid for their work by reducing the impact of ad blocking on them.”
During the last month, Google reports more than 4.5 million visitors who were given the option to allow an ad via a Funding Choices message said yes, resulting in more than 90 million additional paying page views.
You can find the full list of the countries and languages now supported by Funding Choices on Google’s Funding Choices Help page.