Ad Blocking and the Future of the Connected Experience

Author Avatar
Written by Digital Surgeons,
• 3 min read

“You might think the conversation about ad blocking is about the user experience of news, but what we're really talking about is money and power in Silicon Valley.” – Niley Patel for

We, the users of the internet (yes, that’s you), have been making a quiet and ongoing concession over the years, a three-way settlement between us, the advertisers and the providers of the “content” we love so much.

The agreement is a simple one; that we the user, will tolerate advertisements as long as we’re provided an endless stream of new content. Any content seems to do just fine. Photos? Double tap. Videos? Subscribe right here. Stories? Yes, we’ll share. Gifs, carousels, listicles? Yes, yes and yes. Content or “media” as we once called it, has firmly established its grip on our most precious asset; our attention. Content is created to command this attention, and advertisements are strategically placed in the path of this attention in the form of pop-ups, pre-rolls, sponsored content, and banners. It’s become the tolerated annoyance of our time.

These ads and their ad networks have reached a level of sophistication that goes unnoticed by the average web user. If you’re reading this, you might be familiar with Google DoubleClick or Google Ad Exchange, along with Google’s efforts and success with advertising. However, the dominance of the iPhone in the marketplace has put Google in a precarious position, and nothing illustrates the high-stakes showdown between Google and Apple like iOS9. This showdown is going unnoticed by the majority of web users, but their attention has none-the-less turned towards reaching for the “off” button when it comes to online advertising.

The iOS9 update included an unprecedented level of ad-blocking that will force Google to rethink the efficacy of Ad X and DoubleClick moving forward. As iPhone continues to grow as the market leader for handheld devices, experts and analysts foresee large roadblocks for small and medium-sized publishers to justify their efforts in online media. With ad-blocking technology from Apple’s Safari mobile browser combined with Facebook’s “instant articles” platform, business and publishers without the ability to invest at the scale of the big companies will be left in the lurch, serving ads to an echo chamber of blocked sites, essentially spending precious marketing dollars on nothing.

At Digital Surgeons, we know the web, and we know that as the nature of online advertising evolves, your strategies in advertising will also evolve. We see the web as an essential spoke in a larger hub of marketing efforts for your campaign, spokes created to command the attention of your consumer.

As attention continues to splinter, and as the innovation and efficacy of online advertising continues to taper, we’re proud to launch our Experiential and Live Events offering focused on commanding attention, presenting consumers with a way to touch and feel your brand, and a welcome reprieve from the onslaught of daily media.

Learn more about how we create experiences that actually show returns.